Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Back on the Rails Again: DNF'ing the CRW Metric Century (5/19/13)


Trip: CRW Spring Metric Century
Distance: 52 miles cycling, 40 miles on train, 2 miles walking
Sights: Harold Parker State Forest, Groveland, Clipper City Trail, Newburyport

Corey was impressed I was so confident about what the Newburyport train schedule would be.  Well, I had just ridden it for Paddle Prattle and Saddle Skedaddle, yesterday.

Corey and I had met at the Dunkin Donuts in Davis to start the ride.  After grabbing coffee and chocolate donuts (breakfast of champions), we made our way through Winter Hill and East Somerville and then the three M’s (Meffa, Malden, Melrose) to Wakefield High School.  The Century started there.  (I am still working on my CRW triple crown, riding the Spring, Fall and Climb to the Clouds Centuries: maybe I’ll try for all in the same year next year…) 


I grabbed the cue sheet and wrist band, and we headed out.  Quickly, Corey and I – along with a third guy – got behind a group of two couples who were pulling a pace line pretty good for the first few miles.  At mile 8, the road was dug up and a little cyclocross was needed.  Somewhere in that two mile stretch, we lost the third guy.

Around Mile 10, we hit the first real hill.  One of the women in the couple dropped behind Corey and I.  This is where Corey and I probably have an advantage over group riders.  Since, he is training for Ironman Lake Placid and I just love attacking hills, we normally train alone and appeared more ready to ride the hill.  Maybe they were doing the Full Century and saving energy, or maybe they just take the hills easy and make up time on the hills and flats(?).  Whatever it was, Corey and I moved like Contador and Schleck past them up the hill.

Once we got over the hill, I just started to push it and over the next 7 miles we flew past groups while we were doing 25-28 miles an hour. 

At mile 17 we came over a slight hill and I was pushing it down at around 30mph.  I yelled something along the lines of “CRAP!!!”  as I slammed across a pothole that was maybe 2 foot by 1 foot and a mile deep.  I popped the front tire.  After a slow change and warning other groups (one of whom lost one when he popped), Corey, the new guy and I started out with me in the lead.  That’s when I noticed the back wheel.  I had f’ed up that really bad.

So over the next 8 miles, I dropped off and took the wonderful speedy looking downhills at like 15mph (Damn you Mariana TrenchPothole!).  Corey and the other guy disappeared.  I figured I’d meet them at the water stop.  Corey met me about halfway to the waterstop. 

At the Waterstop, I got a spoke wrench and attempted to “fix” the wheel.  It was “fixed” enough to be ride-able (at least, temporarily).  By the time we got to West Newbury, it was done again.  Corey mentioned the train.  If we got to Newburyport we could take the train to Boston. 


Since I vaguely knew the weekend schedule and it was only 11:00, it was a good plan.  We rode toward Newburyport and found the Clipper City Trail (Newburyport is home to the shipyards of the great Yankee Clippers that ushered in the American Era).  We grabbed lunch (and I a shake) at a Fifties diner next to the station and caught the 12:49 train back to Boston.


The hour train ride gave us time to compare and contrast enlisted and NCO ranks in the Army and Air Force and discuss Corey’s tour in Iraq.  I caught the Orange line to Sullivan Square and walked broken Ajax Telemon back through East Somerville and up Winter Hill.

Doctor Jack prescribed a beer; I had two Hop Noir, blackIPAs.

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