GO Bike the Coast Century Ride

Yesterday I rode my Elliptigo more than 100 miles!  I was a bit worried going in. I have been working up to it. I have done 3 metric Centuries, the longest being 63 miles. I intended to do something in the 75-80 range but that did not happen. So, I was faced with jumping from a long of 63 to a long of 100. The good news was that a couple of those 60 milers were WAY hillier than the century ride was supposed to be. The other encouraging thought was that the first of the 60s had seemed the easiest, I finished that one strong, feeling like I could keep going… the other two I was dehydrated… If I could avoid dehydration I should be okay.

I got up at 2:30 and got in my truck at 3… a.m.  for the long drive to Carlsbad. We have a Bible study on Friday evenings and so I chose not to cancel it and drive down early and get a hotel. I arrived about 5:30 and walked down and checked in. I took my stuff back to the truck, relaxed a bit, got my Elliptigo ready and headed down to the start line at 6:20. The website said the first wave would be 6:30 but it was still dark so they did not send us to 6:50. By then there were quite a few cyclists in the queue so I did not get underway till 6:55.

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The ride started north on the waterfront, and circled back southbound on the roadway above. There was lots of riders starting and lots of others still going to check in. Everyone took it easy. About 8 miles in, I was enjoying the view so much I could not resist another selfie.

14907058_10210769009251624_7463800683651468688_nAbout 12 or 13 miles down the road we entered the town of Encenitas. The web site had warned that stop signs MUST be obeyed. Sure enough, some cyclists just in front of me rolled through one and were pulled over. I saw this happen 3 times before the day was over…

In Encinitas we got off PCH and had our first SAG stop overlooking the water.

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(I still… need to lose weight…)

Another 10 miles down the road, after one pretty good climb, we started an inland loop. We were next to an estuary on a little climb…

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A few miles later was the 2nd SAG stop. I was doing better on hydration. I have two new, larger, Elliptigo bottles installed below my handle bar. I finished one per stop so far. Leaving the SAG stop was our next hill as the course took us up and over a bluff and then up onto another before descending to water level in Del Mar. There we met up with PCH and headed back to the first SAG stop. Approaching it, in a section with lots of stop signs, which sort of served as a recovery section…. were these unusual houses.

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Entering the SAG support I noticed two ladies leaving on Elliptigos. I had a pretty quick stop and continued back toward Carlsbad. Within a mile or two I caught them. They were moving pretty slowly. I said hi and kept going. Another mile or so later one of them caught back up with me. She left her slower friend behind. Her name was Bethany and she could really GO quick. Turns out she and the other girl work at Elliptigo. They had signed up for 50 but opted for 25. That first aid station was their turn around. She pulled ahead once or twice but I caught her at red lights. We had a nice talk. She was with me the last few miles as we cruised back to the start/finish area. She stopped and I had a break preparing for lap number two.

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About 6 miles into lap two I spotted my friend Larry Oman heading toward Carlsbad. He and a few of his buddies did the 50.. on road bikes, of course…

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Back at the first aid station, I noted that I was at 64 miles…. a new GO record. Everything hereafter would be tacking on. I still felt pretty good! The hill between stop 1 and 2 did not seem any harder the second time. Nearing the second stop, along the estuary again, they had us on an older more beat up bike path..

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After stop 2, heading up onto the bluff I noticed this sign.

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This is one of my investments… great excuse for another selfie.

After this I became more focused on finishing. I felt strong enough to push the pace the last 20 or so. I finished with little fanfare… most of the road cyclists were already done, though others were still behind me. They gave me a bracelet thing as my “medal” –  a little disappointing. There was a $5 ticket for the food vendors, but I wanted to get to the truck and change… so I did…

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Then I started the LONG drive home.

My average pace for the ride was 12.8 mph which was a tad faster than any of the metric century rides. I believe the hydration with electrolytes played a huge role in finishing strong. Every time there was a red light a took a swig. I often took really, really big swigs. In the 2nd loop I probably finished a bottle and a half between stations.. It was warmer, of course in the early to mid afternoon.

This was my longest GO ride, and my longest Cylcing ride as well. I did 85 a few years back on my road bike and 75 last year at the Ojai Valley Century. The GO demands more of the legs, heart and lungs but it does not stress your “seat” nor does it stress your neck. The neck has always been one of the most annoying parts of long bicycle rides… although, now I am wondering about a century on my road bike. It was kind of annoying being passed all day by road bikes….

Hey Chuck, you should get an Elliptigo!  Btw, they have a winter ride where people come from all over – in Pheonix, in January.. I am thinking of GO ing.

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