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· Spicy Dumpling
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Thanks to some slight persuasion from friends, the wife and a few folks in the RBR fixie/singlespeed forum I decided to do the Mountain Momma Challenge Century on my singlespeed for a little extra fun. I used a 44/18 gear and somehow managed to make it through it in 7:45 total time. Pretty much everyrone agreed it is one of the toughest rides in the east. While most other challenge centuries around here have 1-2 big climbs this thing has 9 climbs with 3 big long ones. Most of the climbs are in the 6-8% range with some at 9% for a mile or two. It doesn't sound too bad but all you do is climb or descent all day long. I can't confirm the steepness but they hurt. I don't use one of those newfangled computers on my singlespeed.

The ride start was delayed for an hour due to thunderstorms but after that the weather was great. The climbs start right out of the start, you leave the lot, hang a right and you are climbing within 100 yards. The first two climbs weren't that bad but the third was steep with a 16%+ pitch at the top which I ended up walking. Soon after the 50 mile rest stop we started the first of the biggies, Snowy mountain road, it wasn't too bad and I felt pretty good.

Then on to Allegheny 1 & 2 which are long climbs of 8 miles or so with easy lower slopes but the last 4 being steep and unrelenting. I had to stop a couple of times to catch my breath but didn't walk. After that there are two more climbs of around 2 miles before the finish. I was completely and utterly toasted at the end and let out a shout at the top of the last climb. It's nice that the last 3 miles are all downhill through Monterey.

My friend Chris went up with me and completed his first century. He did great and finished a few minutes behind. For a first century he picked a doozy. He considered bailing at around 80 miles but stuck it out with style. I'm impressed with his riding ability and toughness on his first long ride.

The support was excellent as usual with the best rest stops around with the great boiled potatoes. And the scenery is the best of any ride I've done. I'm one sore puppy today and feel like I've been hit with momma's rolling pin. That was by far the toughest ride I've ever done. I'm pretty pleased with finishing. But...That was stupid!
 

· Spicy Dumpling
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the encouragement, that was physically the hardest thing I've ever done. I'm basically a lump of flesh today. You can bring one of your bikes and join me next year.
 

· Fat'r + Slow'r than TMB
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VaughnA said:
Thanks for the encouragement, that was physically the hardest thing I've ever done. I'm basically a lump of flesh today. You can bring one of your bikes and join me next year.

Just out of curiosity, how many other single speeds were out there and were any of them from RBR? Great finish though. You may now check that one off the things to do list and return to a geared century next time. :thumbsup:
 

· Spicy Dumpling
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No other singlespeeds. One guy on what looked like a fixie but had a sturmy archer 3 speed. I'm pretty sure I'm the first fool to attempt it. I've never had so many people comment on the single. I usually have 1-2 comments on a century. I probably had 50 people say something about it yesterday. It's probably more obvious its a singlespeed when I pedal by with at 50 rpm cadence.

I probably won't go back to geared centuries unless it's something with ungodly steep stuff like Bridge to Bridge or Mountains of Misery. I just prefer the singlespeed.
 

· Fat'r + Slow'r than TMB
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VaughnA said:
I probably won't go back to geared centuries unless it's something with ungodly steep stuff like Bridge to Bridge or Mountains of Misery. I just prefer the singlespeed.

Why can't centuries have nice names like "Climb to the puffy clouds!" Why the painful names. No wonder people think we are crazy. :D
 

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jupiterrn said:
Why can't centuries have nice names like "Climb to the puffy clouds!" Why the painful names. No wonder people think we are crazy. :D
I don't remember any puffy clouds the last 2 years. It's been sunny all day!

This year almost ended up being 'climb to the storm/rain clouds'.
 

· Spicy Dumpling
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
bas said:
I've seen them on MoM. That's insane!
Some guy did it in 06 when I was there. Except for John's Creek and Mtn Lake, it would be doable on about any gear. Maybe a flip flop with a fixed for the climbs would work..
 

· Premium Member
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From what you had posted before the ride, I knew that you could so it on the SS. Congratulations. The Mountain Momma looks like a great ride. I had been thinking about doing it this year. But, I had a week from hell at the office and I knew that I would not be able to leave Baltimore and get to Virginia until very late on Friday. I did something like that the first time that I did the Mountains of Misery and learned that getting into town at midnight the night before an early morning start of a hard century is not a good idea. Maybe next year.
 

· Spicy Dumpling
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
MarkS said:
From what you had posted before the ride, I knew that you could so it on the SS. Congratulations. The Mountain Momma looks like a great ride. I had been thinking about doing it this year. But, I had a week from hell at the office and I knew that I would not be able to leave Baltimore and get to Virginia until very late on Friday. I did something like that the first time that I did the Mountains of Misery and learned that getting into town at midnight the night before an early morning start of a hard century is not a good idea. Maybe next year.
If you have a choice between the two I'd go with momma. I think it is a tougher ride with much better scenery. After the ride I think everyone agreed that it was harder than MOM. MOM is like a couple of punches to the gut, Momma jabs you all day long.

I camped out at the school which worked out great. We ate in Staunton and got to camp right before dark. They leave the bathrooms open and you have a nice camping area. It was a little hard cooking breakfast in the rain but we managed. I'll probably be there next year. I think I've convinced the wife to try next year, I'll probably bring my geared bike so we can ride together.
 

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Way to go VaughnA! I've considered a SS century but haven't stepped up to it yet. You may have motivated me to do it this year. The local century in the fall here has 8000ft of climbing. I ride 75 gear inches normally but would probably gear down to about 65 like you did. Feeling better today?

singlecross
 

· Spicy Dumpling
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
singlecross said:
Way to go VaughnA! I've considered a SS century but haven't stepped up to it yet. You may have motivated me to do it this year. The local century in the fall here has 8000ft of climbing. I ride 75 gear inches normally but would probably gear down to about 65 like you did. Feeling better today?

singlecross
Unless you have super steep east coast backroad climbs around 65GI is perfect IMHO. I don't think that singlespeeding is that much harder than geared. I suffered on mounain momma a couple of years ago on my geared bike as well. As Dave Hickey said to me in the singlespeed forum, Go For It!

I was feeling fine yesterday until I went out with the local monday ride and held on to a 30mph paceline on the fixie for about 5 miles. Now I'm hurting again. Tonight is mountain biking so I'll hurt some more. Obviously I like suffering.
 
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