Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A New Route for the Montauk Century in 2012, and I ride my 50th Century!

My first Century ride of the year was also my 50th Century ride. The 5BBB Montauk Century had a new route this year. Instead of starting in Babylon and finishing in Montauk, we started and finished in Hampton Bays, and did a circuitous route to and from Montauk. The weather was beautiful, but a 20mph headwind made for tough going for the first 48 miles out to Montauk Point. Many of my fellow riders were exhausted at this point. I decided to stop at the MTK cafe for a little hash and eggs at about 10:30 am, and that fuel made the hills to and from Montauk more manageable. Eating your way through a century is often a good strategy.
On the way back we all benefitted from a 20mph tailwind, and made up time rapidly. On the same section of road I was going east at 9-11 mph, and was hitting 20-24mph on the westward return. All I can say about Montauk Point is that It is always a great place to visit with wonderful views. As the majority of the riders were from Manhattan and had never been cycling this far east, I acted as a tour guide to many of my new found friends. I rode for awhile with a student about to start medical school in the fall, and was able to give him some insight from my very experienced point of view, having been a doctor for 30 years now. The new route laid out by the 5BBB has the great advantage of being circular, and is what I would call flattish to rolling. No huge gaspers, but enough +/- altitude to make it interesting. I'm glad I left the fixed gear bike at home and took my LOOK KG381i with plentiful gears.Those with GPS can give you more precise info.
In a way, this ride was a celebration. I wore my 2002 Montauk Century jersey from my first ever century ride. Now its 10 years later and I can confortably still do a day's ride at almost 61. I made a lot of friends along the way, and saw some of the prettiest scenery around. The new route gets you right into the Hamptons and East End, and is interesting from the start. Did I mention that I got lots of exercise too?