Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Harbor 100K!!

That was fast!! For road racers and the carbon frame set, an 18 mph average for 77 miles might be a routine event. For this reformed fat man on a steel frame it was quite a workout. No the route is not that hilly, and no I didn't spend a lot of time in front pulling. But it was an exciting ride just the same.

Twelve riders set out from Severna Park at 6:00 sharp. Our destination was the Happy Harbor Restaurant and Bar in Deale, MD. Deale is the home port of a large fleet of fishing, crabbing and oyster boats that work The Bay. The Happy Harbor is right on the water in middle of it all. Between SP and Deale we rode through some of the nicest parts of southern Anne Arundel County, mostly farms and some neighborhoods with very nice looking homes. In addition to the nice countryside we saw several deer in the fields along the way and at least one pair that seemed to be trying to race us as they ran parallel to the road for a small stretch.

I've been a member of the SPP since September of last year. It's no secret many of these guys are strong riders. But the weekend and holiday rides sometimes attract a large participation including some members who don't get out for near daily workouts. These rides tend to be as much social events as workouts. Today, everyone was ready for a crisp pace and it caught me a little by surprise.

With such a large group, the aerodynamics favor a tight formation moving quickly. That's exactly what we did and the countryside was whizzing buy. But after 15 miles or so I was feeling very fatigued, and wondering if I would need to back off. I ate a pack of gel and a fig newton. That did the trick and I got right back in to the rhythm. Remember the mantra from Solomon's a few weeks back: eat a little, drink a little, keep pedaling.

We added two more riders at the Davidsonville Park and Ride and the 14 of us flew down to Deale. We would have reached the Happy Harbor before 8:00 am but I picked up a piece of glass in my rear tire about 5 miles from Deale. That many hands made a quick repair and we rolled in for breakfast just a few minutes after 8:00.

The Happy Harbor sits right on a creek and it's docks held several work boats. Clint had called ahead and the outside dining area was reserved for us with place settings already out. The breakfast menu offered a nice selection. I had a Cream Chipped Beef omelet, coffee and orange juice, very tasty.

The ride home set a similar pace to the ride down. We went up Muddy Creek Rd and Riva Rd through Annapolis rather than retracing our steps so we saw more neighborhoods and less farm land on this leg. But we set a similar pace and with such a large pace line, the miles flew by. It was heating up as the sun got higher in the sky and the open sunny stretches felt hot. But the shade felt great and we had plenty of both.

Brandon actually cut a small tear in his tire on some road debris along Muddy Creek Rd. All of us heard the sudden loud hiss as the tire deflated instantly. Fortunately someone had a large patch that was applied to the inside of the tire along with a new tube and he finished the ride without incident.

I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, it was a great way to spend the holiday. Many thanks to Chip and Clint for organizing it.

I also feel great about how much stronger I feel on the bike these days. I've been frustrated that my weight has plateaued. I know it's a matter of adjusting my diet (Creamed Chip Beef for breakfast!). But static body weight does not mean my fitness has been static. A fast ride to Solomon's a couple of weeks ago, and an even faster ride today are just part of the evidence.

The Garmin Connect web site analyzes the track for every ride and gives lots of statistical reports and feedback. My average riding speed is up almost 2 mph since the beginning of the year!

Avg Speed
May 201024759.2815.9
Apr 201030775.2414.9
Mar 201022634.9214.8
Feb 201013432.8413.7
Jan 201013410.3614.1

Today was a great end to a great month on the bike. Thanks again to my friends in the SPP end especially to my family for all of the great support to make this possible.

From the album: Happy Harbor 100K


  1. Well done mate, seriously impressive!

  2. Thanks Clive. It was a lot of fun too.