Saturday, May 8, 2010

Quest Velomobile -MS Ride Martha's Vineyard

Today was the much anticipated MS Ride.

The 100 km ride that I participated in in my velomobile Quest started at 9:00 AM this morning.
I started in a bad place in the huge mass of riders and had to work my way through the group. I don't know how many cyclists were in the 100 km itself but there were a total of just under 700 riders for the whole event with the three different length rides. It wasn't until 6 miles of the 62 mile course that I was finally off the front. I even passed the police cruiser that was leading out the pack. About 12 miles into the ride and my second granny gear climb, a strong group of roadies and their hangers on caught and passed me. They would pass me on the hills and I would scream down the hills and pass them in return. At 22 miles it was just me and an especially strong group of 8 guys who rode together like the workings of fine Swiss watch. All other riders in that initial group were way back. At 26 miles I had passed the group of 8 but hit the last big hill that necessitated the use of my granny gear and they flew past me and up that hill and they were gone. At 30 miles I crested the last hill of any worth (Abel's Hill) for the ride and did the next 10 miles on rollers at 25 to 35 mph in the big chain ring. At 42 miles I caught up with the 50 km ride that had left at 10:00 AM. The 50 km course is the last half of the 100 km course and pretty flat. Working my way through the 50 km riders my average speed was dropping. This was a section of the course on windy narrow roads for about 3 miles which slowed me down even more. Once past that I was able to open it up again. Where most riders were on the available bike paths I stayed to the road the whole ride and except at one point around 55 miles I was in the big ring the whole way.
Between 35 to 50 miles I had been experiencing severe cramping of my inner thighs. I couldn't turn the pedals at full power with out cramping.  I just kept eating, drinking and spinning out the miles and attempting to massage the cramped muscles as I went along.
I stopped at the water stop at around 56 miles to enquire as to how many 100 km riders were up front when a line of 50 km folks blasted by and I went after them. It was about 3 miles after that that I had finally dropped the last of them. At 62 miles-100 kilometers, I pulled back into the start/finish at the Island high school.

I rode the 100 km in 3 hours and 6 minutes with a maximum speed of 43 mph and a 19.9 mph average for the entire ride.

I wanted to get it under 3 hours but there is always next year.  With a better start and no cramping I will do much better next year.

I was the 9th rider to finish the 100 km.

It wasn't a race but there were a whole bunch (including me) who gave it everything they got.

Not bad for a 56 year old, middle aged Old Fart in an 80 lb pedal car..

It was an absolute blast.

I didn't stop at any of the main water stops but to see people I've known for so many years out there on the side of the road cheering me  on brought to mind in a big way what a great community we have on this Island. An Island wide community beyond the individual towns.


Hey Gang

Here are a couple of shots of me passing the Youth Hostel at just over  55 km/34 miles into the 100 km/62 mile ride last Saturday. Note the lack of other cyclists around me.  There were close to 400 cyclists behind me stretched through out the course.

This is what most riders, if they even got the chance,  saw of me during the ride.....(-;



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