Weather: 60's, sunny, windy
Unofficial Distance/Time: 52 miles in 3:04:48
Overall Experience: I have never done a group ride like this before, so I didn't know quite what to expect. And although I was rather apprehensive heading into it, I was pleasantly surprised. Everything from packet pickup to the post-ride festivities were top notch. The course was fantastic and well supported. I can not speak highly enough about my Cap2Cap experience.
The Course: The event directors at Cap2Cap did a fantastic job at making this event accessible to even the most beginning of rider. With course options of 15, 25, 50 and 100 miles, as well as two start locations (Rocketts Landing in Richmond and Williamsburg), you would be hard pressed to not to find an event that fits your ability.
In addition to being accessible to many levels of riders, the course was absolutely fantastic. Gentle rollers greeted riders as they traveled through the City of Richmond, Henrico and Charles City counties. Three feed zones along the way allowed the participants to rest and refuel as needed. Scenic views lined the course, allowing me to experience parts of Virginia that I may have not otherwise. And while I can only speak of the Half Century route from Rocketts Landing, I am confident that the other routes were equally as impressive.
MPH: Although our average speed was 16.9 mph, we were met with several hiccups in the first few miles, thus we rode much of the course at a significantly faster pace. On the flats, Sally and I were hovering between 20 and 22 mph and I couldn't help but think how easy it felt. It provided reassurance that all those hours on the trainer are paying off.
Support/Community: Do you know what will bring me back to even the most challenging of experiences? A well-run and well-supported event, and Cap2Cap provided exactly that. Every single aspect of this ride was top notch. In addition, the volunteers made it thoroughly enjoyable as they treated every single rider as if they were out there moving mountains. The support and sense of community alone was enough to convince me to do this ride again.
Post-Ride Festival: Upon entering the finishing area, riders were greeted with music, food (including a TON of baked goods), booths and beer.
|Just a glimpse of the post ride festivities ...|
Had I not had things to get back to, I could have hung out there for hours.
Finishing: Is there anything better than finishing a workout like that? No. I didn't think so.
|Sally and I post ride. It was her first 50 miler ...|
And I'm sure you can tell from the smiles on our faces, just how much fun we had.
Cliptastrophe: Around mile 24, Sally and I came to an intersection. We unclipped. I stepped down. Then it happened and there was nothing I could do about it. Sally went to step down and as I watched, her bike slid out from under her while her other foot was still clipped in. She wiped out. Fortunately, she was fine. A few scrapes and a bruised ego, but fine. (Note: I only mention this because she told people on the ride that I was going to write about it. So, I am. Lucky for her, there was no video footage.)
The Start: So, if you don't know, I have a few fears about my bike. Here they are in no specific order:
- Crashing and dying.
- Crashing and never being able to compete again.
- Riding in groups.
- Speed when going down hill.
- Speed when turning.
From the start line, riders headed out about 50 yards and made a quick left around a circle. Lots of people. Not a lot of room. Doesn't work for me.
So, Sally and I hung back, we let pretty much every one else get ahead of us and then we left. About a block after we started, we were barely pedaling. The mass start had congested the road so much that we couldn't get through. For what seemed like an eternity, we were going 10 mph. It was insane. And frustrating. So much so, that we were cursing ourselves for even showing up.
About two miles in, we moved to open roads and should have been riding single file, something which eluded many of the people there. If we were able to get around one person/group, we were quickly met with another group riding three or four wide, making it unsafe and nearly impossible to get around. It was rough. Fortunately, by about mile 9, and definitely by the first feed zone at mile 12.4, the crowds had cleared enough to allow us to ride comfortably.