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  1. #1
    Watts Up?
    Reputation: johnbspinnen''s Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    Post Ride/Race Across Florida Report

    I was in the Ride/Race Across Florida this past weekend. Here's a report with a few photos.

    The headquarters was changed a few weeks before to the Titusville Holiday Inn. This shortened the course from 188 miles to 135-140. The Half Across Florida was 55 or so. I'd heard various stories about lack of organization and rest stops before (see the other thread) so was excited but a bit anxious. The pasta dinner the night before was very good, although they seemed to clean it up quick. I talked to a guy who pre-rode (in a car I hope!) the second half of the course and he said it was well marked. Cue sheets were handed out at check in. With nothing much else to do except relax I mapped the course out in my computer on the DeLorme map software. The hotel was nice enough to give me a ground floor room, but it was within 50 feet of the bar/nightclub which made falling asleep near impossible.
    The DJ was really crankin' up the jams. Then a drunk couple gets in one of those drawn out lovers quarrels right outside my window! It went at least 4 rounds but I'm not sure who was declared the winner. They were eventually kicked of the property. Back to the race.

    The Pro/UCSF Cat 1&2 group was set to go off @ 6:45. That's last years winner in the front, as well as the #1 female. Both repeated this year.



    The token recliners, can you get those things with a TV and internet hookup? :

    Just kidding, those guys were fast, and I''m SURE their backs felt better than mine at the end.

    The rest of us went off 15 minutes later. I hung on to lead group as long as I could but was off the back after 2-21/2 hours. We were moving along quite well at 22-23 mph. I dropped back after a nice pull and found the group had grown to 20-30. Then my home boy (you know who you are! ) catches up and starts taking pulls @ around 24-25. I was right behind him so when it came to my turn I was cooked already! Someone fell at a redlight and that split the dwindling group in half. There was probably 10-12 riders left when I cracked and went off the back. I could hear Phil Ligget some where in my head :

    "He's in some serious difficulty now, and there's still almost 150k to go!"

    I sucked it up, got it back and soloed in most of the rest of the way catching a few others in the process. After all the rumors about the rest stops I decided early on to do the entire distance with no stops (a first for me on a ride of this length). My Camelback and 2 large bottles got me through it but just barely. It was very nice to see the finish line after 7 hours and 14 minutes in the saddle. My computer said 139 for mileage. I got reports from others of 136 to 140. The wind was predominantly at our side to quartering form in front. There were 2 long runs straight into the wind and only one nice downwind leg. The course WAS well marked, although at times near the end when by myself I'd go miles without seeing the road-hicky and was really dreading making a wrong turn that late in the game. Just lactate induced paronoia.

    This could be a really nice annual epic ride if the director would just put a little more time and effort into the rest stops. The barbecue at the end tasted good but was cleaned up before many people finished. If you were there and want to rant or rave, put it on this thread and we'll try to make sure the powers that be get to read it. I, for one, will plan on making the trip back next year.

    The winners and their rewards:

    The first Team :

    First finisher :

    First female :

    RideOn!

    JB

    "When I'm not riding, I'm thinking about riding."

    l Love2Ride and Ushould2!!

  2. #2
    Armchair Director Sportif
    Reputation: STinGa's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
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    Politics

    Many years ago, my college roommate and I followed the route a few weeks after the planned ride due to the timing of our college spring break. In 2002 (maybe 2003), while visiting my relatives, I stopped into the shop that sent the directions to me and asked about that year's Ride Across Florida. The shop owner told me that the previous year there had been some internal political problems and a portion of the cycling community in the area had splintered off and tried to organize their own ride / race across Florida. He said that it went off, but that the scheduling and organization was sub-par and that the main group was trying to keep the original running.

    I have not had a chance to catch up on the situation of the two factions. I would love to do the ride again, but I will catch up on the politics before I commit myself.

    The route that we followed ran from Cocoa Beach to Crystal River. It was well marked and we took two days each way and did it unsupported.

    Just my .02.
    No witty comment today.

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