Sunday, March 2, 2008

SiR's "Big Time" 100K Populaire - Urban Hill Riding!

Today's ride was with SiR again, and finally it was in Seattle!

I've previously ridden 30 miles to get to one of their rides and made it on time. But I was late to today's ride, and it started four miles from my house! Guess I was thinking I could get there at the last minute..

Since the Miyata was having issues on yesterday's 50-miler, I broke out the (racy & fenderless) Ciocc instead. And since it was dry, there was no worry of spraying other riders. If only that thing could take full fenders, I wouldn't really need another bike. (Although its geometry is tilted towards racing, so it gets uncomfortable after about 100 miles)

Anyway, I started out the ride with a road-side speedometer saying I was going 39 mph down 23rd Ave coming off of Capitol Hill - sweet! If only a cop had been around to give me a ticket that I've been dying to get: a speeding ticket on a bike. It'll happen, dammit!

So after missing the start of the ride, I rode north towards Ravenna, since I'd at least looked at the cue last night, and remembered a few key turns.

Riding a route like this without a cue is pretty much impossible by yourself. Thus I had to leech off of assorted riders for directions.

The first big hill was somewhere up north, not sure what the name of the street was, but it was pretty damn tough! I saw about 30 riders walking their bikes up it, and felt a little "show offy" by standing and grinding up it - but that's what you've got to do with a 39x23 with a hill like that!

On a different climb, two women on a tandem said, "Whoa, look at that stud!" as I passed them going uphill. All I could say was, "Yeah but I'm dying!" (Meaning, it may look fast, but it sure as hell ain't easy!)

Eventually I found Chris at the Ballard Locks - lucky for me, he had a flat, and had also dropped his chain. We met up with Joby & Robert at the Lincoln Park control, so the "group" was whole again. We rode, we rode some more, and we did lots of hills. That pretty much sums it up! Again, it was a great ride.

Here's the elevation graph from the Big Time 100K (courtesy of Robert's blog):

As a side-note, if anyone's interested in a similar route, check out the "five summits of Seattle" - similar to this SiR route, except half the distance (with almost the same amount of climbing).

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