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“2005 Tri-State Seacoast Century”

From: Seth Dillingham In Response To: Top of Thread.  
Date Posted: Sunday, September 25, 2005 5:36:30 PM Replies: 1
   
Enclosures: None.

Saturday I rode in the Tri-State Seacoast Century for the third time. It's a 100-mile bike ride along the coastlines of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine.

I didn't get to sleep until almost 11:30 on Friday night. Not good, considering that I was supposed to meet everybody at Steve's house by 5:00, and he lives about 80 minutes away. I was out of bed when the alarm went off at 3:00, and straight into the shower... but I think I fell asleep just standing there as it was almost 3:30 by the time I got out.

I was on the road by 4:20, but didn't have enough gas. That added another ten minutes, as I bought some (bad) coffee and powerbars at the gas station.

Google's directions to Steve's house said to take exit 7A off I-95 in Massachusetts, make a right, "go 0.4 miles, continue for another 0.4 miles, then turn left onto Chauncy Street." Here we have a whole bunch of problems. ;-) First, there was no Chauncy. Second, I was stupid-tired and upset about already being late. Third, I can't stand the way online directions always say things like "go 0.4 miles, then continue on the same road for another 0.4 miles." This stuff is all script-based, so why don't they merge that into a single "go 0.4 miles?!"

Anyway, being stupid-tired meant that I was just looking for Chaunch Street and not paying any attention to the mileage, and went too far because I never saw the sign. After an extra mile or so, Rt. 140 grew a median (so I couldn't do a U-turn) and rudely dumped me onto I-495. More minutes flushed away as I drove up to the next exit to turn around and try again.

When I finally pulled into the driveway, I was frustrated and just hoping they'd all jump in Steve's van and we could go immediately. (So, I'd drive my car up, too.) Steve tried to talk me out of it, and after I'd relaxed for a minute I agreed. We put the bike on the van and all five of us were finally on the road.

Five? Yeah, all folks I've mentioned many times before: Mike Lucas, Jason Cicero, Jim Boyko, Steve Davis, and myself.

None of us had a camera this time, so there are no pictures. That's an unfortunate first for this group. :-(

Start of the Ride

Last year we waited nearly 30 minutes in the sign-in line at Hampton Beach State Park (NH). This year we waited at least... a minute. Very nice.

We hit the road at about 8:00. That's an hour later than we had intended, but it worked out nicely: it was a chilly day, and the extra hour gave the sun a little more time to do its thing.

Jim wasn't feeling up to riding the whole century with us, so he waited at the park for us to complete the first ~20 mile loop down to Mass and back. In fact, it turned out that he had other plans entirely: he was only going to do about thirty-five miles with us to the Nubble Lighthouse, have lunch, and then continue North to Kennebunkport to meet his wife, Katie.

Those first twenty miles were bumpy but uneventful. Well, mostly. My jersey had ridden up a little and was showing a crescent of skin on my lower back. Steve yelled, in his most drill-instructor-like voice, "Dillingham! Pull up those shorts!" Ahem. I guess I'm glad he didn't have his camera with him, after all!

To Nubble Lighthouse

Jim was waiting for us at the entrance to the park. After a quick pit-stop, we were on the road again.

The wind was in our face at about 12 mph. Normally the opposite is true for this part of the ride, but this also explains the chill: the wind was coming out of the North. It's ok, though, as we were really trying to restrain our pace for this part of the trip, and the wind definitely made it easier to stay slow.

Along the way we picked up a sixth rider, named Rob. Nice guy, alot like us in that he just loves to ride and does a lot of it.

Lunch at Fox's Lobster House ("One Nibble on the Nubble and You're Hooked!"), right next to Nubble Lighthouse, was a clamroll and onion rings. Mmm, gotta love fried food in the middle of a long bike ride. (I think everybody else had lobster rolls.)

The weather at the lighthouse was perfect. The wind had stopped (a bad sign, actually), temperatures were in the high 60's, and it was perfectly sunny and clear with very low humidity.

Back to the Park

After the lighthouse the route continues North for a little longer before looping around and heading back South towards the start. Rob stayed with us, he said he liked our pace. Jim stayed with us for awhile, too.

Near the point where we expected Jim to part ways for his trip to Kennebunkport, we stopped at an intersection. Two ladies were there ahead of us, and one of them didn't unclip fast enough... whomp! She fell over on her left side. It looked funny, but she was stuck so Mike and I helped her back up.

In the confusion, Jim just seemed to disappear. Not one of us saw him go! He may have turned off the route before the the lady fell, and just never said goodbye, or he passed us and made a right while we were trying to help her back up. Whatever, it was very strange.

Rob pulled at the front for a little while, and then apparently blew up and was shelled off the back. Again, he never said a word, just pulled for a little too long and then sort of vanished. I actually expected that (the vanishing, not the silence), unfortunately. He liked our pace on the trip up, but we were intentionally keep it low. We were somewhat less restrained on the return trip.

Oddly, we picked up *another* rider named Rob for the last twenty miles or so. He was as strong as any of us, and worked well with our paceline to keep the speed up.

Speaking of the paceline: I've taken to calling Mike's pulls, "chasing the dart." Mike is a fantastic rider, and we all know that age (he has 20 years on me) is the only reason we can keep up with him. Unfortunately for us, his size and complete lack of bulk mean he doesn't make a very nice draft. He guessed that this is why we kept emphasizing "short pulls," but he was only half right: we were all trying to take relatively short pulls (less than a mile) to keep our strength up. (It didn't always work out that way, but nobody from our group took really long, hard pulls.)

I mentioned that the lack of wind at the lighthouse was a bad sign: that's because it was turning around, and was in our faces again for most of the trip home. It wasn't as strong as last year, but it would have been nice to ride home with a tailwind!

Lesson for the Future: Don't Skip the Water Stop

As we approached the final water stop, Steve suggested we skip it. He had enough water (especially at the pace he drinks it!), and wanted to just push all the way back. Nobody objected, so we blew right past it.

This was a mistake. It wasn't long before Mike realized he didn't have enough to finish the trip. We only saw one open store after the water stop, but it was just a couple of miles later and Mike didn't think he needed to stop. (If he'd known that was the last one, we definitely would have stopped.)

Next year, don't skip the water stop.

It wasn't tragic, Steve shared some of his with Mike, but that's obviously not the best solution.

Final Push

For the last ten miles, we really turned on the juice. Mike says we gained 0.3 mph overall in the last ten miles alone. Cool. Steve, Rob and I did a lot of the pulling, but nobody was dropped and we all finished together.

Unfortunately, I didn't reset my cyclometer until after the first 20 miles, so I don't yet have the numbers. This certainly wasn't a 20 mph century (I'm guessing it was about 19), but this ride is definitely not about speed so I think we were all fine with that.

If It's Brown...

Another lesson to remember for next year. Don't go to Brown's! I wasn't hungry, but the other guys were. Steve ordered a burger, Jason some fried chicken ("fingers," I think), and Mike got some fries and something else that I can't remember. Steve said his burger was, "the worst I've had in a long time," Jason had to wait 35 minutes for his food, and Mike had to wait almost 45 minutes!

This was silly, as the Davis's were planning a big barbecue for us at their house anyway. Brown's is expensive and excruciatingly slow. Next year, let's just go to the Davis's. The waitress is prettier and much friendlier, the food is much better, and they serve free appetizers and beer while we wait for the meal!

Stats: I'll drop them in as soon as I have them. Steve? Jason? Mike?


Discussion Thread:
  • Re: 2005 Tri-State Seacoast Century (by Steve Davis - Office at 9/25/2005)

    Here are the stats from my computer. 101.71 miles; 18.7 mph average; 5:30.20 ride time; 36.4 max speed.

    • RE: 2005 Tri-State Seacoast Century (by Seth Dillingham at 9/26/2005)

      On 9/25/05, Steve Davis said: >I felt strong on the way back and really enjoyed pushing the pace. Ditto.

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