Friday, May 20, 2011

Santa Fe Century - Ride Report

North through the Galisteo Basin, Sangres on the horizon
Pedaled like a freaking demon on Sunday trying to get the road bike out to Cedar Crest and Stanley and back just so we could hoist a few cold ones at the Eldorado SF Brewing Company Tap Room. The annual Santa Fe Century is a helluva lot of fun but I'm not going to pretend like 100mi isn't a haul because it is. The mileage might actually be 103mi in total. I logged ~97mi because I met my riding group en route and got a late start by a few minutes. About the ride itself, I don't care how fit you are an event like this is going to ding you up a little bit, unless you're Todd who rides into work from Eldorado everyday and didn't really seem phased by the whole thing. I saw Todd for a total of about 9min. during this 6+ hr ride. The guy was killin' it. Or maybe I was doggin' it? No, not possible - I was killin' it too just at a slower velocity than guys that prepared properly for the ride.

Our crew was myself, John Lumley, Todd Schroeder, Byron Rudolph, and ringer Liz Sponagle. Liz rode along with us to the 75mi loop cutoff out on NM 14 then circled back to head to work. I rode this event for the first time back in '09 and had a great time. Lumley has ridden the thing for five or six consecutive years now and has the jerseys to prove it. Tons of people get out for this ride and the aid stations are stacked, plus the cost of entry is $26 so you can't really beat that. Back on my first ride I had a real piece of work with downtube shifters and squeaking gears but somehow made it through. This year I rode a Greg-Lemond-detailed Schwinn loaner bike and managed just fine. People with awesome bikes get kinda surly when you cruise past on a hand painted beaut all buckled into a CamelBack but that there is stealth technology at its finest.

Todd and John wasting sandwich eating time at one of the aid stations

The test that is Heartbreak Hill, up and over the Cerrillos Hills

Galisteo Village Church
Back to the ride then - what a ride! The guys came up with the ingenius idea of starting and ending in Eldorado this year to take advantage of the new Tap Room location. We pretty much talked about beer throughout the entire ride. Aid stations were at Madrid, Golden (before Heartbreak Hill), Cedar Crest, Stanley, and Galisteo. I guess there were stations in Eldorado and St. Vincent's but we didn't stop there. Unlike on some running adventure suffer-fest, on a bike tour there are aid stations stocked with unlimited peanut butter sandwiches and fig newtons and trail mix and orange wedges and gatorade refills to woof down that you actually finish the thing feeling rather full. I guarantee I gained weight during the day, very counter-intuitive.

Todd, John, and Byron showing some fatigue

John mashing gears
I didn't see as many familiar faces as I did in '09. It may have been the time we got on the road, perhaps we didn't mill about the aid stations for quite as long. The wind was a bit rough so maybe that dampened rider-to-rider conversation. I did meet a rider from Florida that told me she did her hill training back and forth on bridge ramps for hours a week to simulate the climbing. Nonetheless I saw her walking the bike up Heartbreak - oh the heartbreak. Gotta own that one to make it count I think. The steady climb up and over the Cerrillos hills beginning in the village of Cerrillos and ending on the top of Heartbreak (20mi?) was a bit of a grind. But after that it's flat and fast all the way to Galisteo baby.

Todd & wife Jenn canvassing the day's events at the Tap Room patio
John and Susan, post-ride, mid-pint
The timing of the Century was great in that it got me ready for Ride-to-Work Week (four out of five days sons!) and was my main training for this weekend's Cochiti 100MTB, part of the NM Endurance Series. Todd, Jim, Byron and I are planning to ride 67fmi of the 108mi course but I have little doubt that Cochiti is going to destroy me and most likely my one-foot-in-the-grave mountain bike. Gotta bust out the mad biking skills and defy the gods. 

For a listing of other area road rides try here - Santa Fe Area Cycling Routes
For better photos of the actual ride try this report here.

View Santa Fe Century Bike Tour - 103mi. in a larger map

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