This really was quite a busy weekend for the BCC, as we were very well-represented at a few events! Just wanted to share the ride that a few of us had down in Ellicottville for the Centurion.
Some of our members participated in last year's Collingwood Centurion event, and this one was definately run in the same manner - very organized, well planned out and helped out in a big way by lots of incredible volunteers.
The group who decided to head south this weekend were Bob and Maureen Carreau, James Young, Ian Wilcox, Rami Lama, Steve and myself. A small but determined lot. Maureen and Rami were registered for the C50 and the rest of us decided to give the C100 a go.
Steve and I had visited Ellicottville about a month earlier on the motorcycle, and tried to do a bit of recon on the route. The maps we had weren't so great, so we only rode a bit of the route, but the bit we did manage to scope out was definately uphill. To be honest, I find it very hard to believe that there actually IS any area down there that is flat.
We were lucky to have cool, but dry weather and the road work that the town and surrounding areas did to prepare was also amazing. For the most part the roads were in great shape and the route was well-marshalled by local sherriffs and volunteers.
This goes down in the books as the most challenging ride I've been on to date (of course, after reading about the IronMan and T4K rides, I feel a bit silly even saying that!) The KOM on this ride came out of nowhere (thought it was at 73 MILES not the 73KM mark - whoops!) and was a brutal climb. There were guys getting off bikes along the way, a guy making retching noises beside me and a hill that just kept getting steeper and switching back and forth to boot. Steve killed this one - finishing two minutes before yours truly and had the fastest BCC climb time on this. Nicely done! I have to say that the sense of accomplishment finishing this one without stopping ranks pretty high up there for me.
As with Collingwood, this was NOT the last climb of the day, nor was it the hardest. I think that we all agreed the next climb felt worse and am not sure if it was due to the cooked legs after the KOM or just the fact that as another rider pointed out "this hill just never f'ing ends!" There was a couple sitting at the side of the road near the top of this climb, just hanging out, and chatting with us as we rode by. It's quite amazing how much of a conversation you can have with someone when you are climbing at around 9km/hour.
A scenic, challenging and amazing ride is how I'd summarize. Riding with great friends, enjoying a whole new type of riding and of course the post-ride celebrations made it a very worth-while adventure. My highlight has to be completing the final long climb of the day and finishing the event itself with Steve by my side. Nothing quite like it. Of course, the final 2+ mile descent was pretty darn sweet also!
If you thought about it but weren't sure, definately make this a ride for next season. It is worth the trip to Ellicottville!
(Big congrats to Maureen who not only did the C50 on her own but also managed to come in 3rd in her age group! Way to represent! :)