Clean centuries don't allow for much picture taking but I snapped this shot of the distant long lake dam as I stopped to stash my sweater and leg warmers.
What I settled on was doing a clean century ride. By clean I mean that I wanted to do 100 mile of somewhat hilly terrain at a good pace with very little stopping. I packed two large water bottles and a 100 oz. platypus with powerade, four Bumble Bars, an almond butter and jelly sandwich, a banana, some gummi bears and a valrhona Manjari chocolate bar.
The ride was off to a fast start with a good tailwind. Actually the tailwind was somewhat of a curse because I am still riding with 39x17 because the 17t freewheel I have on my Paul hub is not threaded on but mashed on the now mangled threads. If I want to move up to a gear more suitable for this time of year I will have to get a new wheel. Since I am trying to divert all of my bike money into the new bike I was forced to spin some high cadence for 3 hours. The fast spinning really starts to cook the legs after awhile despite the apparent ease at which the pedals were clicking over.
For some reason I thought that a bumble bar every hour was going to be enough calories for the first half of the ride. At Springdale I ate my banana and sandwich. I layer the almond butter on thick so that the sandwich weighs in at around 500 calories. Once I started heading back into the wind I found that I was able to keep a solid pace and forged ahead. At around 4 hours I started experiencing the subtle symptoms of bonking. This wasn't a full on system crash. I was still chugging along at a high pace, the legs were doing there thing unchanged but mentally I began to wonder about whether the muscles were going to hold up. I began worrying that the discomfort in my knee was going to turn into a chronic disorder that would derail all of my future plans. I began to notice that distant road signs took a long time to reach me, my mind wondered around in a negative world of self pity.
It is only because I have been through this many times that I realized that I needed calories. My body never said "I'm hungry" the bonk manifested itself in a decidedly mental train wreck. I stopped off at a grocery store in Deer Park and ate a slice of pizza, drank a cup of coffee and finished off the gummi bears and chocolate.
By the time I got back on the road I was singing out loud and bunny hopping over shredded tires on the highway shoulder.
As for doing a clean century, my 16.7 mpg average is as good as it gets for the hills, the three hours of headwind at the end and my choice of gearing. After a shower and a pound of beef jerky I feel fully recovered. Clean enough. The true test will come tomorrow morning when I try and do some fast, hill climbing.
Here is my route: Springdale Century