Always tweaking something!

TdC Recap

Day 2486

102 miles behind me. What a grueling, wet, dirty, fun and exhausting day. Here’s the recap.

Blah blah blah, got to the park about 6:30 – 15 minutes ahead of when check in would start. Rather than letting us park down near the pavilion where everything would be, we were told to park alongside the road well away from the center of activities. So I parked, got my bike out, got loaded up and biked down to registration.

Registration is great. They have nearly a dozen people waiting to get you checked in and they do it by ride length/starting time so the 40 milers that are starting at 9:00 won’t gum up the works by trying to check in early.

Anyhow. Checked in and got a bunch of stuff I wasn’t going to ride with. Had to ride back up to my truck and dump all that stuff plus pin my bib number on and decide if I was taking an extra jersey. Temperature wise it was in the low 60’s as we started. I was afraid that once we got going the wind chill would make me want an extra layer. So I stuffed the extra jersey in my back center pouch. Rode back down to the registration center and chilled till start time.

As the lock neared our start time, it started to drizzle. When they played the national anthem – drizzle. As we started riding – drizzle. Spray from my front tire hits the big front down tube and splashes my foot on every pedal stroke. 3 miles in and my feet are soaked. Can’t get any worse, so we all keep pedaling.

6 miles in I hear a scraping noise behind me, a loud “Oh shit!” then the sound of a bike & rider hitting the pavement. Of course someone yells “CRASH!” so everyone behind them knows what’s going on. Dummy me tried to look back. I caught a glimpse of the rider sliding along the road (we were in a pack doing about 20-ish at the time) but turning back made me turn my tire a bit. Nearly caused a crash myself when I did the rubbernecker bit.

The next umpteen miles were pretty bland. Passed up Rest Stop 1 in Rush (mile marker 14.2 – who’s tired yet?) You’re left with dealing with the rain dripping off your helmet visor, squishy socks, a wet ass from road spray and just a general moistness. The best part is you can’t really tell if you’re sweating and you know you can’t get any wetter.

By Rest Stop 2 ( MM 26.4 – Town of Avon) the rain had stopped and we were dealing with only road spray. Not too bad at all. Time to stop and re-fill the water bottles and stretch a bit. Ran into a couple of co-workers at this stop and they asked if I’d like to ride with them. I’m sure they both are much faster than me, but they invited anyhow. I told them I’d hang with them as best I could and tagged along.

The three of us were tooling along pretty well. Had to make a turn to the south (on Rte. 36) that, well, something happened in the intersection I guess. About a mile later I noticed that my front tire was very squishy. I rolled to a stop (mile 31.3), something my riding partners didn’t catch right away. One of them knew I was questioning my tire, but I fell back so quickly we lost contact.

I stopped, got my fix it kit out and set to work. First order of business – find the culprit. Got lucky and found a stone chip that penetrated the tread. Broke the wheel down, found the hoe in the tube, scuffed it up, glued it, got the patch on & reassembled the tire. With my CO2 cartridge I was able to get about 70psi into the tire. Plenty enough to get to the next stop.

I mounted up and got rolling again, figuring that I’d catch up to my riding partners at the next rest station. As I was tooling down the road towards the village of York, I passed one of the Y’s spin instructors. She yelled out my name adding in who it was that was yelling her fool head off, so I slowed up and circled back to them. It was Cheri, the Wednesday night and Saturday morning instructor with a few gals from the Y riding as a group. I stayed back with them and shot the breeze for a bit, but two things happened. A – they were actually riding kinda slow (15 mph or so) and we just ran into a cloud of sweet shit. Seriously. Had to be the stillness and lack of a breeze, but it was obvious that some farmer had just emptied out his dairy barn shitter and spread the manure on his hay field. That was some potent stuff. So I skeedaddled and left the girls behind to take in the sweet aroma of the byproducts of cheese creation.

Turn off of Rt 36 onto Rt 63. There’s a nice long downhill here where we drop into the river valley and cruise the flats for a bit. I peaked at around 40 going down the hill, just tried to stay low & out of the wind. After the free downhill ride there’s about 2 miles of flats then there’s the climb up through the Geneseo Colllege campus. Check out the map below. I only plotted the bit of road through the campus. It starts mild, only a 2% grade. Half way up it gets stupidly steep at a 16% grade. Thank god it’s only for a short stretch. (There’s a hill to climb in Bristol that peaks at 20% but it’s a 2 mile climb, not just a half mile like this one)

It's all about the eevation profile. Purple = BAD

After this climb we head north through the village. North of the village at MM 43.7 is Rest Stop 4 where I found my riding partners. Fate had intervened to get us back together. One guy had to stop and fix his front shifter (so he could gear down to climb that hill) and the other guy got a flat not a tenth of a mile from the rest stop. He just finished topping off his tire pressure as I rolled up.

I refilled my water jugs, grabbed a Clif bar or three and a few hunks of orange, topped off my own tire and the three of us got back on the road. We skipped Rest Stop 5 and headed down Polebridge road and Conesus Lake where lunch was waiting for us at the Lakeville Fire Department.

Check out this little stretch of Pole Bridge Road:

Did I say purple = Bad? Ouch babe!.

That blue section was fun – a quick blast up to 40mph again, zooming under a narrow low pass bridge right at peak speed (I think the speed limit was 35 – do I get a ticket?). Then you have to pay the fare for a quick downhill blast. The climb on the other side of the bridge was nearly as bad as the one through the college campus. That first purple section sucked, then you get a false crown before the REALLY steep section. I wa never so glad to have a granny gear on my front crank. I was reduced to about 5mph, but I could climb those hills without burning up my legs.

From there is was relatively flat getting to the lunch stop. We grabbed subs, took a bio break. It’s amazing that you still need to pee what with all the sweating going on. Guess we were doing good with the hydration. For the record, the two holer guys room had a shorter waiting line than the two holer (I assume) ladies room. Whats up with you gals?

At this point the roads were really dry, so I took the opportunity to wring a couple ounces of water out of my socks. I considered going sockless, but one of my riding partners advised against it. He said wet skin inside a shoe like that would get tore up pretty bad. He’s an experienced biker, so I heeded his advice.

The ride around the lake was uneventful. We skipped Rest Stop 7 (MM 70.5) at the south end of the lake. The crazy volunteers were cheering their fool heads off as we rode past – there may have been a cow bell involved too. Pretty cool.

Rest Stop 8 (MM 79.6)was back at the firehouse, so I grabbed another sub and made it disappear. Rick (he of the sage advice on the socks) was having a rough go of it, so we took a little longer at this stop – got in some good stretches and topped off our tanks. Only 20 miles or so to go – no way we’d be denied.

We stopped briefly at Rest Stop 9 (MM 89.7) to let Rick catch back up. He was fighting through some cramps I think. I’ve found the best way to put off the cramps is to reduce your gear and keep pumping your legs. If you don’t exert hard but keep the muscles flexing it seems to help them loosen up. That’s what he did and he eventually got past the cramps.

Skipped Rest Stop 10 (MM 93.8). By this point we’re thinking “Geeze, it’s only as far as we commute to work – lets go & be done!”. There’s another real kick ass downhill in the last section, another 40+ mph blat down into the Honeoye Creek basin. But again, for every downhill, you gotta pay. Climbing up out of the creek basin back to the park elevation happened over 4 or 6 or 89 separate climbs. Nothing terrible, but after nearly 100 miles climbing an anthill was a chore. Second best sign I saw all day was the one marking the boundary of the park. The best sign was the one a half mile down the road marking the park entrance. I think we hit 100 miles just before the park, then meandered the park roads to the far side of 100 acre pond where we hit the finish line, 102 miles and 5 hours 53 minutes of pedaling later.

After crossing the finish, we headed back down towards registration where we got yet another meal – pulled pork sandwiches and a bucket of coleslaw. After that was a round of hand shaking, ,a bunch of ‘nice riding with you’ passed all around and we saddled up ONE MORE TIME to ride uphill, yes UPHILL back to our cars. We gotta talk about this parking arrangement before next years ride. If I’m still in Rotenchester by then.

Here’s a map of the overall course (click to embiggen, I think):

The route. Copypaste the link to get to a pdf of the course if you're really interested.

or if you’re really interested you can copy/past this:

When I got home & had the truck unloaded, I cracked open an Eddie Fitz and hopped in the hot tub and let the massager jets do their magic. It wasn’t a replacement for a real massage, but between the vibration of the jets, the temperature of the water (101) and the beer – it worked just fine. A testament to me tiredness? One beer nearly put me out. Such a cheap date!


2 responses

  1. You seen to pop a lot of tires, is this common (and hence I should get a repair kit) or are you oddly unlucky in this regard?

    I just ran 2.79 miles and feel like death…. 100 sounds like torture!

    June 13, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    • bikinfool

      Yeah, I’ve had a lot of flats in the last year or so. A total of 7, but 6 of them were in stock, low grade tires.

      There were an unusually large number of folks down with flats on the Tour this year too. That I attribute to towns with lower budgets maybe not doing the street sweeping as much as previous years (if they do it at all)

      Road bikes like I ride are also very susceptible to flats. We ride skinny little tires at extremely high pressure. I’m also asking mine to support my 220+ pounds. Cheap tires + high pressure + big load = trouble (Those skinny little fuckers NEVER get flats) On my hybrid bike I run tires more like dirt bike tires and have had very little trouble with them.

      That said, it’s not a bad idea to have a pump & repair kit (& know how to use them), but I doubt you’ll have the rash of flats I’ve had. BLT could probably school you in the basics of patching a tire.

      I always found running tougher than riding. Can’t coast running. Keep up the mix tho – it’s supposed to be good for you. Plus you can always use the ‘sore muscles” excuse I mean REASON, to get a few extra massages. :o)

      June 13, 2011 at 11:38 pm

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