Sunday, May 11, 2008

Knotts Island 100K

Sun and rain.

On Saturday I completed the Knotts Island 100k. It is a fun and flaaaat ride through southern Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, and Currituck County, NC. In fact there is exactly 1 hill, the Pungo Ferry Bridge.

The worst part of the whole ordeal is the commute to the ride start in south Chesapeake. It takes about an hour to drive from my house near the VB ocean front. I arrived at 0645 and we were on the road by 0705.

The ride posse; a few co-workers that chose the 100k and another that decided to do the English Century. The group goal is to have fun, not push too hard, complete the ride and most importantly get to the Knotts Island Ferry before 1000.

I had a few other goals in preparation for the 400k. First, complete the ride in less than 4 hours. Secretly I wanted to do closer to 3.5 hours. Second, if feeling well, push the tempo a little.

We headed out on the course at a respectable clip. I would be happy to ride at that pace all day if needed. All plans changed as we approached the Pungo Ferry Bridge. I rode up to Greg who had been doing long pulls for quite a while. I told him that a nasty hill (bridge) was just around the corner and he should take it easy for a while. Either he didn't understand what I said or didn't care because he kept pulling. Another rider came to the front and pulled for a while.

Pungo Ferry Bridge

When we rounded a corner I heard some choice words describing Greg's surprise of seing the bridge for the first time. At this point Kevin and I rode off the front and attacked the hill. I pushed the COHO hard to get to the top, there would be no easy spinning up the hill on this day.

We kept motoring towards the Knotts Island Ferry at a very brisk pace into the wind. Very challenging. We arrived at the ferry with nearly an hour until it departed. The first 37 miles were complete in just over 2 hrs.

Boarding the ferry.

After an hour long ferry ride we were back on the road. Kevin and I got in a group of racers from Chesapeake and finished the last 20 miles quickly. Let me say, the COHO is not a racing bike. It is heavy and I took very few pulls on the front of this train. The few times I did, my heart rate quickly elevated to zone1.

The good news:
My recovery from hard efforts is becoming quicker.
While the COHO is not a "plastic" racer, it is a capable steel steed that is comfortable and fun to ride.

Interesting Tidbits:
There were many different bikes on the 100k. I actually saw a couple beach cruisers parked on the ferry. I wonder how they faired going over the bridge?

One gentleman, after inspecting the Coho, told me it would make a good commuter bike. He also informed me that he was riding a "comfort bike." Hmmm. I smiled and thanked him for the compliments.

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