Monday, June 15, 2015

Speed Along the Road: Tour de Cure (6/14/15)

Team Cyclotrons at the start of the 100 miler: Andrew, Sara, Amie, Ryan (100k), Rob, Derek, Dean, Emma, Urvi, Lisa, TM, Jen and me
photo from Andrew Scholte

Ride: Tour de Cure Kennebunks
Distance: 100 miles
Sights: Maine Coast, Kennebunks, Maine Woods, Rachel Carson Reservation
Goal Time: 6:30:00
Actual Time: 6:15:04 (16 mph, PR)
Pivo Index: 2

There's a poem from Tagore that one line of often gets stuck in my head while I ride: "greet me and speed along the road."

Gitanjali #44
Rabindranth Tagore

This is my delight, thus to wait and watch at the wayside where shadow chases light and the rain comes in the wake of the summer. 

Messengers, with tidings from unknown skies, greet me and speed along the road. My heart is glad within, and the breath of the passing breeze is sweet. 

From dawn till dusk I sit here before my door, and I know that of a sudden the happy moment will arrive when I shall see. 

In the meanwhile I smile and I sing all alone. In the meanwhile the air is filling with the perfume of promise.

As I rode on the empty roads on Sunday morning, felt that sweet breath of the passing breeze: the ocean with a gentle kiss of sea breeze with nothing but dog owners and surfers along the way.

15 people joined team Cyclotron for the Tour de Cure Kennebunks.  12 of us were doing the 100 Miler and three did the 100K.  So at 5:30 am, we left our vacation place in York for the Wells Reservation.  And by 7:00 (not before we had an awesome free breakfast from the Lions club and Emma won Sox tickets from Dunkin) the 12 of us for the 100 miler were lined up and ready to go.

 I had my plan of breaking the ride into fifths.  The first twenty I would take easy; then the next twenty a little faster and then 40-80 I would generally race.  And the end I would do what I could do.

I picked the perfect ride for that plan.  The first 40 or so miles of the ride is along the southern Maine coast.  It starts in Wells and follows the coast through Kennebunk and Kennebunkport and all the way up to Scarborough before heading up the hills off the coast. And it's just so beautiful and so relaxing as the "messengers, from unknown skies" greet you. 

The second rest stop was mile 38.9.  So that's where I started putting it into race mode. I put the camera away into my pannier bag and made sure I had enough food to get me to the mile 58 rest stop (and maybe beyond). I got my legs warmed up after the rest stop.  I hit mile 40 right at 2:40 (15 mph).  That's when I started a long fast tempo.  

Over what was the hilliest part of the course, I went from doing 15mph to 18mph.  As I rode through Buxton I looked for hayfields: "One in particular. Got a long rock wall with a big oak at the north end. Like something out of a Robert Frost poem. It's where I asked my wife to marry me. We'd gone for a picnic. We made love under that tree. I asked and she said yes."  I was hoping to find a piece of black volcanic glass that maybe Red left some of the money Andy had hidden for him.

By mile 60, I had caught up with Jen, Dean, TM & Derek and then left them at a rest stop.  I might have taken a longer rest at that stop, had I known that I wouldn't find the mile 77 stop.  (in fact, nobody found that stop except for Andrew and that was only after he had been driven there with a busted tire.)

Bush Compound, Kennebunkport

100 km Cyclotrons - Karen, Sara and Ryan
Photo from Karen Serafin

Near the end, around mile 85 or so, there was the turn off for the 50k ride.  Unfortunately, the 100K and 100 Miler had to keep going.  This loop was probably the worst. I ran out of water.  This forced me to stop and go into one of my panniers for my emergency water bottle.  I switched out bottled and grabbed my back up Garmin since I was unsure I would be able to make the end with my main one. Of course right around the corner from this impromptu stop was - the last 90 mile rest stop.  I just filled water and Gatorade and left.

The last ten miles, I averaged just under 20 mph.  And, at the very end I was passing 50K riders and 100k riders.  We were greeting each other with elation: "Almost there!"  I rode beneath the big red finishing arch and then up the hill (even though I didn't have to but I wanted a mountain top finish).  

Old Orchard Beach

It was a beautiful and fun day; I destroyed my previous century PR by 45 minutes.  I got to celebrate with the 100K riders and Robby who had finished before me.  I had two Peak Organic IPA as we cheered in the rest of the group as they finished in pairs and triples.  And then Andrew came in strong as Cyclotron's lantern rouge despite his popped tube, tire blowout and personal need to ride backward to get the whole 100 miles.

Team Cyclotron raised over $6000 for diabetes research!

Emma with Sox tickets from her spin on the Wheel of Java.

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