Monday, January 17, 2011

Two counties, Thirteen towns, 100.6 miles, 7h13m

There it is! My first century. What a hell of a time to do that. Overall it was a good experience. I did keep dreaming of warm weather. My toes took a huge toll but I managed to deal ok with that.

This was the only dirt road section on the ride. It was about 2.5 miles long. Towards the end of this road I had become a little displeased with my hub. It downshifted to 6th gear ok but below that wasn't happening. I had to get off the bike and twist the shift mechanism by hand. Mind you that I am only 18 miles into my ride. I stopped at mile 26 at a gas station to check it out. I scraped all the gunk, slush, and ice off of the hub in hopes that this would help. Not really. Fast forward to later in the ride, it worked fine. Towards the end of the ride, not so good again. Temperature was playing a big part in the situation. I am going to pull it apart again and try a different grease and also change the shift cable out for a sealed unit. Hopefully this works. More about that later.

 I wanted to take more pictures but it is such a pain in the tail end to stop all the time and pull the gloves off, get out the camera and shoot.

little town charm

next door to the town offices

next up was the town of Bristol. If it wasn't for being in the middle of nowhere, it would be a cool place to hang out.

the furthest point south on my route :)

I stopped in Middlebury to have my lunch and take a break. By the time I took off again, about 45 minutes had passed. I wondered if this was a bad idea but I seemed ok when I took off again. Riding along I look out ahead and the weather looked horrible. I thought I was in for a tough ride home. It turned out to be just a squall that lasted maybe three or four minutes. That was fine by me!

distance traveled before lunch

This is how long it took to get to 56 miles!

This solar farm is on route 7 near Vergennes. I don't know anything about it but I think that it was cool to see. Much more pleasant than seeing a nuclear plant or something.

Pano view of the solar farm

This one is for you Bob!

At about 6 miles from home I stopped to let my wife know that I was almost done. I stopped in a bus shelter to block the wind. It didn't work too well and it was pretty cold at this point. The temp dropped noticeably about 15 miles from home.

Overall it was great. I was good for the first 70 miles and the last 30 took a beating on me. I would say that the weather played a large roll in that. Now I know what to expect for next month, when I do it again!


mike said...

well done!!! and congrats on the first century. what a day to do it!

glad you made it in safe.

bristol is a great place to stop - especially if you make it to the cafe / bakery. lots of bikes out front on warm weather weekends.

did you roll on studs?

sminch said...

Thanks Mike. I did roll with studs. It is in full winter commute setup still. I think I weighed it at 28lbs. I could have ran 'cross tires and probably been fine but I like the comfort of knowing that those little stubs of metal are there for me.

You get to map my next one!

Pondero said...


I am very impressed, and am inspired to plan a full-day, longer-than-normal ride of my own...even in a bit of weather.

Very well done!

greg said...

Nice Wil!

Impressive what with the weather and studs!

You picked a nice day for January!

What footwear option did you employ?

sminch said...

Thanks guys. It was a pretty descent day (for January). It was shoot from the hip. I was running out of days to get it in for the month so I made a route Saturday night and took off Sunday morning.

Shoes: I still want winter cycling shoes but probably not until next year. I just wore my Specialized BG Comps with sock, bag, sock. It isn't a great system but it helps. My feet did ok.

Apertome said...

What crazy conditions for your first century! Also, your time is better than any of my centuries. And you did yours in the winter, on studded tires, with fewer gears. Man, great job!

sminch said...

Thanks Michael. I have a pretty fat head from all the compliments but I am using that as positive energy. I wish I felt more inclined to take more picture while I am out, like you do. How do you pull that off?

Anonymous said...

It looks like you had a great journey! Keep up the great work!!