The Cadillac Challenge Century has to be the hilliest century in Maine. Loon Echo says they are the hilliest, or toughest, not sure which. However, this one has to top that. I’ve done both. This ones worse. I mean better!
I heard someone say, there wasn’t one flat section on the route. It was either up or down, but nothing flat.
The day started off sunny, cloud free, a little chilly, but it was warming up very quickly by the time we started.
I’m not sure how many riders participated. It had to have been 200-300 riders. My husband took pictures at the pre-ride meeting. Riders to left of him; riders to the right of him.
We organized for a quick group photo before hitting the road.
Some of us chose the 72-mile (metric century) option instead of the 100-mile (century) option. My husband was the club’s official sag wagon we thought it would be best to have him be at the split for each route. There was a convenience store there, which worked well for a potty break.
Then we parted ways with my husband. He followed the majority of the group through the next three stops. The 72-mile group was on their own. The rest stops weren’t that far apart so it wasn’t much of an issue.
Right after we left the rest stop, I started to experience cramps on the first climb. I almost had to get off and walk. They seemed to subside so I kept going.
On a climb several miles later, more cramps. It wasn’t even a significant climb. It was, however, long. So I walked it. Shamefully. If the cramps get too severe I can’t get off the bike, let alone stand up, so dismounting would be next to impossible. Falling over would be the only option.
Fall over I did. Though it was later in the ride. We had to stop in the middle of an intersection for a car. I thought Tracey was going to go but she did the right thing and stopped. When I clicked out (by turning my heel in, not out, which is different from what most riders do) I caught my heel on my wheel and came to a dead stop. After flailing to remove my other foot, to no avail, I fell over. Darn! My new bike!!
Luckily the bike and my body were okay. A little bruised but okay.
The last part of the ride is on the park loop road in Acadia National Park. It’s newly paved with mostly two lanes of one-way traffic with scenic views of the ocean. It’s the quintessential bike lane. Surprisingly, even during prime leaf peeping season, there wasn’t that much traffic. It was heaven.
The twinges of cramps never fully went away. I took the easy route up Cadillac Mountain – in the passenger’s seat of our car. I was there for a group photo with those that were left at the top.
My day was over. 60 long, hilly miles.
I still feel guilty about not climbing Cadillac. The mountain isn’t going anywhere. We plan to make this ride an annual event for the club and next year I’m going to be better prepared and ascend it, on two wheels, not four.