Monday, September 8, 2008

NBW: The Flatest Century in the East...

Hannah's One Night Stand

Tropical Storm Hannah had been threatening to wash out the TCFE. Luckily, it was a one night stand. I drove down 495 and Rt 24 under heave cloud cover. I parked my car at UMASS Dartmouth with half the sky dark clouds and half clear blue skies. As I was getting my gear together I could see the long line of dark clouds disappearing north. Nice.

Pre Ride

Registration went smoothly. On my way to reg I noticed a mechanic's tent. My rear wheel wasn't perfectly true. So I figured I would take advantage of the volunteer mechanics and have them check it out.

Some fine tuning of the rear wheel before heading out. It was ever-so-slightly out of true.

I made sure I was loaded up on Clif Bars and Gu. CamelBack and Water bottles filled with Camelbak Elixir electrolyte enhanced water.

Ever since I've started using the Elixir I haven't had to worry about cramping. I first used it on the Hill and Gully ride and I never cramped up. I swear by the stuff now.

I took care of a few other pre-long-ride rituals and headed out.

First Leg

Now I knew some people who were doing this ride. I just never made plans to meet up with them. So the tricky part of showing up to a century ride by ones self is to pick the right group of riders to ride along with. Now with the TFCE that is no mass start. You just show up, register, and head out at your leisure. I trolled around the parking lot for a bit looking for a promising group before I decided to just head out. Upon exiting the parking lot I saw Monica Foulkes taking pictures. I stopped and chatted with her for a bit (00:02:37 to be precise) as a group of riders passed by.

I headed out made an effort to catch that group as I didn't see another group rolling out anytime soon. I caught up with them on the other side of route 6. I figured "If I could catch them, I can hang with them." they weren't going too fast or too slow.

I wasn't sure who the people in this group were, but they were riding at just the right pace for me. (FYI - The gentleman in the white shirt really needs to invest in a new pair of bike shorts.)

I didn't know how lucky I was to catch up with this group. It turns out that this group was being pulled by Gil Peel and consisted mostly of the people who actually arrowed the route. What dumb luck on my part!

TFCE Ride Stats
Leg Distance Moving Time Avg Mph
Leg 1 30.60 1:51:04 16.5

Food Stop #1 - Hixville Fire Department

At the first rest stop I grabbed a PB&J, visited to the Facilities, chatted with some of the riders I was with. I also ran into Scott who I know from the Phat Tuesday rides. We chatted for a bit, then he took off. I looked around for the group I was with, and they were gone. I double checked to be sure. Then I headed out to see if I could catch them...

Rest Stop Duration: 0:12:41

Second Leg

So here I am, riding solo trying to catch a group of riders that was averaging ~16.5 mph in the first leg and my batteries die in my GPS unit. Ugh! So much for a clean track of this route. I ride on hoping I can get some fresh batteries. I catch up to rider after rider, group after group... nope, not them. Then a group buzzes past me! I jump on. I hang on for a while letting them pull me along.

Eventually they drop me, but I press on. I get to Rest Stop #2 and there is a store there where I can buy batteries.

TFCE Ride Stats
Leg Distance Moving Time Avg Mph
Leg 2 16.99 1:05:14 15.6

Food Stop #2 - Tiverton Four Corners

I check-in, buy some fresh batteries and a bottle of Gatorade, and I rejoin the group here (they've been here a little bit longer than me), I learn everybodies names, and then promptly forget them as I am very bad with names.

somebody says that they think we might get more rain, I promptly check the radar. No rain in sight :-)

This was a very short rest stop for me.

Rest Stop Duration: 0:03:56

Third Leg

I hung with group for a little bit. But I think the combination of trying to catch the group plus the 3 minute rest stop might have been costly. I got dropped by group about 6-8 miles somewhere along Route 77. They weren't going that much faster than me, however they were ever so slowly disappearing in from of me.

Gil Peel. This is a picture of Gil that I took before I got dropped.

This is me. Alone. On Howland St.

Hannah's aftermath: Big, crashing waves all along the coastline. it was difficult to get this picture as the dune between the road and the beach was ~ 6" high.

Me by a calm inlet.

TFCE Ride Stats
Leg Distance Moving Time Avg Mph
Leg 3 23.42 1:28:35 15.9

15.9 mph - Not too bad for getting dropped and beginning to feel tired.

Food Stop #3 - Adamsville Baseball Field

Paula at the Check-in Table

I walk up to the check-in table, give my number, and Paula immediately tells me that she is selling the recumbent the she bought from my friend in May 2007. Here is a picture of Paula on that bike from the Uxbridge Animal Farm Ride 2007.

I caught up with the group again. They were getting ready to head out. I decided not to rejoin them and take a more leisurely break. It turned out to be almost a half hour.

Lots of water. I refilled my CamelBack here and added some of the Elixir tabs I had brought along.

The "mood" at this final rest stop was a lot less "rushed". I could sense how tired people were starting to feel.

Rest Stop Duration: 0:27:25

Fourth Leg

The last thirty miles I ground it out and enjoyed the scenery. I didn't know there were so many vineyards and farms down here.


Apponagansett Bay is filled with pleasure craft.

This is me and Apponagansett Bay.

Waiting for the bridge. 0:03:49

A first. I never had to wait for a bridge while riding before. A bunch of us were, well, bunched up waiting for the bridge to open. The bridge keeper, (I think that is what he is called), waved us through the gates once the bridge was realigned and made the cars wait until we were all across. That was nice of him.

Last draft, then last drop. This rider dropped me on the last climb to UMASS with less that a mile to go.


I had packed a couple of Yogurt Smoothies in a cooler with a ton of ice packs in my car. They were still very cold. They both made for a good recovery snack (20g Protien total).

TFCE Ride Stats
Leg Distance Moving Time Avg Mph
Leg 4 31.52 2:05:10 15.1

My TFCE Stats

Weight before leaving home in the morning: 179.5 lbs.

  • I went through about ~100+ oz. of Elixir supplemented water.
  • 1 16 oz bottle of Gatorade at Tiverton Four Corners
  • 1.5 PBJ Sandwiches
  • 1 banana
  • 1 Blueberry Clif Bar
  • A bunch of Gu
  • and countless no-hands adjustments of the chamois ("What's that guy doing?")

Weight upon arriving back home in the afternoon: 180.0 lbs. (I guess I hydrated appropriately)

TFCE Ride Stats
Leg Distance Moving Time Avg Mph
Leg 1 30.60 1:51:04 16.5
Leg 2 16.99 1:05:14 15.6
Leg 3 23.42 1:28:35 15.9
Leg 4 31.52 2:05:10 15.1
Total 102.53 6:30.03 15.8

Home Sweet Home

A freshly baked Blueberry Pie made by my wife with fresh blueberries from a local farm was waiting for me once I got home :-)


Scott said...

Congratulation Marty on finishing the Century. Great write up with plenty of humor as you rode along. I'm going to use some of your ideas for hydrating and refueling when I do my first Century in two weeks. Hope to see you at another NBW ride soon.

Scott (NBW Diamond Hill and the infamous

Anonymous said...

Nice job from me (the other Scott) as well. I wish I could have stopped to chat a bit longer but I had other riders I was with. Plus I wanted to catch the end of the Pat's game. I do an occasional NBW ride as well so perhaps I'll run into you again before the Tuesday rides begin in the soring.