Sunday, October 2, 2016

100 miles on a 1998 Porsche Bike S

Call it a personal best, personal record or what I like to call a world record, I rode my 1998 Porsche Bike S 100 miles in the Sacramento Century yesterday. The jaunt took me just over 7 hours, averaging 14.1 miles per hour. Not too shabby considering I had 3 rest stops and had to wait for a ferry and a drawbridge to cross the Sacramento River - all adding to the charm of this amazing ride.

Why a world record? Well, I have scoured the Internet and cannot find anyone that has ridden a Porsche bicycle this far in a single day. Since I'm a Porsche nut, I am self-labeling my 100 miles a world record on a Porsche bike hoping someone will challenge me!

The Sacramento Century started downtown Sacramento at the Capital Mall. I headed out right at the 7am start knowing the later the start the more wind develops along the delta. The sun hadn't yet shown itself and the 50 degree temperature felt chilly. I elected to ride with just shorts and a jersey knowing once the sun came up it would warm up fast. So the first hour I was rather cold.

The well-organized ride headed west from downtown Sacramento and very quickly picked up the Sacramento River. Most of the ride was on a river levy road or along roads through corn, grapes or other Central Valley agriculture. All providing great views and quiet riding.

Some of the levy roads were well maintained and some were broken up pretty badly. My 1998 Porsche Bike S mountain bike performed perfectly on these mixed surfaces. The front shocks with the firm elastomers absorbed the rough bumps and the smooth slick tires rolled effortlessly for the entire 100 miles. I noticed groups of riders stopped while one of their party fixed a flat. The road took it’s toll. But my Porsche bike just kept on riding without incident.

Sure, I got passed by some of the people on the newer and lighter road bikes, but I passed them back with my short "pit stop" strategy only spending a few minutes at each rest stop - again to shorten my overall time and avoid the afternoon wind.

At mile 8 I unknowingly rode into the first water stop as I noticed others were bypassing. I didn’t need water after only 8 miles so I turned around only to lose ground on people I had just recently passed.

More levy roads and more great Sacramento River scenery until the mile 28 rest stop. By now I was hungry. But wanting to make a quick “pit stop” I ate half a bagel with cream cheese, stuffed another half bagel in my back jersey pocket and jumped back on the bike.

The ride began to move further south into delta country and with it a little wind. So far it was mostly a tail wind, and with warming temps, felt good as it pushed me south. Riding up to the river ferry was an odd sight. I just missed the previous river crossing, so I had to wait a bit. I noticed a stream of bikes coming up behind me - again my lead was gone.

I was the third rider on and off the ferry, which was fun, as I had a great view crossing the Sacramento River.

On the other side we all rode forward into Isleton as a group. At this point, mile 58, I was getting hungry and weak. The single bagel apparently wasn’t enough. The Isleton lunch was surreal. Downtown Isleton looked like it was quite a neat place, maybe 20-40 years ago. Now it looks run down a bit, but had this very cool charm about it. Local Rotary members were hosting lunch. I had a quick ham sandwich they were making for the riders, filled up my water bottle, used the porta potty and took off riding as quick as I could.

Heading out of Isleton I got stuck at a drawbridge. I rode up just as the light flashed and road closed. Again waiting, a group of bikers caught up to me. Standing with my bike, I could see all the boats cruising by. A fun sight for sure. I even saw a guy on a boat catch a big large mouth bass.

The ham sandwich did it’s job and propelled me through mile after mile of agricultural land and wineries. I didn’t know that the Sacramento area had so many wineries! At this point though, I was over halfway and heading north - into the wind. The light headwind did slow me down and made my legs feel heavy.

The next rest stop was at Bogle Winery at mile 81. Cyclists and wine tasters intermingled in the vineyard parking lot. I got another bagel for energy, banana for potassium and helped a couple in a newer 981 yellow Boxster find a shady place to park.

At this winery rest stop I had already ridden further than ever before. But the 100 mile mission wasn’t complete quite yet. The last stretch of miles remained.

The last 18 miles was a mix of river levy roads, and getting back into Sacramento, some neighborhoods and business districts. As I got closer to the finish line I already had 100 miles on my GPS and I realized I was going to end up over the Century mark. The final mile count was 101.81 by my Adidas GPS app.

At the finish I got off my bike to find my legs and lower back screaming at me. The sense of completion trumped the worn out body and I celebrated with a dark beer in the finish line Oktoberfest.

Thinking back about all the training and bike work I did over the last 12 months to prepare for this single day of riding, I felt proud of my accomplishment. I started with a bike in pieces in a delivery box and was only able to ride 3 miles before my legs and butt hurt.

Yesterday I successfully rode my rebuilt 1998 Porsche Bike S 100 miles in a single day. After a year of dreaming, planning, building and training: Mission Accomplished.

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