A field of 160 this year. In the low 30's all day. (At least the weather wasn't variable or wet). Rick Sebak had a film crew out filming all day - for a new weekly series he is going to have on WQED. Among Wheelmen, Pittsburgh Randonneurs, and Scouting Ride Alumni I recognized 10-20 people.
From the WPW, I recognized Chris Hays of Chris Cam fame, Lance Letterio, Bill Kreke, and to the surprise rider of the day Linda Thomas. Unlike me, who led scouting rides for 6 weeks to prepare, Linda's reports she mostly rides trails and her approach was "I ride a TREK Hybrid… I’m hearing it’s a huge challenge to begin with – but hey – what the heck, huh?" She rode the entire ride - took 3 stabs at Canton. On another note, Bill Kreke's wife love him so much, she came out to cheer him on. She reports his bike is her only competition, which in the big picture she sees as a good thing. (Who else rode? - self report please )
Anne Marie Alderson (an iron-man ultra athlete), was the pride of Scouting Ride Alumni, taking points on Logan and Rialto. She was among the last successful riders up Canton, succeeding on her second try. Other scouting ride alumni not yet mentioned: Doug Silver; Christian Korey, Jon Conley, Alan Lucas, Gene Nacey... There were another 5 or more other scouting ride alumni, but I am so bad with matching names with faces - Matt, Paul. Rick. John. Brian, Jason, Nina, Michael, Jordan, Shawn, Rick, guy in grey - and others - please self report if you rode the DD this year.
We didn't ride through the Liberty Tubes because it is illegal and something spooked Danny on same from last year, but merging 160 cyclists across several lanes of traffic on Route 51 was a lot more dangerous.
If you then the DD, then you probably like brevets too...
If you like the challenge of the DD, you likely will like the challenge of ultra-distance as well. Check our our brevets at http://www.pittsburghrandonneurs.com/. The spring series is a great intro to ultra-distance. The route I enjoy the best out of them all is the 400 km - to Erie and back. And take special note of the summer 'Allegheny Mountain Cruel and Unusual Punishment" Series, DD fans.
The "it's all about me" section
I rode a clean DD (this was my 5th), and stronger than prior DDs. This was my first year I was strong enough to get up Canton on my carbon Trek. None-the-less, I suffered more on the first 10 hills than either scouting ride I rode 10 hills even two weeks ago. Perhaps my fitness peaked a month ago, or I screwed up ride-day nutrition. Still, it's fun being stronger and fitter than I used to be. I usually ride at the very back of the pack. This year, I rode a bit further up in the pack on some hills, avoiding most of the weavers. I talked a few people up hills that looked like they needed encouragement, and was a "hold your line" nazi on Logan. The muscles that came closest failing me weren't in my legs or even in in my shoulders. It was my hands and wrists on the top 100 feet of Barry / Holt / Eleanor. (Being strong enough to hold yourself down on the bike is a good problem to have). I was talking a rider ahead me up that hill, but in essence talking myself up as well. On the way back to the oval, I led a group of 50 or so across Beechwood Blvd, and that was a hoot.
Like the last two years, when I reached Canton and turned up immediate and made it it up in good style. (By the way, I found a video of me on Canton in 2008 on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlU4sON6ixk&feature=email) I enter the video after a couple seconds in a RUSA jersey, which has a red band at the bottom). And I show up in this 2009 movie of Canton as well starting at time 2:30: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RonzTzzsE1g&feature=email
Training Ride Photo from 10/31/2010 - Thanks Gene
Doug Silver, Chris Hayes, Gene Nacey, Jim Logan, guy in gray, Ann Marie Alderson, Christian Korey