Saturday, October 1, 2016

2016 Tri-State Seacoast Century on an ElliptiGO

For the fourth year in a row, I participated in the Tri-State Seacoast Century, but this year I changed things up. During the 2013, 2014, and 2015 versions of the event, my goal was to try to go sub 6 hours on my ElliptiGO which meant that I did not stop to eat or drink and only used what little that I carried because I was counting time as elapsed time. This resulted in some really hard core EllitpiGO rides that left me having some pretty interesting final miles. I also realized, I might never break 6 hours on this course with the winds that you get along the coast and the traffic problems that are sometimes encountered. This year, I decided to have some fun and enjoy the  ride (or should I say rides) as I wanted to try doing the century ride on both Saturday and on Sunday.

Nubble Light house - the halfway point
For Saturday's ride, I was supposed to ride with Andrew Warby, but he was held up by work and I went solo, although I did see Andrew later out on the course. The early morning start was cold and I was wearing gloves  until the first aid station. The wind was similar to last year's ride as it was more in our face going out. I am glad that I wasn't going for time as I was stopped twice at the drawbridge in Portsmouth for about 10 minutes each time both coming and going. I was happy to finally stop at the food and aid station both times and let me tell you that drinking lots more fluids and eating food on a century ride makes the final miles of the century much nicer,

See, I stopped to sight-see a bit this year!
Nearing the finish of the ride at about 85 miles, a rider in front of me was taking a left turn. I watched from about 30 feet behind him as he slid down to the ground like he had taken the turn too sharply and slid on some sand, There was no sand, however, and he remained down. I realized quickly, along with the other riders who were behind me, that he was stone cold knocked out. Strangely, I am pretty sure that he didn't even hit his head on the ground. His body was twitching and his eyes were staring and opaque. He was not responding and someone had called 911 and then handed me the phone since I had seen him go down. For about 3 minutes he was completely out and not responding. I was asked to count his breathing (which frustrated me at first until I realized I shouldn't be looking at his mouth, but at his chest). He was a 62 year old male named Tim and he had a medic alert bracelet on that let us know that he had no major health issues. After about 3 minutes, he started stirring a bit. When the ambulance came after about 5 minutes, he was just starting to respond. He told us when we asked him how he felt that he felt great! He could not remember what had happened to him. I left after the ambulance and fire trucks arrived and assume from what others have said that he might have had a heart attack or some other heart issue. The guy behind me said that it looked like he might have been out before he even hit the ground. I hope that he is fine and recovering. Update: I heard back from Tim and we are from the same town, He broke his collarbone and rib, but did not have a heart issue. He thinks it may have been a seizure of some type that blacked him out. Like a true athlete, he said that he was looking forward to getting on a spin bike and riding again.

Once I finished the course, after following the GPS route map and marks on the road, I realized that I must have missed some circuit somewhere as my mileage was not quite 100 miles. I did miss turning on my GPS a few times, but didn't miss that many miles. Everyone else I talked to seemed to miss hitting 100 miles too!

My biggest fear for Sunday, was that I might sleep in and miss the start, but I got there on time to meet fellow ElliptiGOer Steve Lecours, who I was planning to ride with, I did arrive on time and it was a chilly and windy morning again. Right before starting, I noticed my brakes were a bit off and then noticed my rear wheel nuts were also loose. I attempted to fix things and then Steve and I were off on the initial 17 mile loop through Massachusetts. I felt pretty good, but my ElliptiGO felt tight and I was having a hard time keeping pace with Steve. I chalked it up to the previous day's ride and the fact that I hadn't warmed up yet. At the end of the loop, I stopped to look at my chain and sure enough, I had tightened the rear wheel which had tightened the chain so that there was absolutely no slack in it at all. I loosened things up and hoped for better.

Steve and I kept a good pace, but I was definitely working very hard to just stay in contact. I wondered if it would be this way all day or even if I could finish. Approaching the Nubble Lighthouse, I finally figured out how I felt. I pretty much felt like you do during a marathon between miles 16-20. I was tired and tightening up, but I could still hold a decent pace. The question was, would I fall apart at this pace and blow up or would I be able to maintain. Fortunately, the answer was that I could maintain. The second half felt better the closer I got to the finish. I never really had any snap or pop in my riding, and tended to lag a bit on the uphills, but at the end of the day, I finished the ride at just about the same average speed as I rode the previous day. That is all thanks to chasing Steve throughout the day, Without him, I would have eased up on so many sections and might have ridden the whole thing about an hour slower.

It was interesting pushing new barriers and riding two long days in a row, Thanks to the ElliptiGO, you can put in a massive effort one day and return the next to do so again as it does no damage to your joints!

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