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2012 Three Notch Century - aka Nate's cycling adventure


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The Pro Photog that covered the event uploaded some stuff late last night. Here's me, Marc and Tom at the start of Day 2.

A little recap...

Day 1 - 63 miles

Day 1 began at 5:15am. I got up, grabbed the few clothes that I needed to wear that day (everything else was packed the night before) and was on the road at 5:30. I picked up my friend Marc a little past 6 and we drove the 90 remaining miles to the start of the course. We arrived at 7:40, hooked up with my friend Tom who'd flown in from Denver, got checked in and ready to hit the pedals. The course starts with an easy cruise through Lincoln, NH and turns north on Rt. 3 and immediately starts gaining elevation. By the time you're 7 miles in you've already climbed 700+ feet and you're just getting started. From that point you pick up a Rec trail that winds through thick forest by mile 12 you've climbed another 1000 ft. but then you hook up with Rt. 302 and at that point you're supposed to be able to start to fly. Cue the headwind. As we reached the summit ((at mile 12) Marc got a flat and the wind really kicked up. I'd read the weather reports and knew to expect gust up to 20mph but the weather man/woman got it wrong. Starting at mile 15 we had a really strong crosswind (sucky) and as we passed mile 20 we turned directly east and it was pretty much smack in your face for the next 14 miles. I'd guess the sustained winds were in the 20's with gusts well over 30. You'd be cruising along at 25 (this portion is downhill) and having to work pretty hard at that and the wind would kick up and you could just watch the mph drop, often on the order of 5+mph. Not all that fun. But as we reached the second peak of the day (mile 34) we knew that the remainder of the day would be spent losing the 1500+ we spent the morning climbing. Peak speeds on the decent are usually creep up on 50 if you're brave. We peaked at 37. At mile 59 we decided that we needed to hydrate and stopped at Moat Mountain for a pint. People kept asking how we did in the race (we were wearing #'s) and gave rather strange looks when we informed them that the ride was still going. :) Anyway, the final few miles were dispatched without incident and my first metric century was complete. I ate a huge pasta dinner and was asleep by 9pm.

Ride Data

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Picture from Crawford Notch - notice that the heavy wooden sign is being blown at about a 15deg angle and that the flag is flying horizontal...

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Day 2 - The Big Hill

Day 2 started at 7am with breakfast and then cleaning up the room, checking out and going to see whether or not the bikes got soaked by the insane thunderstorms that had rolled through during the previous night. Thankfully the bikes had been well protected so we filled up water bottles and headed out at 8:30 with the group of 50 or so who did the ride over multiple days. The first 21 miles or so are pretty tame, climbing about 1000' but gently enough to not really hurt. The next 5 miles... not so much. The one and only support stop of day two is at mile 21 and we stopped to refill bottles, grab a bite to eat and mentally prepare for the final climb. The last 5 miles up to the top of the pass average ~7% grade and take you from elevation 1500 all the way up to 2855. I have to admit that this is the part of the ride that I am most proud of (have a look at the ride data below). I picked a gear and just went for it. I averaged about 8mph up the whole thing and felt pretty damn good throughout. I waited for my 2 friends at the top and from there it's a boring story. The last 12 miles of the day are spent bombing down Rt112 back into Lincoln. It's a nice reward, that's for sure.

Ride Data

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Mile 21 Supply Stop

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Mile 26 - 2855

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Team Cannondale (my friend Marc on the Left, another participant Charlie on the Right riding a freakin' '12 Super Six)

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Final Thoughts

I simply can't say thank you enough for the extraordinarily generous donations provided by this community. I was the 6th highest fundraiser for the event (out of 180) and I'd wager that at least 80% of that came from Headcase. It really does same something about this place that we all support each other in real ways, not just through mindless banter. The event raised over $80,000 all of which will go directly to Northeast Passage and support their adaptive athletic program. It was pretty sweet that one of their athletes set a world record this weekend at the Paralympic games. Anyway, I'll be back again next year asking for donations again and I'm going to up the ante and go for the full, one-day century. I shouldn't be nearly as fat as I was in the winter this year so I'm hoping to be able to build on the base. I've got a few training rides mapped out, one dubbed King of the Mountains, but more on that some other day. For now I'm going to go have a drink and then sleep.

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