Went up to HHH this year, with a January goal of a sub7 hr century. I really didn't think I would be able to do it, as this year has been fraught with setbacks and downtime. Plus my gut has been a bit tender this past week and I was scared it might flare up badly while I was out of town.
Stayed with the good folks at First Christian Church ($50 incl dinner and breakfast all you can eat). Slept up against the scoreboard wall (warm side of gym), and slept well. It was a little warm at first, but cooled off after the lights went out.
Got up about 04:30 and had a good breakfast (coffee, oj, 2 hb eggs, oatmeal and a chocochip muffin.). Took a little too long packing up, and was almost late getting to the start of the ride! Had to hunt a parking spot and then reassemble the bike in the dark (harder than it sounds). I got to the cage, and just a couple minutes later we started! I'd almost missed it!
I settled into a fair pace behind a tandem, but then before Iowa Park learned they were only doing the 25mi route. I managed to get hitched onto a pair of tandems and a CA2, and rode with them until close to RS2. I skipped that stop too, and rode on up the road to the 100mi turn and stopped at RS3 in Electra.
The course was fine, and the roads in better shape than in 2013. High thin clouds stuck around until 10am, which helped keep the heat down. Winds were very light, and had the tendency to follow us around the course. There was really only one short stretch where it felt like a headwind. I don't think you could have asked for better weather than we had yesterday! I think if Dave had ridden the century. he would have beaten his PR 20mph pace of last year.
As it was, I hit Hell's Gate with a bunch of time left before it closed. I felt great, and didn't even think about taking the bailout route. I admit it grated a little to still get passed by large packs of riders (not pacelines, just masses), but I just kept reminding myself to ride MY ride at MY pace. I guess it worked too!
The rest stops were excellent for ice and water support, with a ton of volunteers manning pitchers of ice water at the curb, in addition to under the tents. Made for faster transitions.