I rode the Cider Mill Century on Sunday, and with oppressive heat and a bit of wind, it was a long, hot day.
And I actually did it at a hell of a pace, at least for me. I averaged something like 15.35 MPH — I say “something like” because I realized, once I finished, that I had the cyclocomputer set to the wrong tire size. I had it set to the knobbies, and was riding slicks, so the computer ended up showing me 102-something miles, and it was actually right at 100.
Compared to the 2007 version of the ride, this year felt a lot tougher. I think the temperature was slightly hotter, and the wind slightly less. And that, coupled with the different bike, plus faster pace (nearly a MPH faster), made all the difference. By the time we climbed the last hill and pulled into the parking lot, I was spent.
The ride started off well enough, and the pace was fairly high through the first 40 miles. I was riding with two other guys (Dave and Reed), and we were all feeling good enough to skip SAG #2. At the rest stop in John Brown State Park in Osawatomie, I was showing a 16.1 average.
I took it easy for the next half-dozen miles, riding along with another friend for awhile, but as he split off for the 70-mile route, and I turned south for the 100-miler, I was quite a ways back from Dave and Reed. I eventually caught up and passed Reed, then caught Dave at the Fontana SAG, as Reed went rolling on by.
After Fontana, Dave and I rode together for another 8 miles or so, until he pulled away on the big hill leading up to K-152. When I finally got to the next SAG in La Cygne, Dave and Reed were both there waiting for me, and my computer still read a 16.1 average.
The next segment was long and lonely, with the group breaking apart, and me really beginning to feel the effects of the mounting heat. I was once again last to the next SAG at the Church on Block Road, and again at the next SAG at Lake Miola.
The Lake Miola stop was the one we’d been looking forward to, as that’s where they were serving lunch. The cold-and-wet towels we were given as we arrived were a brilliant surprise, and the BBQ, baked beans, potato salad, and lemonade were much appreciated, though the prospect of another 6-7 miles in 97-ish degree heat rather dulled the appetite.
After a fairly long lunch break, we hit the road for the final push over the rolling hills of 287th Street, one mile of Somerset Road, and the last little jog on 68 Hwy.
Other than feeling tired and drained, I wasn’t in too bad of a shape by the end. Stiff shoulders and neck, a bit of saddle pain, but overall OK. But definitely glad to be done.
Looking back at the ride, from one day after, I’m surprised how little I feel the aftereffects. Even yesterday, once I made it home, took a shower and a short nap, I was fine.
Today I feel ready to go again. Not for another hundred — not just yet — but I’m looking forward to getting back on a bike tomorrow.