Getting down to Salisbury was a bit of a hassle. I picked up Josh at his house around 3:45 and we headed east. All was fine until we got to Trappe, MD. Turns out there was some kind of traffic jam along US50. Why there was traffic on 50 so early in the day so late in the year is a bit of a mystery, but we were able to bail off onto a side road and avoid probably a half an hour of the hour long back up. Once we got past the "trap" in "Trappe" we rolled into Cambridge, MD where were were greeted by two wrecks in 3 blocks. Not much we could do but sit through them and wait. We finally arrived in Salisbury and were pleased to discover that the hotel was nice enough and that we weren't too terribly far from the start. We were able to catch up with some Teammates from Tahoe and grab a bite at the Applebee's before heading back to the hotel and getting our gear ready for the next day. (how Applebees "supposedly" ran out of broccoli and mixed veggies though is still a mystery - Tim at my table had broccoli and mixed veggies - why didn't I.)
It started out really well. We rolled out at roughly 7:30. It was a bit chilly, but I decided to still go with the short sleeve jersey - mostly because Seagull doesn't organize a bag pickup and once it warmed up I'd be carrying the long sleeve jersey all day.
Took me about the usual 10 miles to get my legs warm. Josh and I had decided in advance that we were going to blow through the first rest-stop and head right to the second stop at mile 40. That was a good call. At roughly mile 30 we were able to jump on with a group of roughly 50 guys from the DC area. It was the same group of guys who get together the weekly down at Hains Point. It was a ton of fun getting in the group with them and trying to hang. The sound inside a group that large is pretty amazing. Just a solid whirling of spokes going through the air. I was able to hang for maybe 5 miles and then my legs told me I just wasn't ready to hang with these guys long term yet. I slowly slipped out of the middle towards the back and was finally got spit out. I think I went through almost all the stages described in this email I got a few years ago.
1. DENIAL --- "I'm not getting dropped. It's just a little gap and I can
catch up, no problem".
2. ANGER --- "I can't believe they're dropping me! Oh, they're going to
pay for this, when I catch them."
3. BARGAINING --- "Please God, give them a head wind or a traffic light
to make them stop or slow down, and I promise to spend tomorrow playing
with the kids."
4. DEPRESSION --- "I'm not any good at cycling. I should sell my bike
and start playing golf. I don't think my cycling buddies like me
5. ACCEPTANCE --- "Ok. I'm dropped. Guess I had better just enjoy the
ride. It would have been fun riding with them, but maybe I'll catch them
at the next rest stop or even meet some new friends."
After riding with those guys and getting dropped I caught up with Josh at the second rest stop and we got in an out of there pretty quickly. The third 20 mile leg of the ride was pretty uneventful. I hopped onto a paceline and chugged it into Assateague. The food there was good and they had some great cranberry walnut bread which got me fired back up to head out and hit the next 40 miles.
Mile 80 delivered some pie and ice cream. Good yummy stuff and lots of empty calories to drag me through to the end of the ride. The last 40 were largely uneventful. We definitely saw some tapering off of our pace, but that's to be expected considering all the miles we had put in that day.
Fortunately though we were able to maintain a pace of 19.0 mph over 100 miles - and start to finish in 6 hours. This was pretty satisfying considering the most recent long ride before Seagull was the labor day ride. Josh and I didn't quite make our 20 mph over 100 goal but we came pretty darn close.
Most definitely a great ride and alot of fun!