I traveled to Pittsburg, KS to do the Gorilla Century bike ride. This is an annual event held in conjunction with Pittsburg’s “Little Balkans Day’s” festival. I did this ride last year as my first Century ride. The route is 100 miles and goes through small towns in Crawford and Cherokee counties. As always, the route takes you out to “Big Brutus” a local tourist attraction. It is a fairly flat course. This year’s route was redesigned and included more hills than last year. The ride organizers also added one additional SAG stop this year for a total of seven. The day could not have been more perfect for the ride………a high of 81 degrees, sunny and virtually no wind to speak of. I started about 20 minutes before the official start time and then ended up having to wait on a train that was sitting on a siding, blocking the road. I saw a rider I recognized from last year and we rode together for a while, chatting about “bike stuff”. I also ran into a guy from Salina that has been at the last three rides I’ve gone to. He was at the Prairie Pedal ride, and also the Cruise the Blues ride. Since I have had problems lately with leg cramps I took along some pickles in my bike bag. I also used some Hammer Nutrition Endurolyte capsules (electrolyte replacement). I felt like I was doping as I would dig out my ziplock bag full of pills at the SAG stops. I don’t know if it was the pickles or the Endurolytes, or a combination of the two, but I had no cramping. I spent just under 8 hours in the saddle to complete the course. Last year it took me 7 1/2 hours and I finished in the very back of the pack. I think the extra time this year was due to the increased amount of hills. I think it affected others as well, because I finished ahead of more people this year.
Gorilla Century – Sept. 4, 2010