Two years ago I rode my 1st Century, and last year I missed this event but last Sunday I took part in the 16th Annual Muddy Waters 100.
This year the Muddy Waters ride hooked up with Habitat for Humanity and has over 500 cyclists take part in the event riding 25, 60 or 100 km, or the big one, 100 miles. In cycling speak a “Century” is a 100 mile ride and most serious road cyclists eventually get around to adding it to their list of accomplishments.
The ride was quite a bit different this year with a start from the Forks and a police escort all the way to the Perimeter Highway with rolling street closures all the way. So, for about 1/2 hour we had all of the north bound lanes of Main Street tied up. This made for a very leisurely start at about 10-15km/h, actually painfully slow and them up to about 30km, and then full speed ahead after the cruiser car pulled off at the Perimeter.
I stayed with the main group until after the “Big Bridge” past Selkirk which was great. Coming down from the bridge I thought I was getting a flat and as I slowed to check out what was going on, a gap opened up between me and the lead group. Turns out I’d just hit a tar strip with made the bike feel funny for a few seconds but it didn’t take much and I found my self in the second group. We worked hard for quite a while, almost to Hwy 44 to re-join, but for me, it was not to be. Stayed with the second group well onto Hwy 212, but got dropped again for some solo riding and eventually joining up with four other guys for some on again off again riding into the Birds Hill town site. From here the other four guys took a rest stop and I soloed on to Henderson Hwy. At this point another rider picked me up from behind and we rode a steady 34-36km/h to the finish. All in all a very good day. The weather was great and the ride a lot of fun.
However, I’m sure there are lots of stories of some pretty interesting events, like the crash at the front of the peloton just entering Selkirk. I was pretty close to this one and just missed going down in the pile up. To me it looked like a rider bumped an on coming car and there were 6-8 riders abreast at the time and that triggered quite the pileup. It looked like nobody was seriously injured and the organizers were right there to respond. Later, I hear a very loud “pop” and the rider next to me pulls off with a flat. I wonder how many flats occured that day. I heard of one rider getting 3! Then there was the rider with shoes off and walking at Garvin and 59. When I asked he said he’d be OK, and just needed to walk it off for a bit. Hope that turned out all right.
I followed the perscribed course to the letter, but my odometer came up a little short of the 162km required for the Century, but I’m chalking that up to the new bike computer not being set up quite right. Compared to two years ago, I put in a significantly faster ride over all and the “Trip Time” is actually just time on the bike not total elapsed time and I know I took way fewer and shorter rest stops this year. For the record, max speed was 54.77km/h