PDA

View Full Version : Backroads Century - Who Is Going?



krazygl00
08-31-2012, 03:51 PM
I heard it is an excellent century so I signed up. Any other forum members going?

consularrider
08-31-2012, 07:04 PM
Yep

JimF22003
09-01-2012, 02:12 AM
It's a great ride. Going to skip this year, but I've done it four times. Remember you come back to the start halfway through, so you can dress for the cool start and drop off the arm-warmers etc. when you loop back. I keep forgetting, and underdress at the start :(

acc
09-01-2012, 09:18 AM
Yes.

sjclaeys
09-01-2012, 09:38 AM
I am also not going this year (doing the Seagull instead), but it is a great ride. The second half is harder than the first, especially the nice long climb at around mile 85.

Jason B
09-04-2012, 06:07 PM
Signed up yesterday morning when there was only 4 spots left. Buddy tried later in the day and said it was closed.

Swiper
09-04-2012, 06:35 PM
I signed up.

Sent from my Etch A Sketch using Tapatalk 2

krazygl00
09-19-2012, 10:18 AM
Ok so we're getting down to it. I've been so busy lately with work, kids etc. I have NOT had the time to train properly, so I may be hurting on this ride.

Am I alone in this? Anyone else here in the same situation? Is anyone interested in maybe banding together as a group to support each other?

I'm also considering signing up for the official "BB" ride group. For me it is kind of a toss-up between "BB" and "B", but the faster groups leave earlier, so if can't hang with "BB" or just don't feel like it I should be able to drop back to "B" and see if they mind me poaching their paceline. I think it's a better tactic than signing up for too-slow a group then trying to catch up to a faster group that left 10 minutes earlier. Here are the groups:

The organized Group Rides and their Co-Leaders are:
Ride/Speed Start Time Co-Leaders
100 - A 7:25 AM Ken Rowe
Tim Guilford
100 - BB 7:40 AM Keith Baron
Karen Berlage
100 - B 7:50 AM Monique Sears
Bob Doyle
100 - CC 8:00 AM Reggie Beard
Ajit Baid
Ed Hazelwood

I'm guessing the route would be considered "moderate", so going by the classifications from the PPTC site (http://www.potomacpedalers.org/?page=rideclasstable):

CC - 12-14MPH
B - 14-16MPH
BB - 16-18MPH
A - 18-20MPH
AA - 20-22MPH

Remember this is average speed in a group, so take your normal solo average and add a little bit to it.

acc
09-19-2012, 08:32 PM
I don't have enough time to do the century this year. Silly students have unrealistic expectations that I can grade 52 papers in three days. I will ride hard for 50 and go home. It kills me to bail. But I owe it to the kids...if anyone wants to go hard for 50, I'm in.

jabberwocky
09-20-2012, 06:41 AM
I'll be there, doing the century.

vvill
09-20-2012, 08:23 AM
I did it last year (my first century). It was very well run, and there's a lot of riders out there so it's not hard to stay with a group your pace. The organized PPTC pace groups are good to ride with too. You can really conserve a lot of energy.

My only issues last year were -
a) stay to the right, preferably single file - not everybody followed this. local police apparently weren't too happy
b) an unrestrained dog running out and barking at riders at one point
c) dressed too cold at the start (this is before i had invested much into cool weather clothing)
d) these things were not very tasty or easy to eat
"Powerbar Energy Bites" aka balls :D
http://weusedthat.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/balls.jpg?w=277&h=300
everyone complained about them at the stops and threw them out

krazygl00
09-20-2012, 08:40 AM
I did it last year (my first century). It was very well run, and there's a lot of riders out there so it's not hard to stay with a group your pace. The organized PPTC pace groups are good to ride with too. You can really conserve a lot of energy.

My only issues last year were -
a) stay to the right, preferably single file - not everybody followed this. local police apparently weren't too happy
b) an unrestrained dog running out and barking at riders at one point
c) dressed too cold at the start (this is before i had invested much into cool weather clothing)
d) these things were not very tasty or easy to eat
"Powerbar Energy Bites" aka balls :D
http://weusedthat.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/balls.jpg?w=277&h=300
everyone complained about them at the stops and threw them out

Yeah, it was a big enough deal that they sent an email out regarding the whole "stay to the right" thing. Police and local residents were not happy and complained, so PPTC really has to crack down on it if they want to continue putting on the ride.

And I'll remember to skip the balls.

txgoonie
09-20-2012, 08:46 AM
The PowerBar bites have too much protein to be a good energy source, IMHO. Fine for recovery, but a poor choice for a during a ride. FYI. And they taste like *ss.

It's dicey to eat stuff you've never tried before during an event anyway. I'll be doing the ride, but carrying most of what I'm gonna eat;-)

jabberwocky
09-20-2012, 09:13 AM
It's dicey to eat stuff you've never tried before during an event anyway. I'll be doing the ride, but carrying most of what I'm gonna eat;-)I'm one of those people who can eat damn near anything on long rides. I'm hoping the aid stations have M&Ms. :D

txgoonie
09-20-2012, 09:15 AM
I'm one of those people who can eat damn near anything on long rides. I'm hoping the aid stations have M&Ms. :D

I have extensive experience with M&Ms, so I know I could have those ;-)

Dirt
09-20-2012, 09:24 AM
I thought about this.... and in the end didn't go for it. I'm doing a long, fixie mountain bike ride instead.

Have a great ride, y'all!

krazygl00
09-20-2012, 09:43 AM
I'm one of those people who can eat damn near anything on long rides. I'm hoping the aid stations have M&Ms. :D

I'm with ya there, I'll be chowing down at the rest stops. The only thing I might carry food-wise would be some espresso gel shots for the caffeine, because I'm not sure I can swill down my daily requirement of coffee before 7:30am.

I have a tendency to slog along slowly on solo rides if there is nothing to keep my pace up. I think riding with a group will be good for that, and also be fun. I went ahead and signed up for BB, and the B leader said that it is pretty casual if anyone wants to join up during the ride.

vvill
09-20-2012, 10:07 AM
The food on this ride overall was awesome I thought. I burned my mouth/tongue a few times trying to inhale several of those boiled potatoes, and I enjoyed the tomato sandwiches too.

Potato, tomato.


The PowerBar bites have too much protein to be a good energy source, IMHO. Fine for recovery, but a poor choice for a during a ride. FYI. And they taste like *ss.

Yeah, and they're ridiculously chewy when the weather is cool (which it was at the first rest stop). I saw a lot of them in the trash cans. Maybe they won't have them this year.

KS1G
09-20-2012, 10:23 AM
Doing the century, will leave as close to 7:00 as I can and hope to be swept up by a group I can hang onto. And see if I can figure out how to load the route into my Garmin Edge 500's course library (the gpx file on the Back Roads site is NOT the right way - needs to be a tcx file, like from the ridewithgps page) and actually use it.

Given my recent track record (Reston and Civil War centuries) with organized rides and weather, this means, of course, we will experience an early morning downpour (and I removed the Crud Roadracer Mk2 fenders last night), sleet, or epic headwinds! [You've been warned!]

Black November road bike, planned attire to include screaming yellow wind vest, arm warmers, red helmet with Hubbub mirror.

consularrider
09-20-2012, 10:45 AM
Anyone driving out from Arlington have space for a cyclist and a bike? I'm signed up for the complete century.

TwoWheelsDC
09-20-2012, 11:04 AM
Doing the century, will leave as close to 7:00 as I can and hope to be swept up by a group I can hang onto. And see if I can figure out how to load the route into my Garmin Edge 500's course library (the gpx file on the Back Roads site is NOT the right way - needs to be a tcx file, like from the ridewithgps page) and actually use it.

I thought the 500 couldn't use TCX files...or at the very least, TCX files contain info the 500 can't use, so GPX files are best (but I admit I'm just learning all this stuff). If all else fails, creating a course in GarminConnect and using the site to upload it to the device will work...kinda sucks if someone has already done the work, but I find I can map out a century ride in about 5-10 minutes.

KS1G
09-20-2012, 12:58 PM
Going slightly off-topic, but per the Garmin forums, dcrainmaker, and ridewithgps, the Edge 500 Courses feature uses tcx files, not gpx files as I'd assumed. The Back Roads site has links to maps at ridewithgps (maybe mapmyride, too - can't check from here); the maps have download/export-to-device links to get the appropriate file onto whatever you're using. See: century map (http://ridewithgps.com/trips/46703), ridewithgps instructions (http://ridewithgps.com/edge_500), a garmin forum thread (https://forums.garmin.com/showthread.php?11392-trying-to-load-ride-course-into-edge-500), dcrainmaker blog post (http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2010/03/how-to-create-mapscourses-for-your.html).

krazygl00
09-23-2012, 08:52 PM
Well, made it. Finished strong, too, which is nice. The Dulles Toll Rd. is SUPER SLEEP INDUCING after a century; get coffee. More later when I'm not so beat. Right now, beer.

Swiper
09-24-2012, 06:06 AM
I enjoyed the century and my "accomplishment" of being able to finish 100 miles at 6 hours and 30 minutes. Well, I guess that I have to start somewhere. My second ride above 50 miles since starting this hobby back in May.

Sent from my Etch A Sketch using Tapatalk 2

jabberwocky
09-24-2012, 06:20 AM
It was a lovely day for a ride. A little chilly to start, but most of the day was rather nice. I enjoyed the course a lot! There were some beautiful mountain vistas along the route.

I was definitely reminded that these events can be frustrating. There were a lot of people who didn't understand the concept of staying right and holding a line (weaving all over the road, riding on the yellow line on otherwise clear road, etc). Especially on the parts where the century was sharing the route with the shorter rides.

OH, and Ritas water ice at the finish? Total win.

txgoonie
09-24-2012, 09:28 AM
I was definitely reminded that these events can be frustrating. There were a lot of people who didn't understand the concept of staying right and holding a line (weaving all over the road, riding on the yellow line on otherwise clear road, etc). Especially on the parts where the century was sharing the route with the shorter rides.


Indeed. And where you displayed great patience with the phenomenon, I approached with a "move it or lose it" mentality;-) When my IT band ran up the white flag, I was intent on finishing as quickly as possible. You ride the yellow line? I pass you on the right. I know the organizers sent out pleas to participants not to do this (less for other participants' sake and more so the locals didn't get mad at us), but I guess there's only so much you can do.

Still, I'm very happy to have my first century in the books! Glad the weather served us up such a beaut and the course was nice 'n rolly. Finished tired but not totally gassed. And for a Philly gal, Rita's water ice was definitely the cherry on top.

consularrider
09-24-2012, 09:34 AM
I enjoyed the century and my "accomplishment" of being able to finish 100 miles at 6 hours and 30 minutes. Well, I guess that I have to start somewhere. My second ride above 50 miles since starting this hobby back in May.

Sent from my Etch A Sketch using Tapatalk 2
Any century in under seven hours is good work! I did much better for the Backroads than I did for the 50 States. Some of that may have been the 20 pound difference in bike/load weight. And I had forgotten how hilly the second 50 was. The tomato, cucumber, and humus sandwiches at White Post brought me back! :D

krazygl00
09-24-2012, 10:01 AM
I enjoyed the century and my "accomplishment" of being able to finish 100 miles at 6 hours and 30 minutes. Well, I guess that I have to start somewhere. My second ride above 50 miles since starting this hobby back in May.

Sent from my Etch A Sketch using Tapatalk 2

I think 6:30 is pretty awesome!

krazygl00
09-24-2012, 10:44 AM
Ride highlights, for me at least:

- Weather - Think about the best ride weather you can possibly imagine. Now double it. That's how good the weather was. Crisp in the morning, cool in the afternoon. Unicorns were crying it was so f%&king nice out.

- The course - This was my first Backroads, and the course was really great. Someone here mentioned the big hill at about mile 85 so I spent most of the ride in dread of it, but really it wasn't that bad. I was picturing a 30-minute slog but really it was much shorter. Although hilly, most of it was rolling. I drop like a rock, so I mostly slingshotted the climbs.

- The rest stops and volunteers - everyone was super nice and all the rest stops were well-stocked. The tomato sandwiches were the bomb just like everyone said, and they even made one special for me without cucumber :-) I was a little perplexed by the potatoes however. They were good, especially with some kosher salt, but I thought they were lacking something. I asked how the tradition started because they are pretty much the Colombian recipe for papas saladas (salty potatoes), but the volunteers didn't know. I found myself wanting a giant hunk of chicharrones to go with them :D The only let-down foodwise were the burgers at the end. I've never had decent burgers at a post-ride bbq. Tiny and overcooked. But the hotdogs were good.

- Parking took longer than expected so I missed the BB group departure and joined up with the B's. The leaders did a great job and although I thought they kept too fast a schedule at the stops, it was probably a good thing since I tend to dawdle. One of the things I was a little disappointed in with my group was the lack of decent pacelining. Everyone was just kind of all over the place, passing, surging up and back. In the end all you could do was try to hang with a small group and hope it held together for a little while.

I didn't see as much widespread bad etiquette as others have reported, but I did see a few isolated incidents of riders failing to yield especially to overtaking traffic which was surprising, given how much of a big deal they made of it in the ride sign-up. At one point on a climb the entire group kept right to allow a van to pass, but one rider further up simply refused. He was riding almost on the yellow line and stayed there for what felt like far too long. He had more than enough time to find a spot in the peloton over to the right, and the van started honking at him. And honestly, I didn't fault the van driver; the rider was being obnoxious either deliberately or ignorantly. I turned to the rider next to me and asked "what's that guy's problem?" and the rider actually thought I was referring to the driver of the van and he said "West Virginia driver".

All-in-all a great century. I had forgotten to start my computer until about mile 3, so by the ride end I only had 98-point-something miles. You'd better believe once I got back to the car I spun that rear wheel til the odometer read 100.1 :) I'll be damned if I'm going to ride 100 miles and not have it show on my computer :p

jabberwocky
09-24-2012, 11:04 AM
Yeah, I saw the same behavior (maybe even the same rider), where a group of 20-30 people pull single file to the side so a car can get by, and one person just rides the yellow line. Folks were yelling "car back!" over and over, but it took like 2 minutes for the guy to finally wake up and move over. I experienced similar stuff from slower riders, especially on the back 50 and on descents, where I'm trying to pass someone and they are just weaving all over the road making it much more difficult than necessary.

Overall though, things went well and issues like that were rare. I've had similar experiences at every large organized ride I've done. I think it just goes with the territory. When you get a few thousand folks on the road at once, you're bound to run into at least a few oblivious or rude riders.

To throw some positivity out there (I know you guys love that crap ;) ) I was happy with the aid stations as well. I hit the first one hungry but not sure what exactly I was craving. Turns out what I wanted more than anything in the world was goldfish crackers. Amazingly, they had anticipated me and had them in abundance. :D And I liked the pork bbq and burgers at the finish. Granted, anything tastes good after 6 hours on the bike.

KS1G
09-24-2012, 12:10 PM
I don't think we could have hoped for better weather (especially given recent experience on other local centuries!) - some of the scenery on the White Post loop in particular was postcard-quality. Big shout out and THANKS! to all the rest stop volunteers. I could not decide if I wanted my tomato & cuke with hummus or cream cheese, so tried one of each (still haven't decided, more research is obviously necessary). I attribute the on-road behavior of some of the riders (not many) to inexperience vs. deliberate ignorance; kudos to everyone for trying. Especially the two father-child tandem teams I saw - you Dads & your kids rock!

I was VERY pleased by the behavior of the local drivers - not one instance I can recall of a horn blast, get off the road yell, finger, buzz-by, etc. Even when some of the ride groups took longer than I thought necessary to single-file. Big contrast to, oh, the residents of western Loudoun County who seem to resent us riding on THEIR roads (last time I checked, are maintained by VDOT, which I help fund with MY taxes, too). Law enforcement seemed more interested in safety than revenue generation, too.

The route was very well marked and I probably could have skipped the cue sheet - although it was handy for the "what's next?". I did not plan to rely on it, but the Garmin Edge 500's "course" function worked pretty well - especially the one time I overshot a turn and it told me immediately. Definitely adequate for navigating the turns, as long as you don't stray too far off course (and rememebr to check that display). It did have an annoying habit on some straight sections of signaling "off course" followed a few seconds later by "course found" - GPS location randomness at work. I think I was able to catch on to one of the PPTC organized groups midway on the 1st loop until the 1st water-only stop (many of them stopped, I didn't) and an impromptu group helped keep my pace up for most of the way from midway to White Post. End of ride sports massage was best $20 I've spent in a while, and 100% agree on the Rita's at the finish.

Rolling time was 6:10, 7:00 total (dawdled too long at the high school mid-ride). Skipped the water-only stop on the 1st 50 and only used White Post on the 2nd 50. Swiper - 6:30 is a great time, while Back Roads does not have many long sustained climbs, the ups and downs take their toll and you have to be able to maintain a good clip on the gradual climbs and with the headwind we had at times.

Evidence there is a $DEITY who is looking out for me (or Murphy checks your karma account balance) - my front tire went flat at the end after I finished and was going back to my car. The REI guys gave me a pump to ry pumping it back up, then helped replace the tube when it was clear the old one was shot. They're faster at it than I am, and easier at the finish then on the side of the road somewhere.

Rootchopper
09-24-2012, 12:44 PM
This was my third year in a row doing the metric century at Backroads.

Many, many thanks to all the people that made this ride happen. You did a wonderful job. Great check in, t-shirt pick up, mechanical support, rest stop food and porta potties.

The weather was incredibly nice all three years. The Potomac Pedalers really ought to diversify into meteorology.

My helmet is off to the vastly improved road etiquette of the riders over last year. There were handful of people who were challenged by the stay-to-the-right concept but they were very much in the minority. Local car and truck drivers were very patient with us too.

I only have a couple of suggestions for a better ride next year.

1. Will the leaders of the pace lines please call out your passes? This may be the norm but those of us riding on the right often can't hear you coming. Some of the riders in the pacelines were within inches of my left arm.

2. For some reason the second rest stop at the Fairview church only had fruit. Some solid food (Goldfish or pretzels) would have been helpful. (The volunteers there could not have been nicer, though.)

If I make it four in a row, I'm bringing my recumbent. I want a piece of some of those amazing downhills on a faster steed than my touring bike.

consularrider
09-24-2012, 01:00 PM
... I was a little perplexed by the potatoes however. They were good, especially with some kosher salt, but I thought they were lacking something. I asked how the tradition started because they are pretty much the Colombian recipe for papas saladas (salty potatoes), but the volunteers didn't know. I found myself wanting a giant hunk of chicharrones to go with them :D

... All-in-all a great century. I had forgotten to start my computer until about mile 3, so by the ride end I only had 98-point-something miles. You'd better believe once I got back to the car I spun that rear wheel til the odometer read 100.1 :) I'll be damned if I'm going to ride 100 miles and not have it show on my computer :p
Something I heard is that potatoes have about as much potassium as bananas (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080326112650AAnGCcV), that staple of cycling rest stops.

As far as distance, the cue sheet said the century was 100.2 miles, but as I went around the traffic circle heading back to the finish, my Garmin was reading 99.8 miles. Since the Garmin Edge 500 changes its display as you pass the .05 mile mark, I couldn't be sure I actually hit 100 miles just because that's what was on the display. So I went past the first turn off and looped back into the parking lot. Final total, 100.37.

Tim Kelley
09-24-2012, 01:01 PM
My helmet is off to the vastly improved road etiquette of the riders over last year.

Quick, put it back on! We don't want to get a helmet debate started again!!

krazygl00
09-24-2012, 01:08 PM
The route was very well marked and I probably could have skipped the cue sheet - although it was handy for the "what's next?". I did not plan to rely on it, but the Garmin Edge 500's "course" function worked pretty well - especially the one time I overshot a turn and it told me immediately. Definitely adequate for navigating the turns, as long as you don't stray too far off course (and rememebr to check that display). It did have an annoying habit on some straight sections of signaling "off course" followed a few seconds later by "course found" - GPS location randomness at work. I think I was able to catch on to one of the PPTC organized groups midway on the 1st loop until the 1st water-only stop (many of them stopped, I didn't) and an impromptu group helped keep my pace up for most of the way from midway to White Post. End of ride sports massage was best $20 I've spent in a while, and 100% agree on the Rita's at the finish.

I loaded the GPX files from the official ride site into my Garmin 705 and they worked FLAWLESSLY. Right up until the point that the unit stopped giving me directions at all :) That was at about mile 75, and all I had to do was re-start navigation so it was no big deal; I've heard others have encountered this bug. And actually I didn't need directions really until about mile 90 when I found myself riding alone slogging it into the home stretch. I had the cue sheets folded inside my pocket the entire time.


Rolling time was 6:10, 7:00 total (dawdled too long at the high school mid-ride). Skipped the water-only stop on the 1st 50 and only used White Post on the 2nd 50. Swiper - 6:30 is a great time, while Back Roads does not have many long sustained climbs, the ups and downs take their toll and you have to be able to maintain a good clip on the gradual climbs and with the headwind we had at times.

Seriously?? Your paused time was 00:50 for the whole ride?? That seems...crazy. Mine was 02:25 and I didn't feel like I was spending much time at the rest stops at all. I definitely didn't skip any of the stops, that's for sure. You must be a MACHINE!

consularrider
09-24-2012, 01:35 PM
... Seriously?? Your paused time was 00:50 for the whole ride?? That seems...crazy. Mine was 02:25 and I didn't feel like I was hurrying through the rest stops at all. I definitely didn't skip any of the stops, that's for sure. You must be a MACHINE!
My rolling time was 6:16, 7:03 total. I skipped the first water stop and the final stop at 91 miles, but took time to hit the port-o-johns, refill the fluids, grab a bite to eat, and chat with the few riders I knew (and some others).

I want to give a big thank you to whoever was marking the course! I didn't have to refer to the cue sheet a single time to figure out my turns. I did check it a few times to see how it compared to my Garmin distance readout. Since the turns were so well marked, I didn't miss any, quite a change from my Saturday ride! :D

RESTONTODC
09-24-2012, 02:10 PM
I enjoyed this ride. It was well organized. The area drivers were great. They passed us slowly.

Thank you to the police officer with flashing light at Route 7 crossing. It helped to slow down cars so we can cross RT7 safely.

The only complaint is the long line for bathrooms in the High School to do my number 2 business. The bibs put additional delays on the bathroom usage time. I wish they install the Johnny potty additional to the school bathrooms.

vvill
09-25-2012, 09:57 AM
Something I heard is that potatoes have about as much potassium as bananas (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080326112650AAnGCcV), that staple of cycling rest stops.

Interesting. Maybe that explains why I was craving more when I rode last year. I ate 2 or 3 I think, and I'm normally not a big fan of potatoes.