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“Ride #78: Tri-State Seacoast Century with Steve, Jason, and Steve”

From: Seth Dillingham In Response To: 4167  Cycling in September, 2004
Date Posted: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 11:56:33 AM Replies: 1
Enclosures: None.

September 25, 2004

(There's a photo album for this ride. You can also click any of the pictures on this page for larger versions with descriptions.)

I set the alarm for 3:30 AM, and actually managed to drag myself into the shower when it went off. (Man it's hard to get up that early, even for a ride I've been excited about for weeks.) The car had my gear and my bike on it by 4:05, and (after a couple quick kisses with my mostly-sleeping wife) then I was on the road. The plan was to meet at the parking lot of Foxboro Furniture at 5:30.

Steve, Seth, Steve and Jason
Photo: Steve, Seth, Steve and Jason

Steve Davis, Steve Harper, and Jason Cicero arrived in Davis's car at exactly the same time I did (5:33 AM). A few minutes later my bike was moved to the rack on the back of his car, my gear was stowed in his trunk, and we were gone again. It's another ninety minutes from there to Hampton Beach for the start of the ride.

We waited in line for twenty minutes to register/sign-in, but once we reached the front of the line it only took ten seconds. The lines (queues) were alphabetical, different lines for different last initials. I joked that next year I would have to register as Don Quixote so I wouldn't have to wait in line at all. :-) (OK, that wouldn't really work because the lines were A-E, F-J, etc.)

When we were ready to leave, I couldn't find my shades. D'oh! Must have left them in the back of my truck! Steve loaned me his, and grabbed a spare pair from his car.

Finally, we were off on the first leg, which is just a 16 mile round trip from the beach in NH to some point in MA, and back again. It's a decent warmup. Along the way, we picked up a fifth rider named Andy. He was a very nice guy, and decided to stick with us for the rest of the day (it didn't work out that way, but he tried).

We stopped at the beach again after the warmup run to MA, so Steve H. and Jason could drop off their arm warmers. The day started out a bit cool, but it warmed up very quickly (and the temps were perfect for the rest of the day).

2999 Miles
Photo: 2,999 Miles!

Andy stayed with us for about half the trip up to Nubble Light House, but he got a flat tire and told us to go on without him. We did, but he showed up at Nubble as we were leaving and said we had completely wiped him out so he was going to take it easy for the rest of the day.

I hit 3,000 miles for the year on this ride. In fact, that's just since late April. Definitely my best season ever. Yes, the picture of the odometer shows how fast I was going when I took it, as well as the 2999 miles I'd ridden so far. No, it's probably not a good idea to be taking pictures at 24 mph.

The temperature and sunshine were both perfect the whole day, but it was pretty windy on the way back. (I can imagine Steve H. and Jason reading this and thinking, "A LITTLE windy!?") Apparently we'd pushed it a little too hard at the beginning, and Steve and Jason were starting to show signs of wear. When the wind was at its worst (anywhere along the beach), Jason had been pulling and I told him not to spend too much time in front, to let me pull through the wind a little more. He agreed, and as he dropped back I promised to keep the speed below 19.5. He'd been slowing down, and was doing about 17.5 when I took the lead, but I figured they'd be ok in my wake.)

Jason, Steve, Seth, and Steve
Photo: All 4 at Nubble Lighthouse

Unfortunately, in Steve Harper's own words, he was bonking. They'd both had to stop for leg cramps once already, and now Steve was just worn out. It happens, no big deal... but the real problem is that the rest of us didn't know it! Another rider had latched on to us wearing a red jersey similar to Steve's, so we kept going. When the route finally turned inland for a little while, we realized Steve and Jason weren't there, and waited. (Jason had figured it out earlier and dropped back, without telling us.)

They showed up, and Jason told Steve D. and I to go on alone, they'd see us at the end. I'd have done the same in their shoes, there's no point in making the other guys wait if your body is refusing to cooperate. (Like I said, it happens! I'm not being critical, and I've had a really hard time with some rides, too. I'm just recording what happened.)

So, Steve Davis and I picked up the speed and averaged 20-21 for the last part of the trip. (About an hour? Not sure.) I honestly tried to talk Steve into doing the warm-up loop with me a second time, but he had completely run out of water! That's really scary. I gave him half of what I had left (not much), but he went most of that last hour with nothing to drink. (I'd have been in no shape for another 15 miles either, in that situation.)

Seth and Steve
Photo: The Trip Home

Jason and Steve showed up about twenty minutes after us. Considering how they felt when we split up, that was a little sooner than we expected, but they said they felt much better once they got out of the wind.

We all tried to take showers before we left, but... uh, there are no good words for this. The showers weren't just cold, they weren't even plumbed for hot water. Maybe water that temp is a little more bearable for swimmers coming out of the ocean, but for over-heated cyclists this was like ice. There were five shower stalls, and everybody was chatting and laughing about how cold it was. I said that there wasn't any way to get really clean, because I couldn't stay under the water for more than a second. Somebody in another stall said, "Just get wet, then get out of the water. Soap up, then rinse off as fast as you can!" (He did a good job of sounding tough and making me sound like a wimp.) Steve Davis then said something about that guy being "a real man," and he responded, "Well, I was until a few minutes ago," in a much weaker voice. That made everyone laugh, and I said, "Yeah, but now all evidence of that has disappeared!" Everybody laughed harder. (Think about it, you'll get it.)

We stopped at a clam shack for dinner on the way home. While we waited (endlessly) for our orders, Steve Davis (ever the social butterfly) chatted with another patron about the Red Sox / Yankees series. This guy (the stranger) was headed to the game in Boston, so he'd be squeezing himself into those little seats just hours after riding a century. Ouch. At one point, he looked at me and said, "We'll have to recruit you for our team next year." I had no idea whta he was talking about, but he meant for next year's ride: they wanted to draft me. (Big surprise.) Somehow he even knew that I ride a big, blue Seven. When I asked Steve about it, all he'd say is that I'm famous. Wise guy.

Jason at the Drawbridge
Photo: "Mr. Cicero" Gawks at the Ship

After dinner we drove back to my car, and I was home by 8:20. It was a long day, but totally worth it! Thanks for the fun and fellowship, guys!

Stats: 101.28 miles (163.0 km) in 5h 13' 55" for an average speed of 19.35 mph (31.16 kph).

P.S. Hello to Mr. Cicero's fifth grade class! Doesn't he look funny in his tight shorts!? :-)

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