Headwinds & Detours, but Still a Great Ride
We had a bit of a staggered start this year, with some riders heading out around 5:00 to get a jump on the day's riding. Every year we consider moving the start time up, but that seems to be a key half-hour for people to get everything together and for those who drive up the morning of the ride. Since people left at different times, we have two starting line photos, and even then we didn't get everyone. Staggered starts help to keep large packs from forming, but that never seems to be an issue with the light traffic of that time of the morning.
We had a cool start, with temps in the low 40s. The air was quiet and the morning mist burned off quickly. By the time we got to Waitsfield, around 60 miles, the breeze started to pick up. It stayed with us the rest of the day, with a light shower making things damp for the later finishers.
The Wardsboro / Mt. snow climb was being completely reconstructed and had been stripped of all pavement, so we gave two options for the southern end of the ride. The "official" version left route 100 in Ludlow, following VT-103 to Chester, then over the lonesome, steep climb of VT-35 to Grafton. The headwind kept riders from getting the full benefit of the long descent to Townshend, but people appreciated this hidden gem of a road. At least half the riders, seeking to maximize the challenge, continued on 100 south of Ludlow to do the Terrible Mountain climb.
Both routes converged in Townshend, with the finish south of Brattleboro, in Vernon. The early finishers stayed dry, but a light, cool rain started falling around 8 pm, making things a bit damp for those still rolling up the miles. All agreed that it was a successful ride, but let's let the riders speak for themselves!
Riding in a group is way better then solo and without the group I joined I wouldn't have been able to make it. I am thankful to all SAG drivers, especially Brenda, and the CT riders who let me join their group. -Marianna
My husband and I rode by ourselves the whole day with me setting the pace at the front the entire time. Although I have extensive pace line experience I prefer to ride as close to the front or at front for visibility reasons, especially on roads that aren't well paved. I set a very conservative pace on purpose and finished feeling pretty good. We had never done 200 on 100 before so don't have any comparison but we thought the section through Chester and Grafton, Townshend Rd, was one of the prettiest stretches. Thanks for including it. -Randi
I really enjoyed the challenge my longest prior was B2B 148 miles 8:30 hrs when I went beyond that it became a bigger deal for me the longest saddle time was 9:30 for the 6 gaps and the D2R2 it became extremely challenging I pushed myself hard and went hard to the end my avg was 17.1 I was excited and happy to see that damm state line!! -Danny
Awesome day! Thanks for organizing. Our 3rd time. Will be back! -Morgan
Beautiful alternate roads on alternate route! Aero bars helped a lot, as I rode 90 of the last 100 alone. Self-supported with only 3 stops at Waterbury, Rochester, and Ludlow for water to mix with powdered drink mix. -Jim
Wonderful day! - Dominik
I'd just like to thank Steve for putting this together. I had a great day, met a lot of good people and will definitely be recruiting for next year. -Dustin
This was one of the most enjoyable rides I've done to date. Training for this ride is definitely a real commitment. The thought of a 200 mile ride over a full day had me nervous on how my body and mind would be on the last 25% of this ride. I have to say that maintaining a good pace and food/water intake, along with fellow riders and support vehicle volunteers is key to a successful ride. I wish I had taken a look at the morning temperatures forecast for this ride. I wasn't prepared for a 41 degree start but everything worked out. Conditions for the whole day were in our favor with the exception of the headwind we had from noon to the end of the ride. Many thanks to Steve for organizing this ride and all the nice people we met during the day's ride. Our group's stats: 198.5 miles, 16.22 ave.speed, 51.6 max speed, ascent 9891 ft, descend 10472 ft --Thomas
The 2015 stats (these are very weak numbers, as befitting a ride without rules):
- Starters: 30-ish
- Finishers: Everyone (we think)
- First finisher: 5:30 pm
- Last finisher: A bit after dark.
- Fastest Finisher: Dominik, at 10:27 (we think)
- Elevation gain*: 9,300' (Grafton) / 10,200' (Terrible Mtn)
- Highest point: 1,665 (Grafton) / 2,184' (Terrible Mtn)
- Total distance: 198 mi (319 km) (Grafton) / 205 mi (330 km) (Terrible Mtn)
*No matter how accurate your GPS unit is, measuring elevation on a ride like this is like trying to measure an elephant with a yardstick!
The ride comes early in the year, arriving before many cyclists are in condition for a hilly double-century. Start training now and plan to join us next year. You'll be rewarded by being in amazing shape for the rest of the season!
Previous Year's Ride Reports