How My Attempt At A Double Went Horribly Wrong

Akirasho Posts: 1,892
edited September 2012 in Road general
A cycling friend was attempting her first century. She's only been serious about her cycling for a couple of years but combined with a running background and a desire to ride with her hardcore cycling husband, her progress has been dramatic. Up until her attempt, she'd only done rides into the 80's and had a bit of trepidation but having ridden with her in the past, I had no doubts.

In support of her attempt, a couple other riders and her husband were in attendance. More had wanted to come along, but schedules conflicted. I wanted to be there for the event as well and living about 50 miles away (as the car drives), I was presented with an additional goal... 200 miles.

The plan was simple... ride down... do the century... ride home. This presented some logistical probs. I'd never ridden to their home. By car, the Interstate was the logical route. A couple of dabs with MapMy showed a few routes that bordered on suicide (following local bike paths, I could reach the ride start in a hair over 111 miles) to too complicated to follow (I don't got no GPS so I'd have to cue sheet it). The solution was elegantly simple. Only one turn required to make the major connections (741 to 42). The other was the scheduled ride time start... around 7AM. So, with all the preparations you'd expect, I rolled out my front door at 02:30 hours.

As is typical this time of year, the overnight temps would hover almost 30 degrees below the predicted high. Layers. Still, the forecast had been for clear to partly with light winds. Indeed, as I traversed some the rural areas 'tweeen towns, I was treated to spectacular view of Orion (at least in an area with as much light pollution as SW OH). The trip was relatively uneventful with the caveat that I had little depth perception with my light... so even though the overall route was downhill... I took it relatively slow (only a handful of hazards and one pucker moment). I arrived at their front door with 41.9 miles on the ticker.

We packed up and drove down the our start... Sawyer Point in Cincy. The plan was to ride out along the Ohio on 52 to Ripley and return on the Kentucky side of the river. I'd never been in this area of the State and was keen to visit Ripley for it's historical significance (while not the only spot, it became famous as the one of the first tastes of freedom on the Underground Railroad. If you don't know, Google it, especially the Rankin House. There were powerful emotions as we contemplated that 150 years ago, the river separated freedom from slavery). Since the route parallel’d the Ohio, it was relatively flat... at least for a while.


Our outbound pace was good, though I was busy sight seeing and not keeping accurate point to point data (dodged a shlitzload of glass on the side of the road, then dodged the deer that was prolly responsible). Everyone was motivated and did their pulls (Mr J did one monster... and I do mean MONSTER 10 mile pull). Even though winds were light, their direction was irrelevant as the river twists and turns. We made good time and ate our lunch in Ripley overlooking the mighty OHIO!


As we began our inbound, we'd return along the Ohio to a ferry (ferryman was bike friendly but they took up a small collection anyway) and cross into the Commonwealth of Kentucky at Augusta. I'd been warned that after Augusta, we'd essentially be away from any kind of food/water/pee break for about 30 miles (George Clooney’s old stomp) so we again stopped to stock up on the last essentials. As we prepared to mount up, I looked down at my ODO and it said... 100.00 EXACTLY!!!


Alas, there's always a hitch to a plan. I'd been experiencing a few issues with a corn on one foot and a callous on the other. This had been part of my pre ride prep and I'd anointed, taped and bandaged the offending regions and even brought additional supplies if warranted... which, sigh, it would.

Up until this point, I'd barely noticed my feet. But, unlike the Ohio side of the river, the Kentucky side was more a set of rollers combined with a few ascents that didn't make sense (hey, if you're next to a river and have a perfectly good floodplain, why do you have to climb the hill next to the river? The water will recede eventually). Sadly, the repeats began to take their toll... friction in the shoe and pressure became problematic. When the group fractured a bit, we stopped at the top of one of them ascents to regroup and I tried to quiet my dogs! Course, as many of you know... this is when you man up (cuz everyone is there looking at you)! It wasn't until the last 8 that I had to back off. As a group, we'd seen a couple of riders on the KY side. One guy came around us... giving a friendly wave and Mr J just couldn't help himself! He jumped on the guy's wheel and I didn't see him again until about 2 miles from our finish (we were hovering around 18 and the jump was decisive. Later, Mr J (old enuff to be dad to granddad to many of you) would admit that he crack'd but he was allowed after almost 100 miles)!


Alas, with the pain now becoming an issue, I had to face facts. Getting back to our start was no prob... another 40 miles home... mostly uphill... PROBLEM! As we cruised towards our final destination, we came across Mr J. He'd stopped at a carry-out and had cold water waiting for everyone... JUST IN TIME. We crossed back over the Ohio and her century was in the books... a hair over 105 total. YAY! As I sat in the parking lot doctoring my bunionoid, they took pity on me and offered me a ride home... I climbed into the wagon... not what I'd planned, but prudent!



So, in reality, it was a most excellent day. I was pleased to participate and help another rider reach her goal! I was also impressed with the "ease" at which she'd made it. I reminded her that she'd not only completed a century, but her last 40 were more difficult than her first 60! Well done! I also know that I'd not get many of you to even open this thread unless I led with something tragic so forgive me.. or not. While I didn't reach my goal, I reached my goal!

Postus Scriptus

I'm composing this the morning after. I feel remarkably well and while I'd planned today as an off day, I'll prolly do a few really easy miles. Here are a few of my stats as well as those taken within the group (no stats on the group itself, but I guess you could interpolate a bit).

My 41 mile mark: 16.8MPH (in the dark)
My 100 mile mark: 16.7MPH
My 143 mile mark: 14.8MPH (I was lantern rouge by a large margin at this point. 9hr 39m 49s saddle time))


Postus Scriptus part deux

The Blue Ash airport is no more!!!! They tore it up! (relevant to some folks who might need to make an emergency landing in Blue Ash)

Postus Scriptus part trios

Listed in those facts that are only of interest to extremely geekful cyclists, by my count, I rode through 8 counties in two States… A PR for a single ride.

Postus Scriptus part quattro

Yah, I realize that most of the folks on this forum are prolly NOT from Ohio, but I thought I'd share anyway! :mrgreen:


  • siamon
    siamon Posts: 274
    Massive achievement & cool story! Thanks for posting!
  • drlodge
    drlodge Posts: 4,826
    143 miles is good distance! Nice one :-)
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  • richh
    richh Posts: 187
    I wouldn't say that it went horribly wrong, it sounds like you had a great day and have really achieve something that most people will never do. Ok, so it's not quite what you set out to do but what you did end up completing is still a massive achievement.

    Good stuff :D
  • Sounds fun, well done on 143
  • NewTTer
    NewTTer Posts: 463
    First class write up, backed up with quality photos. Well done on the ride and the write up

  • Sounds like a great adventure. And great photos
    Saw a sign on a restaurant that said Breakfast, any time -- so I ordered French Toast in the Renaissance.
  • Great tale. Interesting to read about cycling in the US as well.
  • Sounds like you should start up cycling tours, I think you'd be quite good. Thanks for the story.
  • excellent report , nice photos to go with it , congrats to all on the ride.
    Enigma Esprit Di2 - Go tI ! Summer !
  • Loved the pics,and well done to all of you.
  • Akirasho
    Akirasho Posts: 1,892
    Great tale. Interesting to read about cycling in the US as well.

    ... yes, and we ride on the right side of the road... :roll: :mrgreen:
  • Im sure your ass was sore after that
    Cube Attain SL Disc
    Giant CRS 2.0
  • Akirasho
    Akirasho Posts: 1,892
    seanorawe wrote:
    Im sure your ass was sore after that

    ... here is what took me down... sort of.


    My ass is fine (pun intended) but when I got home, I decided to doctor on myself and had at it with an emery board... Evidently, the callous was acting more a protector... now, it's REALLY sore!!!! I should have left it alone!

    Note to self: next time, stop carving before you hit soft tissue.
  • dubcat
    dubcat Posts: 737
    Fantastic write up and a big achievement. Well done!
    2010 Specialized Rockhopper
    2012 Bianchi Infinito
  • I really enjoyed reading your post, a great story, some very decent photo's and you did a good job of hooking me in right up to the end. I have been considering an epic, perhaps next summer now. Your story may just have given me the inspiration I needed.
    Ridley Orion
  • Great write up and I enjoyed the pictures. I used to live in Tennessee and wish I'd ridden when I was up in that area. Even on mile 142 it was still better than a good day at work, right? :wink:
  • Akirasho
    Akirasho Posts: 1,892
    I have been considering an epic, perhaps next summer now. Your story may just have given me the inspiration I needed.

    Western cultures at least, have a relatively narrow window for the definition of "success" which I often find disheartening. I'm reminded of the UK's hosting of the Olympics/Para Olympics and while most of us enjoy seeing competition at the highest levels, we can also be impressed by those who's claim to fame will only be the attempt. To me... the attempt is paramount.

    On TV coverage of "The Ironman Championships" at Kona, I'm more often made a bit misty eye'd by the backstories of the guys and gals that are popping over the line at or over the cuttoff... I love the attempt!!!!!