Sunday, November 20, 2005

Horrible Hundred

The Florida Freewheeler's Horrible Hundred bike ride was this morning, so I drove out to Clermont to participate. This ride is the big end-of-year event, and the long route covers all the "mountains" in Central Florida.

At the start, I saw a few people I know from the YMCA bike group, but I lost them in the crowd. I biked my registration packet to the car, and by the time I rode off the start, 2/3rds of the people had left. That's OK, I decided I would just take it easy and ride along at my own pace.

Random start crowd

Florida Biking in November - all short sleeve jerseys and shorts :)

Three routes were offered: 38 miles (1910 feet of climbing), 74 miles (4273 feet of climbing), and 102 miles (5080 feet of climbing). As a comparison, the Kirkland Centennial Century ride was 7203 feet of climbing. So there is some decent climbing available in this area. Wait, I think I just heard Sandy choking back laughter... ;)

Fresh Fruit

There were SAG stops, but you could always pick some fresh fruit too!

I checked the routes and saw the three hills I wanted to be sure to do (The Wall, Buckhill, Sugarloaf) were on both the 74 and 102 mile route, so either route was fine with me. When I came to the 74/102 split, I made the tactical decision to do 74 miles; after all, there is a fine line between an enjoyable event, and biting off too much and being miserable. Today, I just felt like 74 miles - after all, this is supposed to be the offseason. The ride went very well. It was windy and overcast, but in the low 70's so it weather was quite nice.

Green Moose Cafe

Francesca's Cafe in Monteverde was closed this Sunday. The little sign by the door says "Welcome to our hideaway. Moosey on in..."

We got a T-shirt for the event, and afterwards I decided to buy a bike jersey as well. It is neon yellow and pink, with a flamingo riding a penny farthing bike. The flamingo does have a bike helmet, promoting safety. Nice! It is missing a palm tree and gator, to really be an authentic Florida jersey.

Bike Jersey

I did 74 miles in 4:40, for a 15.9 mph average. Maybe next year I'll do the century!

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