Sunday, September 28, 2014

102.74 Miles on my Trike. Another Sea Gull Century

I had not been down to the DelMarVa peninsula in a couple of years. For my 54th century I decided to return this year for the Sea Gull Century out of Salisbury, Maryland. This is a flat century over good roads in farmland. The traffic volume is very low, and the excellent Maryland State Troopers are at every major intersection, stopping traffic for the about 6,000 riders registered for this event. The weather cooperated brilliantly, with great cloudless skies, lots of sunshine, and a maximum temperature of 80F with low humidity.
There is a choice of two century routes, and a 100km also. I chose the Snow Hill Century, which is more scenic and less crowded than the original Assateague Century. We started off at 7AM, with the sun just rising. The starting temperature was 51F and clear.
Thie was my second recumbent trike century, and I was well trained from a good summer of riding both upright bikes and my trike. Compared with my LOOK KG381i road bike, the Catrike expedition is slower by about 3mph, but much more comfortable during the last 50 miles of the ride. As I was not in a hurry and the weather was fabulous, the trike was the best choice. I met up with several other trike riders on the road and at the rest stops. I met Dirk from the DC area. He had Catrike Expedition #880, while mine is #3385. About six years of production separates the two frames. Fortunately, they are still made in America.
The ride is largely rural, and passes through many small towns of the Eastern shore of Maryland. I would have to say that all of the people and automobile drivers that I came across were quite friendly, in contrast to the drivers of Suffolk County, who can be quite hostile at times. I felt safe.
The last rest stop was at the Nassawango golf club. Of course, they had pie and ice cream for the eager riders to consume. Due to the amount of exercise during the ride, which comes to about 5,000 calories, I felt justified in having a big piece of cherry pie. The power curve of the trike and most recumbents is different than an upright bike. Due to the fact that general body fatigue is low, my average speed actually increased during the last half of the ride. I have found this to be true with my two wheel recumbent also. All in all, this years Sea Gull Century was a great ride.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

TFCE 2014. A Great Day and a Great 102 mile Ride

It could have been hot, humid, or rainy, but it wasn't. The weather was absolutely perfect for the 2014 " The Flattest Century in the East " ride, out of Dartmouth, Massachusetts. The day before, Helen and I took the Cross Sound Ferry from Orient Point on Long Island to New London, Connecticut. We then drove to Dartmouth Massachusetts, the home of UMASS Dartmouth, where we stayed overnight. The trip through the North Fork of Long Island was scenic, with flowers in abundance.
Our friends from Boston, Ron and Phyllis, met us at the starting area. From there, the girls went to Newport, Rhode Island for the day, and Ron and I tackled the Century with 2,000 of our closest friends. I have to let everybody know that this century is flattish to rolling, but NOT FLAT! There is about 2,800 feet of vertical climbing overall. Lots of it was long and gentle, with no serious steep climbs. 
Ron was riding his new Trek Domaine 2, and I was riding my trusty 12 year old LOOK KG 381i. The coastal scenery was often spectacular. We had lunch at the 50 mile mark at a local deli/bakery, and the sandwiches were delicious, lots better than the general century PB&J. 
One problem that I had was that all along the route, there were lots of great beaches and swimming opportunities. It took a great amount of concentration to keep on the route at times.
At the end of the day, Ron and I got our commerative T shirts, and drove to Newport, Rhode Island, where we met the girls for a terrific seafood dinner at The Moorings. The Newport Storm Amber Ale was quite tasty, and went well with local clams on the half shell.  All in all, the day was perfect.