June Century – Lake Champlain

I rode my first century in quite a long while this past weekend. The Sunday morning crew was down to 2 – so Patrick and I took off north to the Champlain Islands. We stopped for breakfast on North Hero and made our way to Rouses Point, NY through Plattsburgh and to the Port Kent ferry back to Burlington. We kept our average speed fairly high (for our social sunday long rides) – and coming out of Plattsburgh tried to race to make a ferry. Wind, a bit of terrain (the route to this point was fairly flat) and more wind (we dodged thunderstorms all day) took its toll. When it looked like we would miss our boat we eased up and settled into a steady ‘finish the ride’ pace.

This was a shakedown ride for me – so I carried everything that I’m planning to take on the ‘OneWay300k’ that I have planned for August. The 300k will take me to Utica, NY from Burlington, VT by way of the Adirondacks. Rain cape, extra layers, food, maps, tool kit, mini first aid kit, extra shorts, digicam, etc… I brought along everything except my dyno lights which I need to re-wire and remount to my newly replaced Schmidt hub. Patrick was riding the Kogswell, fixed. I’ve debated building an ENO hubbed wheel for the IF – I’m going to try a long fixed ride on the Surly this coming weekend before I change anything. To be honest, even when I was beat at the end of the ride I tended to hang out in 3-4 cogs while in my large ring.

My experiment of riding a century in ‘street’ shorts almost worked – I tried wearing some touring style shorts and some breathable boxer briefs – I hit my limit at about 75 miles when the seams started to fight it out with my saddle. I’m not sure if it was the combination of the fabric and the wet wet morning – but part of the problem with street clothes is the shape of the Selle An-Atomica at the nose. The leather flares a bit and does not drop vertically like on the most Brooks’ I’ve ridden. As weight is applied to the saddle the flare increases – driving the edge of the leather into the inner part of my thighs. This happens with cycling shorts and street clothes. I love the saddle for the comfort on my rear end – but the front end is much more sensitive! Upon return I pulled the Selle An-Atomica off the bike again. I’ve remounted my well worn Brooks Swallow and I’ll try the experiment yet again with a slightly different wardrobe and see how it works out. The Brooks is a great long distance saddle – but I tend to bruise on my sit bones – something that has not happened with the leather ‘suspension’ An-Atomica – but I’ll take sit bone bruises at distances over 100 miles to raw rubbed thighs.

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