Monday, August 29, 2011

2011 SBL Wilson 100 Ride Report

August 28th, 2011 at 8:15am was the mass start of the Southern Bicycle League Wilson 100 from East Coweta Middle School at 6271 Highway 16 in Senoia, Georgia.

Chip, Richard, Chad and I planned to ride the 100 mile route to prepare for Ironman Florida. Susan and our neighbor Eileen would do the 13 mile route twice while we were done.  They wanted to check out downtown Senoia.

Well, the start didn’t go completely as planned.  Chip claimed that he had to work and Richard was allegedly feeling under the weather.  That left Chad and I doing the 100 mile route with about 200 of our closest friends.  Many of the riders I know started well before the mass start in an effort to finish the ride before the temperature got too hot.

Susan, Eileen, and I got our bikes setup and picked up our shirts.  I said hello to a few of my Southern Crescent Cycling club friends that didn’t start the ride early.  I didn’t see Chad until I heard the explosion.  I looked over just in time to see a poof of dust as the air left his front wheel tube with force.  With some help from his Beck team buddies Chad fixed his flat and was ready to go well before the mass start.

Chad and a buddy
I rode with the peloton for the first 49 miles when I made a quick stop in Warm Springs to fill my water bottles.  During the first half of the ride we had a brief incident with a female Meriwether County Sheriff’s Deputy.  She was upset that the peloton was over the yellow line and three vehicles behind us couldn’t pass.  She was probably even more upset after she had words with one of the riders and when about fifteen riders stopped for a natural break.  I thought somebody’s goin’ to jail.  I stopped a few hundred yards up the road to take a few pictures as the riders passed before rejoining the peloton.

As we rode through a pine tree farm I noticed a tick on the rider in front of me.  It was on his shorts and marching from right to left.  He must have gotten picked up on rider’s rear wheel and flung onto his shorts unscathed.  They are tough bugs.  I told the rider and he brushed it off.  Then, of course, another rider had a laugh about me looking at this guys shorts.  He did admit to seeing the tick too.

The peloton
I took a few turns at  the front.  The temperature was still cool in the hollows.  The last I saw of Chad he was huddled amongst his Beck team buddies protected from the elements like a queen bee.  Frankie, a fellow Southern Crescent Cycling rider, stayed with the peloton through to the finish.  My average miles per hour was somewhere around 23.6 at Warm Springs.  My solo ride to the finish dropped my average to 20.8 mph.  I have to point out that I passed at least 30 riders in that last 50 miles and no one passed me.  My total ride time was about 4:50 not including about 9 miles of stops.  I easily beat the 5 hour mark because I’m including the extra minutes my computer added as Susan and Eileen put up my bike.  I think my watch read 1:08pm as I pulled into the middle school parking lot.

After the ride Susan, Eileen, and I sat around until I recovered. Susan got me 2 glasses of water which I gulped down in seconds.  Then we had some lunch at the school cafeteria.  My SCC buds were already in the cafeteria ready to tell me how I got dropped.

Susan and Eileen loved their ride.  Susan said the scenery was really pretty and the route was not too tough.  They also said that all the shops in downtown Senoia were closed.  There was a big floppy eared hound dog on the 13 mile route.  As Susan, Eileen, and two other riders passed by the dog took a big old dump.  We didn't have to drive all the way to Senoia to see that.  I guess he had more important things to do than chase them.

An estimated 800 riders hit the road on Sunday.  The 100 mile course was awesome with little or no traffic and long rolling hills.  In fact, I only came off of my big chainring once.  That was at the 95 mile point.  It was better that the Hospitality Highway 100 course but the support was not quite as well done.

My trash gauge was at zero all day.  There was no trash or debris either in the road or on the roadside anywhere.  I did lose a water bottle thought and it's probably still out there somewhere.  There were also at least three dead armadillos and a dead dog the size of a water buffalo.

The only criticism is that the rest stops could have had a cooler of ice ready to fill water bottles.  The Powerade that was provided just wasn’t cool enough as the temperature rose.  This wouldn’t have been an issue for the peloton since they didn’t stop at all.  In the future I will have to load my jersey pockets with frozen liquid for later in the ride, that is, if I plan to stay with the group for the duration.

2011 Wilson 100

Thanks for reading.