it's a "metric" century

This year I rode the San Diego Century.  Not the actual century, but their 66-mile leg.  I'm not strong enough for 100 miles.  Christine gave a great account of my participation from her point of view.  I thought it would also be fun for me to give you the riders-eye view too.

The event was really loose.  Participants could start anytime between 6 and 8 AM.  Probably later if you wanted as long as you finished by 5PM.  Not doing the full century I had no worries on that account.  My cycling buddy Pete and I had planned to do the 66-mile race.  However, 2 illnesses and several work incidents really cut into Pete's training time so he decided to drop back to the 37-mile group.  Luckily we were able to ride the first 25 miles before our routes diverged.  Looking at my route below, Pete did not travel the lower circle.

blue people this way. They let pink-ish me go too

We left the gate at about 7:30.  Early on we saw a "team" of cyclists wearing Spam jerseys.  Nice!  Someday I need to get a custom jersey made.  When I come up with a worthy idea it will be done.  The aid stations were really well done.  In the race reviews, high marks were given to the aid volunteers and deservedly so.  There were racks to leave your bike, food, drinks and in some cases music.

This is the first time I've ridden on the Del Dios.  The part we rode (just west of I-15) was spectacular with the reflection of the green hills in Lake Hodges.  Even on this cloudy day, Pete compared it to the views in Maui.  As we rolled into Rancho Santa Fe I noticed one security firm seemed to have every household as a customer.  Remind me to get a job with those guys someday!  Then I came upon a realtor's sign, a guy by the name of Tim Todd.  Cracked me up.  (If anyone doesn't know, Todd is my middle name.)

The worst part of the race was going through Poway.  Especially crossing the I-15 interchange.  Nearly all the reviewers complained about this.  It's not bike-friendly to begin with and there's construction there to boot.  After surviving that, we were "rewarded" with the most tiring hill of the course.

But then, my oasis!  With the magic of Glympse, Christine could monitor my approach near our house and come out to say hello.

poway was tough, must eat cookie!

After some encouragement, and a cookie, I was heartened and headed off again.

By this time I had a good burn in the quad.  But I never did really poop out like I did on my 63-mile training ride 3 weeks back.  In fact about 1 1/2 miles from the finish there was a short but steep hill in Encinitas.  Ahead of me people were walking and behind me someone gave a really loud yell of aggravation.  I really did laugh out loud at that one as I powered towards the top.  After all, what was he going to do, catch up to me?  ;-p

Like Christine mentioned I rolled into the finish at exactly the same time she did.  In fact, I saw a red Outback on Manchester just before I saw her.  But the other Outback of course had a different license plate.  So I waited for her to amble down with her camera and officially finished!

the staged finish

all done, windswept hair and all

And that was my first bike race.  Er, tour.  The data is below for some of you.  You know who you are.  I was hoping for 15MPH and I crushed that so yay!  I didn't get sunburned, was not sore the next day and no injuries so clearly a smashing success.