Monday, October 17, 2011

A Tale of Two Seagull Centuries 2011

I rode with Jeff Stone this year for the tenth year together on the Seagull Century.

Jeff Stone is long time friend who I met while working at Hot Shoppes at Springfield Mall when I was 16.  I was a busboy while Jeff had the high level and socially elite "floater" position.  Jeff was making $2.15 an hour versus my $2.05 an hour.  What did a floater do?  A floater just had to keep the coffee and tea filled up at the drink stations.  How hard was that?  A busboy on the other hand had to clean every damn thing in the restaurant from tables, to bathrooms, to carpets, to you name it.  Someone throws up - "oh, busboy, come over here and clean this up."  A five year craps on the floor in the restroom, "oh, busboy, come over here and clean this up."  No one ever yelled, "oh, floater, come over here and clean this up."  Floaters were the 1%, the Wall Street elites, the bourgeoisie of the Marriott Corporation.   Today, we would all be protesting outside the homes of the parents of these high paid floaters (floaters could not afford to live on their own in the mid 1970s even on $2.15 an hour).  This still makes me mad how overpaid Jeff was for that position, but I digress :-)

Anyway, Jeff and I rode together for the tenth year on the Seagull Century.   I flew in from Colorado Springs (with Karl Rove) and took off right after I got home to Salisbury, MD.   After Jeff got his very nice suite at the Residence Inn, he took great care in getting me a room at the Hampton Inn since I was arriving later that day.  It is not often that one has the opportunity to sleep in a smoking room with more ash trays than an Alabama truck stop and right next to the elevator as well as the diesel powered ice machine.  Thanks Jeff :-)   I had to bust on Jeff since he was nice enough to get a room reserved, otherwise I would have been sleeping in OC, MD.  Salisbury hotels have the very nice habit of going into two night minimums during the Seagull Century weekend since they know most local DC/Baltimore riders only need a hotel room for Friday night.  They learned this act of gratitude from Ocean City, MD.  This is why we just wait and get the rooms the Friday before the race when we arrive.   We had a great dinner at Brew River - a local Salisbury favorite.

It was a tale of two Seagull Centuries.  The first 63 miles (metric century) was absolutely perfect - not a cloud in the sky and no wind.  It was Corvette weekend in OC, MD and we must have seen 60 different Corvettes drive by which is great for me because I was wearing my Corvette Racing biking jersey and I could bore Jeff with Corvette trivia as we rode. 

After lunch things changed a lot.  We had a constant 25 mph headwind with gusts up to 35mph.  It was like two different rides.  Both of us had to take advantage of the bike repair tents this ride.  Jeff had the techs fix the annoying squeak in his headset on his handlebars and I blew out a rear spoke at the 80mph mark.  Luckily, the final rest stop was at the 83 mile mark and the techs there took the wheel apart to replace the spoke.  Of course it was a spoke on the rear hub side which is the toughest to get to and to replace since it involves taking off the rim, removing the tire, tube, rim tape, taking off the rear sprockets all so you can replace one spoke.  The tech told me that this is where 90% of the spokes break because the rear tire has the most weight, the most torque and it is the side with the sprocket that is the most vulnerable.  The tech did in 20 minutes what would have taken me an hour and half - IF I had all my tools with me which I did not - of course.  I gave him a nice tip even though the Seagull Century includes this as part of the ride only asking riders to pay for parts.

Jeff kicked butt this year and led the hardest part of the ride - the final 25 to 35 mph headwind.  In years past, I had led the way back after lunch.  I am blaming it on not doing enough long rides this year compared to other years or I am just getting old, maybe it is both.

The beer garden at Salisbury University is the Mecca for all bike riders after the Seagull Century and we had a couple of beers there before we headed home.  A 3 hour drive after riding 100 miles just seems like a very, very long drive home.

Below is Jeff Stone on my left after we had lunch and were checking out the great weather at Assateague Island, MD.

Below is a 1 minute video at Assateague Island, MD after we had lunch.  This was taken just before you get on the Verrazano Bridge that connects Assateague Island to MD.  Hopefully we will be doing Seagull Centuries for years to come...

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