New Years Day in Southeastern Massachusetts dawned beautifully: an almost clear sky with just a few wispy clounds, and mild temperatures in the mid-40's. At that time our four (fool?)hardy riders were about 25 miles into the first (as far as I can tell) NBW New Years Day century.
We met at 5:00 AM at Tiverton HS planning to do the 68-mile loop of TFCE, then ride to the regularly scheduled New Years Day ride, do it, and then ride back. This would give us about 109 miles for the day. Except for not actually getting on the road until about 5:20, the first leg went nearly without a hitch. Getting dressed, loading up the bike, etc, always take a little longer in the dark. We all had good lights (mine being brand new as a Xmas gift) and made good time in the full darkness. Watching the sky slowly brighten in the East as we rode along was a beautiful thing, and the sun finally made its official appearance shortly after 7:00. By that time we were heading North from Horseneck beach.
We stopped several times over the course of the ride to unload the residual fluids from sports drinks, and to munch on carbo's, but mostly kept up a decent pace when we were moving. The only untoward event on the first leg was a front flat I developed as we approached the HS at the end of the leg. I was close enough to walk the bike the rest of the way to the parking lot, so I was able to sit in my car while changing the tube and resting a bit. Paul was thoroughly cooked and Rich was not far behind, so they both decided to log it as a New Years Day metric century and call it good.
John and I continued on our quest for the statute century, and after unloading the lights and batteries, and reloading on water, headed out again down Rt 77 toward the club ride. We started out with a head wind out of the Southwest, but by the time we reached the ride start, it had turned to come out of the West, and then the Northwest. We were both getting a little drained by this time, so we decided to figure out exactly how many miles we needed to get a century, rather than following our original plan of doing the long loop and getting well over 100 miles. We ended up doing the 12 mile loop and adding a small side trip to add a few miles, and then headed back to the HS.
The Northwest wind was nearly a direct headwind most of the way, so our pace back up 77 was very slow, probably about 9-10mph, but we kept moving. John developed a slow leak somewhere along the way and had to stop to pump up the tire 3 times before finishing up with right at 100 miles. Going up the hill from 77 toward the HS was a challenge, and my granny gear didn't feel very granny-ish, but we made it without major problems, and rode into the parking lot somewhere between 2:15 and 2:30. My computer said we had a moving average of 12.7 mph with 7 hrs 42 min of riding time.
I was thoroughly amazed that I was able to complete the full ride. I expected to be able to finish the 68 with no major problems, but didn't expect I'd have the stamina to complete the full 100 because I had only been getting in around 30 miles per week of riding for the last 2 months. The slower pace helped a lot on saving my legs, but it put a greater strain on my butt than a faster pace would have. I guess the tweaks I did on my saddle position a couple of weeks ago made the difference.
The most amazing part of the ride was John's endurance. His road bike developed a flat which he just noticed this morning, so he did the entire ride on a non-suspended mountain bike with knobbies on it. He gets 50 miles of extra credit for that feat!
A big thanks to John Satterlee for putting this ride together! I hope it can become a tradition for us riders with more ambition than brains in future years as long as the weather permits