There was this theory that I might attempt all three CRW centuries this year, and today was the third of three. It was in fact quite scenic and quite rural, to the extent that the pre-ride spiel included a mention that there was nothing at all between a store at mile 34 and the rest stop at mile 52. I'm not convinced it's actually easier than Climb to the Clouds, in that CttC had the one GIANT CLIMB, a couple of moderate climbs, and the rest rolling hills, whereas the CRW Fall Century had several hard climbs — no single climb was as big as Mille Hill Road, but there were at least a couple of places where I was running a full mile or more in my bottom gear.
I was again a little worried about prep for this ride but it came out okay. Significantly, I did not fall over around mile 60, and while I was definitely slowing down around mile 90 I'm willing to accept that. The whole thing, climbs and all, came in at 102.88 miles, in about 7 hours 45 minutes. (Route map; incomprehensible graphs)
Highlights of the ride included:
- The pink and rainbow wigs worn by the support staff at the first rest stop
- The absolutely gorgeous view to the east on Greenville Road in Mason, NH.
- Five miles in the valley along the Souhegan River.
- The first trees starting to change.
- The two-mile climb leaving the first rest stop.
- For that matter, the first water stop being more than half way through the ride.
- Imprecision on the cue sheet (it had the ride 2 miles longer), and a couple of arrowing mishaps early on. (Both were mostly very good and if you paid good attention to both you wouldn't get lost.)
- Temperatures in the 40s at the ride start. (Carrying capacity and layers!)