My third century of the year was actually a double metric: the 130-mile Outriders ride from Boston to Provincetown.
I started pretty promptly at 6am and rolled out with the second group out of the chute. I hung with them for the first 30 miles, even taking a pull or two, but decided after the first water stop in Halifax to let them go and set my own pace.
For the next 100 miles, I solo’ed the whole ride, virtually never seeing another rider except one or two at water stops. The cloudy and damp conditions we started in gave way to hot, direct sunshine shortly before I hit the Sagamore Bridge in Sandwich, and beat down pretty hard at times during the 70-mile haul down the cape.
My legs lasted pretty well until Yarmouth, about 80 miles in. From there on it was a slog. Delirium set in about the time I reached Wellfleet; when I turned onto Long Pond Road, which kicked off a final 30 miles spent reciting “Oh Long John” to myself. At the time, it seemed to capture my situation very eloquently. I’d later end the day with a reprise when the return ferry docked in Boston: Oh Long Wharf!
Despite really struggling the last 30 miles, no one passed me except for two guys who skipped the final water stop while I was resting there. In the end, I arrived at 3pm and was the 12th finisher out of nearly 200 starters! And despite riding solo, by keeping my rest breaks short I cut a whole hour and a half off of last year’s ride.
Finishing that early left me five and a half hours until the ferry ride home. First I went down to the harbor and washed some of the sweat, sunblock, and road grime off. Then, having expended over 5,000 kCal, I had a big postride meal at Bayside Betsy’s. I returned to the finishing area to watch stragglers come in, and helped pack up the tents, chairs, and other supplies. Then, after a quick side trip to a convenience store, I was off to the ferry.
Overall, it was a nice day, even if I didn’t have any of my buddies to share the ride with. The huge miles of solo riding really took a lot out of me, and it took a couple days to recuperate. But it was nice to be one of the first to finish what will probably be my longest one-day ride of the year, and it was awesome being back on the cape again. I look forward to hitting Provincetown again in six weeks when I finish my eleventh Pan-Mass Challenge.
Here’s the GPS log.