Yes, folks, the 1st (annual?) Tour de Madeira has been completed, and the results are a resounding success!! The 2006 version only had 2 riders, but it was intentionally kept to a low number. That way, in 20 years when this is an international event, its humble beginnings will only look that much cooler.
Speaking of cooler, the weather that we had on Saturday was beautiful - just about perfect biking weather. Actually, up until the last hour or so, I'd say it was perfect weather. About 55 degrees, not much of a wind, mostly sunny. At the end, it got a little cooler though. The last hill coming down Camargo was a little cold. It was downhill and with the wind from the speed, my hands got pretty numb.
We did pretty much use the routes that I had mentioned before (Part 1 and Part 2), with a few exceptions.
1. Coming up Kenwood after having made the wraparound in Windridge / Whetsel, I led us back down Coachlite Way. After about 200 feet, PJ asked "Haven't we been down this road before?" In fact we had. So we turned around and continued up to Kenwood and turned on Lakota as part of the route.
2. After having come up Camargo from Shawnee Run, we followed the wraparound through Dones / Naomi / Marvin. First of all, we stopped briefly at Sellman Park for a "potty emergency". Then, after having come out on Miami just south of Camargo, I mistakenly turned right on Camargo. Again, I quickly realized my mistake and pulled a U-ey, and continued north on Miami.
3. While looping through the Summit / Wallace / Fowler subdivision, I realized that we had forgotten to visit Goff Terrace. Luckily, we were still in the right area. After coming down Maple, the route called for a brief out and back on Dawson to Miami before continuing west on Dawson. So when we got to Miami, we made a quick right, went down Goff Terrace and then came back to the route and down Dawson. And actually, though it might be slightly LONGER than the original route, it would not surprise me if doing Goff this way was actually FASTER. Reason being that this way avoids having to do 2 left turns onto Miami (Northbound Miami onto Goff and Goff back on to northbound Miami). When we came back off of Goff, we just rode on the west-side sidewalk of Miami, rather than having to do those 2 left turns. Plus on Goff, we got to play the fun game of "Is this a road, or is this Ferrari's parking lot?" We got to play that game a few times, though most of the time it was its cousin game "Is this a road, or is this someone's driveway?" Yes, May Street and Paisley Lane, I'm looking at YOU.
As far as overall particulars of the tour, we started at 12:57:30 p.m. and ended at 6:43:38 p.m. Well, actually the tour ended at 6;41:03 - the last 2 minutes or so was the 7/10 mile from the Madeira city limits on Camargo to my car which I parked over on Ledge Street in Madisonville. That's a total tour time of 5 hours, 46 minutes and 8 seconds. Total bike time was 4 hours, 58 minutes and 35 seconds. The other hour or so consisted of 5 breaks, which we took at the following mile markers: 10.202 (Rollymeade), 20.550 (Nuevelle), 27.49 (Pineneedle), 36.12 (Lancewood), and 43.70 (Iuka). I apologize for the crudity of the last 3 rest stop mile markers (only to the hundredths place instead of to the thousandths). My cycle computer (Meijer brand piece of crap) broke at about the 21 mile mark, so I had to rely on PJ's readouts, and he only went to 2 decimal places :-).
Overall, I felt pretty good. I did have to walk my bike up hills 4 times. The worst was my favorite - Indian Trail! I made it up quite a bit of the hill, but in the end, trying to conquer a hill I've never made it up at mile 47 of my ride just wasn't going to happen. PJ actually didn't have to walk it up any hills. I think this difference may at least be in part due to the fact that his bicycle wasn't put together from parts that other people threw away. Not that I'm not extremely grateful to he who put my bike together. Just that a 10-speed didn't really seem to cut it up some of these hills. You could definitely tell when I'm chugging up these hills in my lowest gear, and I just hear PJ beside me click-click-clicking as he downshifted again (and again and again).
Overall speed was 10.33 mph. Splits were 10.78, 10.45, 10.48, 9.90, 9.65, 9.47 and 16.25 mph for the various sections. The last section being only 7/10 mile and almost all downhill.
All in all a fun adventure, and we'll see how many participate in TdeM '07