Monday, August 22, 2011

2011 Dog Days 100 - Ride Report

On Saturday August 20th, 2011 Chip, Richard, and I rode the inaugural Dog Days 100 century ride out of Griffin, Georgia.  I lived in Griffin in the late 1980's and early 1990's.  This ride was literally a trip down memory lane for me.  I hadn't ridden these roads in twenty years nor had I seen my riding buddies from Griffin in as long.  When I moved to Decatur in 1993 I put up my bike and only started riding again in July 2010 to train for the 2010 Ironman Augusta 70.3. on September 26th.  I only had a bike for about 3 months before Augusta.  So, now I'm trying to improve my preparation for the 2011 Ironman Florida race.  The Dog Days 100 is part of that preparation.

The course started at the Rehoboth Middle School located at 1500 Rehoboth Road in Griffin, GA.  Riders left the school parking lot at 7:30am.

Riders gather for the start of the ride
The school parking lot
Another image of the riders gathering to start
Chip, Richard, and I took off right from the start with the Sheriff's Deputy's cruisers and motorcycles leading the way through town.  Chip lost a water bottle within the first few miles.  One down!  I wouldn't see Chip again for over 2 hours.  Richard and I continued on.  We were ridin' with the "Big Boys"!  We were a group of about 15 riders.  As we raced down the hill and over the bridge to the entrance to High Falls State Park I took a left into the park.  Oops!  This was a rest stop for the ride but no one else was stopping.  In fact, I hadn't planned to stop either.  I just took a wrong turn.  I quickly recovered and headed back onto the course after the speeding group of riders.  I literally had an up hill climb in front of me and no momentum.  It took me about 15 miles to finally re-join the group.
Shortly after I re-joined the group I lost a full water bottle.  I had 3 water bottles with me and I needed, or wanted, all of them.  After recovering my fallen water bottle I realized that it wouldn't be of much use to me.  The valve was smashed and when squeazed its contents water sprayed all over.
The result of an ejected water bottle
Richard and the rest of the group were long gone by now.  I rode into the rest stop at the turn-around point and there was Richard.  We stood around a few minutes discussing how long we should wait for Chip to catch up with us.  After a few minutes and plenty of stuff to drink we left without Chip.  As we exited the rest stop Chip and 2 others riders came down the hill.  Richard and I continued on with a group of about 8 riders.  Richard and I stopped again.  This time it was at the rest stop where I'd made my wrong turn.  For some unknown reason the paramedics really showed an interest in my welfare.  Do you feel okay?  Do you want to sit down!  How about some water or an orange?  I guess I was looking kinda bad.  I assured them that I was fine.  They didn't know that I always look this bad.  We waited again for Chip to arrive.  We just caught a glimpse of him as he sped by us.  Richard and I hopped on our bike and gave chase.  At that point Richard was spent so, I did what any friend would do, I left him!  I eventually caught and passed Chip.

My broken rear brake cable with Velcro around the calipers
Shortly after passing Chip and with about a quarter mile between us I broke a rear brake cable.  When the cable broke my rear brake locked up.  Chip soon caught up to me and yelled "everything okay?" before as he continued to ride past me.  By the time Richard rode up on me I had my bike upside down on the side of the road trying to figure out what was going on.  Luckily for me Richard had a similar problem a week or two ago and provided me with a temporary solution - Velcro.

We never did re-join Chip.  Richard and I limped on into the school parking lot after just less than 5 hours of riding time to complete the 95.57 mile course. 

Overall it was a good day.  The weather was warm but not terrible and the course was easy to follow.  Best of all I got to see and ride with several guys that I hadn't seen in 20 years.  Kudos to the organizers, sponsors, volunteers, and riders!

Thanks for reading.