My first metric century

Mar 21, 05:36 PM

Because I was going to be out of town for the weekend, I rode my first 100K ever on Wednesday, on a route that was partly familiar, partly new. It was around 60 degrees in the Connecticut River valley where I started (150 feet above sea level), down to the upper 40s/low 50s at my maximum elevation of around 1600 feet above sea level. There was still snow on the ground up there. My ride took me across the river, then gradually uphill (1-2% grade) for around 8 miles, then uphill at a slightly steeper grade (3-6% with a few steeper sections) for the next 5 miles. The wind was in my face too! Then it was down a bit and up for a few more miles. I then had an eleven-mile descent into the picturesque little village of Shelburne Falls, on the Deerfield River. I stopped there at McCusker’s deli and grocery for a blueberry muffin and some chocolate milk. After that, I took unfamiliar back roads with a couple of short but grueling climbs, one of them through shallow but viscous mud. The climbs might not have been so bad early in the ride, but at that point I had worn out my climbing muscles. Fortunately the next part was a thrilling descent—on an unfamiliar road with a hairpin turn. I was happy that I had adjusted my brakes recently. From there I was on roads that I had cycled or driven; the last 18 miles were pretty easy physically, but it took some self-discipline to keep going.

I had an enormous sandwich about an hour before starting out, and I ate one Clif bar and drank a 20-oz bottle of Dr. Pepper during the ride, in addition to the muffin and 8-oz bottle of chocolate milk. By the end I was feeling hungry; I probably should have had another Clif bar around an hour after leaving Shelburne Falls.

I took a few photos along the way. (The shot of my bike shows the fine wheels that Peter White built for me last fall.) The route map is also online.

Brian W. Ogilvie

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