Sunday, September 20, 2009

Joe Howe Century - Sept.20,2009


Under cloudy skies and chilly conditions I joined my clubmates in attendance at the 2009 edition of the Joe Howe Century, a 100 mile ride around central Nova Scotia. A somewhat challenging route with a decent amount of climbing I planned on a intermediate pace between 30-31 kph over the 163 kilometer distance.

To facilitate that plan I opted out of the fast group and left Dartmouth with the first BPCC group on the road made up of some of our female riders who have consistently been riding in the 30kph range this past season. The faster guys mentioned a moderate tempo but from past experience I felt certain it would quickly escalate to race pace.

The first 40km to the first checkpoint was good and,more importantly,was a perfect warmup on a chilly morning. We all left for the second 40 kms together but a slow speed crash at an intersection fragmented the group; SF had to abandon with a warped wheel and SM left to visit the doctor after a fall.Thankfully he is perfectly OK.....just some road rash.I hooked up with TB and JC who opted to leave the fast group after a torrid first leg with a 33kph average. My choice at the start was vindicated.....lol.(wink) The three of us still rode the hilly section at a fairly high pace, passed several other riders and were part of the vanguard to make the 80 km point and lunch.

After some food and drinks(the lentil soup was delicious) we departed with a couple other fast group castaways so we had a decent sized pack heading to Elmsdale on the third 40 km section of the event. Facing a headwind the speed dropped somewhat but the core group managed to get to the third checkpoint intact for the most part.That was a relief because I usually suffer on that section of the course. That said my conservative approach at the start was paying dividends at the 120 kilometre mark. The legs were feeling prime and the body was only starting to protest, albeit in a barely noticable manner. Some tenseness in the shoulders and I was squirming more on the saddle.

Heading back to Dartmouth via our usual club route was nice. Knowing the finish is 40 km down the road in familiar territory gives you some more jump in the legs. The pace started to come up as the boys all were pushing to the finish. I was feeling good and found myself on the front more often but it was all good.I was happy with my effort and was pleasantly surprised with how well I managed the ride. I ended with 163 kilometres on the cycle computer with a 30.7 kph average. Perfect! I love it when a plan comes together.

(FTR - the BPCC fast boys averaged 32.8(ish)KPH, a full two kilometers an hour faster than I. Crikey! Give credit where credit is due. The lads can certainly fly!)

A big THANKS to the organizing club. Halifax Velo once again hosted a great event.Well done!

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