Yesterday I rode the Wildflower Century, in Creston (East of Paso Robles), and I am delighted to report that I finished in 4:58. This is the first time I've broken 5 hours for a century and I am quite pleased with myself :)
It was an "easy" century, 103 miles with about 6,500' of climbing overall and no big climbs or scary descents, but I am amazed that I was able to break 5 hours because there were no pacelines. This is a relaxed ride, thousands of riders participate but most just show up for the beautiful day (it was nice) and the amazing scenery (it was amazing). There were a lot of families, a lot of older riders, a lot of women, and a fair number of spectators. Not to mention, there are 75-mile and 50-mile options, and many took them. There wasn't a peloton of hard-core riders grouped at the start like usual, and I just never found fast riders to pace with. I always figured if I broke 5 hours it would be as part of a strong group (kind of like my 10:38 in the Solvang Double), but on this ride I set my own pace the whole way with no drafting.
Some pictures, of course, for your viewing pleasure:
Well that was pretty cool - a great ride on a beautiful day, amazing scenery, and I broke 5 hours.
But no peace for the wicked (me), because next weekend brings the Breathless Agony, an appropriately named ultra century with 114 miles, 12,000' of climbing, and the summit is at 8,443' high above Big Bear Lake. This will be no walk in the park, and I will be riding to finish, not to set a personal best :)