Thought I'd share my Ride/Race report Sub 5 Century (for Parkinson Disease Research) Sunday Sept 11th.
Fellow ABDer's you missed a great event, and what a great idea to race a 100 miles with a team. Thanks to our own Jerry (team leader) Meister for putting together this team of 17 riders, which included myself and ABD's own Chris (no ABD man left behind) Tepas volunteer Steve (great job) Greene.
Ride was in the farmlands of Hampshire IL, a 33.3 mile loop, we did this three times to make the Century. Our goal time was 4:50, we had timing chips on our bikes and had number of practice rides on the course in the prior weeks. About 10 teams gather at 7:30 am, each team was started 5 mins apart, (Christain Vander Belt Father started the teams off) based on estimate finish time. We all had to sign the race board just like the pro's need to do, our team left at 7:55, all 17 of us, with our personal Sag car following behind us for the full 100 miles.
Double pace line for the first lap, I think we dropped off just 2 riders, only one road kill we had to go around, it didn't smell to bad..(more on this later). We pulled in to the feed zone, where the (Pit crew service began!) volunteers filled our water bottles brought us sandwich, power bars, banana's you name it. Our stop was just 4 min's long or should I say short, it felt allot like an Indy car pit stop, with all these volunteers running around servicing us, one guy asked to clean my sunglasses and check my tire pressure. Off for lap 2. Uneventful, I think we lost just one rider off the back. Everyone's taking turns pulling, no sitting in. Road kill is starting to smell as we past it.
Pulled in to the feed zone again, last time! Noticed the team a head of us were rushing to get going out of the feed zone. I over herd them say "lets hurry up we don't want to be caught". Once again, Indy Car like pit stop, water topped off, food deliveries to your bike, even people to hold your bike up while you used the flushing port o potties. Sub 5 Century organizers spare's no expenses for us riders.
Lap 3 last lap, stronger head wind this time from the northwest and we were headed yep Northwest. Jerry called out single pace line and with 13 riders, turns at the front were every 5 mins apart. 30 seconds max (keep in mind the target pace was 22 mph) . This worked well and so well, at about mile 80 we caught the team ahead of us, of course we had to go by them double pace line about 3 miles per hour faster and talking like it was a social outing."they commented "wow you guys are fast!" Bad news was we dropped 7 riders off the back shortly afterwards, I think they all jumped ship at the same time? . "So then there were six!. " I told Jerry, four 45 year plus guys and two 30 something guys. One whom just got his belt buckle at Leadville Co. last month . Worst news is that road kill was now no longer in the shade but in the sun, smelled really bad by now.. One guy started to fall off the back, and one guy started to let a gap go off the front. But in true ABD colors (no ABDer's left behind) we had each others back, brought the guy up and brought us back to the front.and then (Chris) took a monster long pull and let the 6 of us recover some.
The six of us finished as one 4:43:31. Jerry says we beat last years team time!. What an awesome event, most organized I've attend (well beside an ABD events) and fun idea, one guy from Chicago said he's never seen so many corn fields, I said what corn fields, I just saw the guys wheel in front of me, or my gps, slowing counting up the miles.
Hats off to the Sub 5 century folks, and ABD teammates please consider this event in 2012 as a team effort. Got a challenge from Bicycle Heaven as they clocked in at 4:13 for a time best time of the day.
Great way to spend a Sunday and Sept 11th in this great nation!
Mark (sub 5 finisher) Lemke