Thursday, April 18, 2013

2013 Tony Serrano Ride

Saturday, April 13th marked the day of the 2013 Tony Serrano Ride.  The weather was perfect and I was ready.  I rode the full century with lots of my Southern Crescent Cycling friends last year.  Susan rode a shorter route.  This year Susan decided to ride with Kellie, and Diane, two of her WOW (Women on Wheels - McDonough) friends this year.  Check'em out on Facebook!  The Serrano family and excellent volunteers had all four routes well marked.  The WOW girls rode the 37 mile route.  Me and four other SCC'ers rode the 100 mile century route.  The rest of our group rode the 62 mile metric century route.  The fourth route was a 10 route.
Kellie, Susan and Diane
Allen, Peto, David, Eric, Josh, Mike, Diane, Kellie, Susan, and me
All the routes started in Monroe, Georgia a picturesque little town east of Atlanta.  From Monroe we wound our way up and down the rolling hills of Walton and Morgan County.  I hate to compare rides, and the Tour de Pike has a great century course but, this year the Tony Serrano wins outright.  Even though there was more pollen in the air than a normal person could stand, the bright green foliage all along the route was beautiful and made all the difference. 

The rest stops were packed with just about anything you could think of.  We stopped at three of them.  The sky was clear and sunny with the temperature in the upper-40's at the start and the high-70's at the finish.  I wore a windbreaker all day but only needed it for the first hour.

The rest stop at mile 34
Josh has his mouth full
Peto loves Hummus
Eric with something to eat
As the ride started and my group headed out onto the course there was an instant divide in the mass of 700 +/- riders.  The fast riders were up front and steadily getting farther away.  Me, Peto, Josh, and Eric were still together.  I was pretty sure that we were the leading four from our group.  At mile 50, or so, I would have to reevaluate my assumption as we would roll up on a lone Mike Dozier who had been dropped by the 23.5-mph lead group.
The rest stop at mile 80
Mike grabs a snack for the ride to the finish
2013 RAAM partners Kacie and Dani (I might have their names backwards)
Before we hooked up with Mike we were fortunate enough to hop on the tail of a Ride Across America (RAAM) Power, Pedal, and Ponytails training group at around the 10 mile mark.  As a group of about ten riders passed I told my three riding companions that I was hopping on the train.  Peto, Josh and Eric followed suit.  Dani, Kacie, their two friends, Maria, and Mike(?) pulled us, and other hangers on, for the next 80 to 90 miles.  The 90 mile point was where I finally got spit out the back.  I had tried 10 miles before to let them go but Josh wouldn't have any of it and guilt-ed me into sticking around a little longer.  The second time I tried to slip off the back I knew that I'd have to be a little more stealthy to succeed.  That happened at mile 90 and it worked like a charm.  Our club rules call for a rider who is falling off the back to let the other riders know so they don't notice he or she is missing 10 minutes later and wonder what happened.  My four SCC companions rode that train all the way to the finish.  I was happy to be alone as I dry-heaved about 2 miles from the finish.  I think it took 10 minutes for my heart rate to slow down after the ride.  Leave it all on the course - right!  That seems easier to do the older I get!

Overall, it was a great day to ride and a great event.  I finished in under 5 hours (moving time), 5 hours and 11 minutes including rest stops.  The last 10 miles of which I wasn't breaking any records.  My overall time was 5 hours and 11 minutes.  I'm hoping to improve upon that in June at the Jackson Brevet.

Thanks for reading.