Sunday, April 4, 2010

Report: Santa Clarita Century 2010

Time in the Saddle: 7:13:33
Elapsed Time: 8:30
Distance: 100.93 miles

So...many...hills. The event's website describes the course like this: "This is not an easy century. While not the hardest event on the calendar, it is still challenging with one lengthy climb, three shorter, but extended climbs, and several smaller hills." That's an accurate description and it tells me I'm not ready for Breathless Agony yet. ;-)

The plan was to draft as much as possible--shamelessly. In that, I was successful. I can really tell my gains from last year's half-century. I've moved from the back-of-the-pack to the middle-of-the-pack. On hills, too! Even in the last 20 miles I was able to go up hills slowly but faster than some of those around me.

I might have gone out too hard but I think it was just the difficulty of those hills. I asked at the top of Alisa Viejo how steep the climb was. Somebody said that at its steepest it was only 14-16%. Only?

I plan to have compact cranks installed on my bike at the end of this season so we'll see how that helps next year.

Though it got windy in the afternoon, the winds weren't grabbing my wheels on the downhills. Plus I sat up on a lot of them so I wouldn't be going too fast in the winds. That seemed to help. On the big downhill after the course high points I did hunker down. I was sad to see that I only hit 48 mph, though.

Working on my cornering definitely showed in the Mint Canyon part of the course. I didn't need to hit the brakes at all.

What would I do differently?

I made a mistake by not eating so much at the first SAG stop. It didn't affect me right away but it did later. I ate more at the next two SAG stops, though. Next time, eat a lot, including a coke, at every SAG stop.

On a supported ride like this, I think it's best if I leave the Snickers at home and put my gels in the Bento Box so my jersey pockets have more room for clothing layers as they get peeled off.

Forgot sunscreen. Though I did burn, good thing it's only April.

Event comments

Loved the course. From the start under a banner to the tough climbs that just kept coming on after another, to the last mile through neighborhoods, over a bridge, and down into the mall. We even had a police escort out of the city. Okay, I didn't love the climbs as I was doing them...

The expo seemed kinda lame but that will get better in the years to come (this was only the second time they've done the ride).

Lots of helpful volunteers at every water and SAG stop. They even cheered us when we reached the finish line. The volunteers were really great!

I look forward to doing this ride again next year.

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