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Century Riding At 60-Orangeburg,SC

Updated on November 12, 2009

Pace-lining To Ehrhardt

Century Riding The Low Country

Century Riding At 60

This weekend is the Orangeburg, SC Rivers Bridge Ramble. Last year I spent considerable time and money routing the routes, making maps, recording mileage, sorting through the various routes for the best, and making the cue sheets for them. I was given a free entry into the ride and I’m given a free admission this year.

This year I live at least 4 hours away from the ride. I will probably drive down after getting up in the middle of the night.

It’s not a race. But, it will be a race. The USA doesn’t have 100 mile races much at all. They are too hard to organize. The course should be closed for riders’ safety. This is an open course. The “gentlemanly approach” to these rides is to be safe and not race through intersections while other riders are stopping for safety’s sake. There should be no “attack” after going through such an intersection. The “gentleman’s approach” should be to ride safely and follow the rules of “pace-line etiquette” as I’ve outlined in another blog.

We will try to keep up with each other. In this ride, all will be calm for just a couple miles. We then ascend up a small hill toward Cordova. It will be hard for my lungs to keep up with the exertion. It’s an easy enough hill but will last for 2 miles or more with a slight easing after the first mile or so. If a rider falls off the pace-line here, it will be a headwind for the rest of the hill and into Cordova. We are heading south or southwest. The wind, predominately, blows from the southwest here until real winter hits.

At the center of the small village we turn east and the wind will be at our backs or at least favorable. If I make it to this point with the group, I should keep up for the first 40 miles, although there will be another test climbing up from the Little Salkehatchie River just before Ehrhardt, SC. Ehrhardt will be at about 40 miles.

When we are only 10 miles or so into the ride, we will be back into the headwinds. We will face them or an adverse wind for most of the next 60 miles. Even after that point the winds can be from the west side and this time of year I could be wrong and we could have the north winds which will make our return even worse.

Regardless, we can only count on a favorable wind for the six miles after our turn in Cordova early in the ride. Later we will come into Cordova from the south.

After Ehrhardt and 40 miles, there will be annoying hills. There are rises that are often followed by dips to swamps or other water.

We will go by the Rivers Bridge State Park and soon after the Rivers Bridge State Park. There will be harder hills out here as we head north toward the Colston Community. The wind will be to our left. The hills will be annoyingly hard. If there are many hard surges, I may be off. We then turn toward Olar and Govan. We will be just shy of both towns and descend toward the Little Salkehatchie again further upstream.

It will be hard to stay with stronger, younger people who can recover so much more quickly than I. The hills, light rises really, will continue to Bamberg.

Last year I was the last to fall off of Paul Harrell’s wheel. Paul owns Harrell’s Bike World in Columbia. Paul has bouts of Crohns disease. He’s been mostly okay for a couple years or so now after an operation. When Paul is good and healthy, he’s very good, healthy, and fast.

So Paul asked that I come to the ride. He will surely bring some of his henchmen. There will be other strong folks from Charleston with their henchmen.

I’ll take three bottles with an energy mix and hope that will be enough for five hours or so.

It’s a ride with ladies and gentlemen.

It’s also a hundred mile race.

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