Santa Barbara Century
United States California Santa Barbara
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Second annual Santa Barbara Century. 101.5 extremely scenic miles, and around 9000' of climbing. A beautiful area and the weather was excellent for riding, except that it was a little warm going up Gibraltar, and riding the ridge line. Rode with Chuck, Andy and Peter. I rode easy until we reached the timed climb up Gibraltar. The promoters had moved the preceding rest stop to a point much earlier in the course, and there was no water provided at the start of the climb. I let the others get started while I took a few minutes to get ready for an all out assault. I went as hard as I could, and was actually surprised that it was as long as it was. I did not remember it being quite so far. I caught Andy and Chuck at the rest stop half way up, and chided them for stopping. Evidently Andy had just arrived; Chuck said aferwards that he thought that was the end of the timed climb. Anyway, I did not stop, and I caught Peter, who said afterwards he had just stopped momentarily to fill a water bottle, which would have been good for me as well. When I neared the end, I pushed a little more, all I could, and then pulled past the end of the timing shoot, and then leaned over my handle bars and just stood astride my bike for a good 5 minutes. I then walked my bike to a place where I could lean it against something, and walked unsteadily to the shade of an Easy-Up; a guy gave up his chair for me and I sat down for probably at least another 15 minutes. Andy got me some more water for my water bottle. They went on as I was getting out of the chair and trying to find some land legs under me. As I began to ride after them, I began to get fairly severe stomach cramps for the first time, and they plagued me for the next 50 miles. I did not catch the guys until I made it back to the rest stop at the top of Gibraltar. I was riding slow due to the cramps, and let them go on after we reached the next rest stop, which was a couple of miles after finishing the descent of Painted Cave Rd. I skipped the stop at Sandpiper, and actually started to feel better and was riding stronger somewhere along the last 10 miles of the course. Chuck's opinion, and I will adopt it, was that my stomach reacted to the high concentration of Cyto-Max that I had been drinking; I think it was that together with a little dehydration and the stress of overdoing it on the timed climb.
I also used this activity as a first test of using the Spot Connect satellite communicator. It worked acceptably well, sending track points every ten minutes, and only missed a few over many hours. The one problem was that I inadvertently sent the text of a help message that was immediately above the OK message I had meant to send, and I worried a few family members back home. I will suggest to Spot that they separate the predefined messages for OK and Help transmissions.