Carolina Cup Challenge

Twice before today, I’ve completed rides of 100+ miles. Both were about 10 years ago; neither was an organized century. One was a ride from Holland, MI to Silver Lake, north of Grand Rapids. The other was from Holland to East Lansing. I had forgotten how tough a century can be.

So when someone asked who was interested in riding the ADA Carolina Cup Challenge today, I said, "Why not?" It started in Kernersville at 8:30 AM; I joined the first wave of the mass start and hauled on up to Meadow, where the first rest stop was. The pace was kind of high, and we hadn’t even started the real climbing yet, so I hung back for a while and rode with another guy who was looking for a more moderate tempo.

That was the right pace, because the climbing started in earnest. From Meadow, the ride circled up around Pilot and Sauratown Mountains and Hanging Rock. We passed on the optional climb up to the Rock, and ended up catching up with part of the morning crowd at a rest stop with about 30 miles to go. With home in sight it was a bit easier to pick up the pace all the way back to Kernersville. Still, the last 20 miles I was feeling pretty hazy; all the saddle time was having its effect. Just keep the pedals turning, I told myself.

Tough? Yes. But very well organized, with a great route. Only 27 people took advantage of the century route, and I hope there’s a better turnout next year.

Mileage: 106.7. Bottles of liquid consumed: About a dozen.

I’ll post the cue sheet later.

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