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|2010 Horribly Hilly Hundred by Steve Dayon|
I thought I would share a little of my Horrible Hilly experience yesterday.
Getting there: It's about a 2 ½ hour drive, but there is definitely a line to get into the park, so plan on getting there at least an hour before the 7am start, otherwise you will be starting at 7:20am. ; )
Layout: The 200k is broken into 5 sections that are divided by 4 rest stops.
Section 1: ½ hour into the ride, you hit the first major climb on Mounds Park Road. This hill seriously never ends, every time you get to a turn it continues to steepen until it hits another turn. I was amazed to see several people walking their bikes a half hour into the ride.there was no shame in this...as that hill was brutal.
Sections 2 & 3: Nothing too crazy. I hit rest stop # 3 feeling good (67 miles down, 57 to go). Plenty of solid climbs, but I wasn't out to break any records and just took them in stride. At this point, I was glad that I decided to step up and do the 200K.
Section 4: This section is the longest at 33 miles and the 18mph winds are starting to take a toll. One observation about this ride is that people are less chatty than most other rides. About midway through this section, I started thinking that the 100k version would have been a fun experience.
The graveyard: This is what they call rest stop # 4. Lots of people don't make it out of this stop and no one seems to be in a hurry to get back on their bike. Volunteers are directing people to sag wagons and showing others how to take a more direct route back to the finish line.
Section 5: By far the hardest and hilliest section. On one particular climb, I noticed that one of the walkers had one of those M-dot tattoos on his calf. The final climb, it starts out with that same major climb from section 1 and then you turn and continue to ride up to the top of the park, rumor has it that it's around 1,000 feet climb in total. I was exhausted and alternated standing and zig-zagging back and forth across the road while seated to the top. Thank goodness for spectators or I seriously would have considered that walking thing!
End of ride stats: 125 total miles, more hills than you can count or recall, average speed of 14.8 mph, 8 ½ hours on the bike and another hour of chilling at the rest stops. Top speed 43.6 mph, descending is part of the experience and something I could use more work on.
Reflections: I think the 100k would be a challenging and fun ride. The 200k is a character builder. My favorite moment was exiting the park and seeing other rides struggle on the final hill (I'm a little sadistic as times). Glad Insane Terrain isn't until next month.
All the best,
Steve Dayon - NW Chapter