Lu Lacka Wyco Hundo (photo @cabbagelookin)
Heard about it the first time, put it on the calendar last year…schedule conflict with SSAP…DOH! I missed a good one. The stars aligned when my daughter asked me to go on a field trip to PA with her class with the date coinciding with LLWH. A while later I realized the date conflicted with a work trip…rats. Long story short, my kid/family trumped the work trip…and even with the trip I would’ve been able to do the ride.
We left Friday morning for Lancaster and the girls had a blast. Saturday meant Crayola with the family. It opened at 10 so I grabbed an early morning hour of riding along the Delaware Canal with the morning mist. We walked to a good breakfast with awful coffee and followed that up with a trip to a bakery for cupcakes, cure the HANGER! Crayola was fun; doing crafts as a family and just enough things to do everything not be exhausted. We followed that up with a trip to a farm to table restaurant with some tasty craft beers, Two Rivers…it was fantastic! We had some options here, invited to chill at a friend’s house, head to Jim Thorpe and do a earth day festival thing and then head to the bike shop to register for the ride… we opted for the last two. There were no bad choices…just can’t do everything. I’m glad we got to the bike shop, I got to see some old friends and thank Pat for putting on this dealio. Damien wants a burger we take a trip to timbuktwo to what ended up being the third location… ah well. I slept like shit in the hotel, wake up fairly stress free it’s not a race… just a ride some 100 miles with some crazy elevation on my SSCX.
Wait, what? I was doing this on my SSCX bike. I’ve done flat hundreds on my SSCX, done some climbing, but never a climby hundred. I asked Pat, (paraphrasing) he told me I was a special kinda of crazy. Really I wasn’t stressed at all, I already have an NUE under my belt so I have the miles in the legs already. I’m going to SS at Transylvania, I’ve got a beaut of a custom SS that fits me like a glove, so why not?? I knew the Kevin Church kid from Boston was riding a SS, we spoke about it at SSAP (that write up is later) so I wouldn’t be the only crazy one. We pull up, I hop out and some dude runs up and gives me a huge hug… Ferrari was here! Matt is a super nice guy from State College, super smart and the crazy SOB did 188 miles the day before. He’s getting ready for the Paris – Brest – Paris, further proof that there are people out there warming up at the same level as your max effort, turns out he was riding a SS as well. He had a beaut of an Indy Fab travel bike modded with S&S couplers. We spoke gearing, he had a dongle on so his gearing was either tougher or easier than my 39×18. In two years or so, I’ve never changed the gearing, why start now.
A chill roll out with a police escort, I cruised to the front.. not because I knew there was singletrack coming, but because I wanted to see where my friends were. I rolled with Matt for a while, cruised through a turn and never saw him again. I rode with Jill and Gary until I missed a turn and did some more climbing. I didn’t know about all the colored signs and I wasn’t paying full attention, but I’d take pictures of the turn by turn so I was good. Found fellow hammock lover Ryan who was lost as well, after 5 minutes we found the group easily. I ended up riding with and introducing myself to a bunch of ‘internet’ friends…ppl I’d seen before rode with but never said hello. I rode with Matts carpool partner from State College Clay, nice guy whose gears were clearly slowing him down. First stop was at a house, thanked them profusely clearly everyone was out to have a good time and Pat’s ‘spirit of howdy’ was in full effect. I past some of the Lone Wolf Boys climbing a pitch heading into two, once at two we sat and sat and sat around. Kris gave me some salted meat, I gave him a swig of maple syrup I put in a flask (thanks Doug) and a honey stick. After 20 minutes or so I rolled with some of my favorite hooligans Quags and PA crew from there, we had a good time motoring along…I kept up just fine on my SSCX, thank you very much. I wasn’t doing much pulling but could hang at 21 22 or so on the flats. Midway up this climb, there was a beer stop… a god send. Half a hot dog, half a beer, some pickle juice… and more waiting. My legs were getting heavier after every stop and we were only midway through the climbing, this wasn’t good. When we left the beer stop we were climbing and I was burping pickle juice. Towards the top of the gravelly climb Abe was there… the man who makes ppl look like super heroes was there documenting the destruction. I was grinding up the climb trying to keep my rear wheel planted on the loose surface, I got a carrot to try and reach… dude on a plastic bike rolling deep dish was walking…motivation. Once at the top there was a Taco stand, I wanted nothing to do with Tacos at that point… I stayed a bit and told Quags I needed out. Roll now or limp the next 50 miles home. I rolled with Pete and his new Green/Gold Weaver from there… we cruised for a while together. I started hitting a wall a bit, the hills were accumulating but I was hanging… until after 70. At 70 there is a stop sign at the bottom of a wall, here I hung my head and walked the final 100 ft or so of a pitch…from the sign to the top. I had paperboyed until I couldn’t tick them over any longer. Ah well, maybe next year I can make the whole thing. When I got to 75, my friend Anna, who made me the sickest winter hat was there. Anna had graciously brought a bag of my CarboRocket there… truly the only thing I worried about, stuffing my pockets and carrying my second bottle. They also had Coca Cola, oh dear that was key! I also met up with Quagabow again, gave me some juice riding with my buddy. There was about 10 or so rolling miles and the last 15 or so was to be flatish. One of the rollers was a steep little pitch next to this beautiful waterfall. As we finished up with Lindsey I told them I had an office I called on for the past 8+ years and they were supposed to be on the route somewhere around 95. Sure enough we ran into them about mile 97, so good to meet them on route and have them cheer me on! A couple of miles later we rolled in to the finish and the sign my youngest painted on the road for me… a highlight for sure.
A couple of things:
-Someone asked me about my shoes while my eyes were bulging out of my skull on a climb… that was odd.
-Someone who did the 50 was talking to my wife and said ‘Oh your husband did the whole thing on that crappy SS’ SMH kids these days, if you’re not on a off the rack bike…it’s now crappy? OK, got it.
-Lots of people gave me props and thought I was crazy/mad…but really it was the perfect choice for me… 39×18 was a great gear. 2 others completed the Hundo on SSCX bikes, the aforementioned Matt Ferrari and Kevin Church. It was tough but gears, most assuredly, would’ve slowed me down.
-I’ll be back, it’s just a beaut of a ride put on by a really good person… put it on your calendar, and start training early!
101 miles ~ 9k of climbing pending your garmin.