Monthly Archives: August 2014

Shorefire Century

Today’s ride: The Shorefire Century starts in Middleton DE, and is held by the White Clay Bicycle Club. White Clay puts on a good event – being recreational cyclists themselves, they do an excellent job of supporting riders at their events. The Shorefire is a flat ride that gets it’s name from the experience. The ride is held in mid August, and the weather tends to be HOT. The ride heads south into farmland in the middle of the state, then loops through Dover DE and along the shore into the marshes before returning to Middleton

The Experience: 2014 has been an unusual year – the summer has been cooler than usual, and we had the benefit of that cool summer on this normally hot ride.  Ron, Rita and I got started as early as we could. Even though the day started cool and the temperature didn’t get into the 90’s, we paid attention to hydration, knowing that the heat was the challenge on this ride in any case. When the sun is out, the pavement can be the sun’s anvil. You feel the sun above and the reflected heat from the pavement. This time the cloud cover and cooler temperatures helped us. We set out at an easy pace to start, and as we warmed up we found a good pace and held on to it, riding about 18-19 mph. The roads weren’t busy except for those around Dover and Middleton, and we moved through the landscape with a quiet efficiency. Keeping a steady pace and sharing pulls at the front of the line was a good strategy. We didn’t get carried away with sprints or uneven efforts, and that consistency kept us comfortable. A fast ride pace, particularly if you get caught up in the moment and jump into a line of riders moving faster than your normal training pace, can leave you exhausted by the end of the ride. We weren’t racing, we were just holding our pace, and we had a strong ride from start to finish. We saw military cargo planes around Dover Air Force Base, and the little towns and fields and rivers and marshes slid by gracefully. The rest stops were well stocked with fruit – oranges, bananas and watermelon, as well as salty snacks – on a hot ride these things are important, and  we took advantage. 

Selections from my mental iPod during the ride: “Jessica” by The Allman Brothers Band,  “Strange Attraction” by The Cure, and “Fall at Your Feet” by Crowded House. 

Stats: 101.79 Miles ridden.  The pace was consistent, and we ticked off the miles with our legs tapping out the beat like a metronome.  

 

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My teammates on this ride – Rita Bell and Ron Tripp.

 

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Ron & I. This was taken at the third rest stop, in Dover DE.

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The Ride to See

Today’s ride: The Ride to See is a charity event that benefits vision research and programs for the blind. The rides start from Galena Maryland on the Eastern Shore.  The ride is held on the second saturday in August. This can be a hot ride, so hydration is vital. While the Eastern Shore is generally flat, the Ride to See is not a flat ride. It rolls through farmland, past the Chesapeake bay, by creeks and rivers, and through the scenic towns of Rock Hall and Chestertown.  Rides range from 15 miles to a full century. The shorter rides would be good training rides for longer rides later in the year.

The Experience: We started out just before 7am, and the day started out cool. This was the coolest day I’ve experienced in the half dozen times I’ve ridden the Ride to See.  Six of us rode together. We set a good pace. The roads were good and before the day heated up we were well on our way. The first two rest stops were a riverside park and a school, and we shared the pace well among ourselves. The third rest stop was in Rock Hall, and every year the ride coincides with a festival in Rock Hall where the people dress as pirates and wenches. We rode through town past people dressed as pirates, and paused to watch a gymnast giving an aerial show from a ring suspended several feet above the ground. It was a colorful and enjoyable experience. The locals really put on a show, and many were very convincing pirates.  We left Rock Hall as the day began to heat up. Our next stop was in Chestertown, and by the time we reached it, the heat of the day was upon us. The final 30 miles were hot, but we were well hydrated and we kept up a good pace. In the end we rode strong to the finish, but just as I entered the parking lot I slid out on some gravel and crashed! The result was a few scrapes and a sprained finger, but more embarrassment than pain! Over all, it was a great ride. Conditions were very good this year, and with the exception of the crash, it was one of the best summer rides I’ve had!

Selections from my mental iPod during the ride: “Happy Hour” by The Housemartins, and “Ticket to Ride” by the Beatles. 

Stats: 100 Miles ridden, and a few scrapes at the finish, but a strong ride and a good experience.    

 

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At the rest stop by the Marina in Rock Hall

 

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Our team for Ride to See: from left to right: Ron Tripp, myself, Rita Spence, Carol Linden, John Koehnlein, and Tony Lehr.