2004 HP&A Wrap-Up
Eighty-two riders enjoyed uncharacteristically crisp and cool weather Saturday, August 7th in the inaugural Hurt, Pain and Agony Metric Century.
Temps hovered in the upper 50s in Traphill at the start of the ride. A blustery breeze made it feel like October, not the dog days of August. The unseasonable chill wasn't the only surprise; a paving project on Oklahoma Road was completed less than 24 hours before the start of the ride, giving riders a silky smooth descent from the mountain top to the finish line.
"It's a little tough, but you'll be glad you did it," ride director Matt Daye told the riders before they rolled out, quoting riding buddy Tim Yale. By all reports, Matt and Tim were right, as rider reaction to the new road cycling event was enthusiastic.
Rider registration fees contributed an estimated $1,900 to the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. With corporate donations included, the event raised over $4,400 toward the fight against cancer.
HP&A corporate contributors include Larry Sale (Sale Lumber Co.), Junior Johnson (Speed Pro Products, Inc.), Mark Duncan (Duncan Gun Shop), Jurileen Davis, Paceline Bicycles, Johnston Casuals, Louisiana-Pacific of Roaring River, N.C., Burchette & Burchette Hardwood Floors of Elkin, Wal-Mart of Wilkesboro, GNC of Wilkesboro, Windy Gap Vineyards, Brushy Mountain Water Company, Jimmy's Superette, Crossroads Harley Davidson, Wilkes County Choppers, Food Lion of North Wilkesboro and Traphill BP.
All riders returned from the grueling ride unscathed, although quite a few got off course briefly along the way. The lead pack arrived after about three hours and 40 minutes, having enjoyed an extra few miles after soaring past a turn off the Parkway in Virginia.
A small army of volunteers from BMCC and the Traphill community worked to stage the ride under the direction of Matt Daye.
All that support made even a bad day in the saddle enjoyable, says HP&A rider Vance. He submitted these comments on the BMCC Riders Forum:
"My thanks to Matt Daye, the BMCC, and all the volunteers who made today's Hurt, Pain, and Agony ride such a, um, pleasure. I flatted twice within the first 20 miles and Matt (and another volunteer...sorry that I didn't get your name!) not only gave me a brand new tire and tube, but installed them themselves. The flats were very demoralizing, especially because they meant that I had nobody to draft with. BUT, the support all along the way was great. The roads were clearly marked, the SAG wagons were always close by, there were plenty of rest stop snacks and drinks even for a back-of-the-pack rider, the volunteers were consistently friendly, and the views were as pretty as promised. Thanks for a well-organized ride. I hope to be back next year, with no flats next time."
2004 Hurt, Pain & Agony Photos
Ready to roll at Traphill School
Peloton climbs out of Traphill
Silky smooth Oklahoma Road
Cruisin' on the Parkway
Heather and Kay at rest stop #1
The maillot jaune
Lazaro and Carla
keep this rider refreshed
The views were fantastic on a crisp, clear August morning
One of many old country churches on the route
Sunshine felt good
on this chilly morning
Above: Registration volunteers greet a big crowd of riders
Left: The Cutest Volunteer.
Matt's daughter "chills out."
Comments on the Hurt, Pain & Agony Metric Century
Wow! Fantastic job! Great cause! Incredible day! Terrific experience! Impeccable organization of the event! I don't have enough superlatives to do the Hurt, Pain, and Agony justice. The route was indeed grueling, but the weather and the views were incredible. This was my first experience with a group fundraising ride -- I don't know how my next one could get any better! Thanks again and see you in 2005!
Thanks for a great, grueling ride. From start to finish I would give you guys an A+. There was definitely some pain and agony involved, but this wasn’t advertised as a flat ride. The only thing I would change is if you could somehow move the mountains closer to Harrisburg (near Charlotte). The sub after the ride was the second best I ever had, just behind the one I had after the RAW. Hope to make it up next year and bring some more flatlanders.
Awesome ride and views. Like everybody else I suffered through it. 21 was a bit dicey but the traffic encouraged me to pick up my pace. Great volunteers! This was by far the best marked ride I have ever been on. Having volunteers at the major intersections was great. Hope to see you next year!
Great route and organization for this inaugural ride. Thanks to all the volunteers! You included some good ascents which brought out a contingent of the area's strong climbers, including BMCC's own mountain goats. Thanks to the SAG for stopping our pack before we reached Charlottesville (our fault for not reading the cue sheet!) Excellent post-ride meal and the music setup was a nice touch. Next year, you might think about placing someone with a camera at the hairpin turn on the Oklahoma Rd descent for some amusing photos. (Bruce certainly could have made a nice mpeg clip!)
Thanks again. This was a great course. Everyone was so friendly. The setting was great. And the weather cooperated. A great job by all of you on a fantastic day and a fantastic course.
Great weather, great prayer, great volunteers, great course, great cause. What a blast! Thanks for all the effort and cordination that made HP&A a great experience. Oklahoma Road was a challenging start and awesome finish to a very enjoyable morning. The scenery was relaxing and the volunteers were very helpful and friendly. Thanks again for a fun and challenging ride. See ya next year.
Paul, Statesville N.C.
This morning I participated in the Hurt, Pain & Agony metric century. I have participated in numerous events, but I would say that this was the prettiest route I have ever been on. Everyone who helped put on this event did an excellent job and special thanks to you for your hard work in organizing this event. As long as this event continues I hope to be a part of it.
This is hands down one of the best courses I've ridden. You better get ready for a really big crowd in 2005 after the incredible job done in the first year.
I did quite a few rides this year, including RAW, Mt. Mitchell, Bridge to Bridge, Soldiers Reunion, Murray's Mill and others. The Hurt, Pain and Agony was my favorite. I liked it mostly because it was a metric century, it starts out uphill, steep climb towards the end, the route was very scenic and challenging and I especially enjoyed the downhill section at the finish. It was a bit tricky getting through a few turns at high speed, but what a RUSH! Don't change a thing about this route. It's perfect!
RIDE REPORT--Hurt, Pain, & Agony Metric Century
From the North Carolina Bicycle Club Fall 2005 newsletter
On Saturday, August 6, 2005, I rode the Second Annual "Hurt, Pain, & Agony Metric Century" out of Traphill, NC--a ride sponsored by the Brushy Mountain Cyclists Club. I guess about 100 riders started at 0800, and it was the fittest-looking bunch of cyclists I've ever seen at the start of an event. After an inspiring pre-ride introduction (and a prayer!), we set off riding in weather that can only be described as "perfect"--cool, clear, and ideal for pedaling in mountains.
The HP&A doesn't waste any time living up to its name. The first six miles are all ever-steepening Mountain, with three places with grades around 18% in the approach to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The bottom gear on my road bike is 34 X 25, but I kept looking down wondering why it wouldn't shift any lower. The last half mile was pure stand-up-and-push, and several times I felt my front wheel coming off the road. Some riders were falling over because they didn't unclip from their pedals when they could no longer turn the crank arms. A photographer standing at the crest was just inspiration enough to get me up onto the "flats" of the Parkway where the next forty miles of glorious riding took off.
By this time, the pack had spread way out, and I never did fall in with anyone going at my Piedmont-style pace (steady up the steepest climbs, but pushing along pretty well on the rolling sections). For most of the ride I saw other riders only as I pedaled past the aid stations. I only got off the bike for ten minutes at Rest Stop 3 (40 mile point) to refill my bottles. However there was little place for peleton-style riding on this route. With average speeds in the mid teens, there wasn't much help in drafting for more than a few hundred yards at a stretch. Groups kept breaking up on the long uphills.
The "Agony" on this course begins at about the 48-mile mark. It's a two-mile climb back up to the Parkway at place called "Mahogany Rock." Like the first, this mountain ended with a steep, stand-up section, and I afterward heard several riders complain of getting cramps at this point. I was feeling good, however, and had no trouble with the top of this climb. But I noticed there's a little side road near this peak, with just enough of a flat spot to let "inclined" (yes, that's a pun) cyclists ride around in circles a bit before cranking up to the top. I saw some who were getting off the bike to rest here, but I felt energized by the sudden change from 18% to 2% grade. Besides, I knew that I was cresting the course's high point (3338 feet) and had all the "hard stuff" behind me now.
Another eight miles of rolling hills seemed comparatively easy as the day began to heat up and the skies began to look stormy--though rain never did fall.
At last, the course looped back on itself, giving riders the chance to enjoy the six-mile down-hill we crawled up in the morning. The first couple of descending miles were on smooth-but-switchbacked roads, and I applied the brakes for a conservative pace; there were enough cars, bumps, and gravel to make me cautious. But the last four miles were basically a wide open straightaway, and I kept it in the big gear at 35mph or above back into Traphill.
I rolled back into the elementary school parking lot at 4:14:11 by the race clock, though my odometer said I'd actually pedaled for 4:04:56. My GPS told me the distance was 65.06 miles, or 104.7km. My average speed was 15.9 mph, which does not make me feel ashamed, considering the following course stats:
Total Altitude Gain: 9336 feet
Average Grade: 5%
Maximum Grade: 18%
Maximum Altitude 3338 feet
Minimum Altitude 1232 feet
Support for this ride was simply outstanding. There were five perfectly-spaced rest stops, sag wagons going past at regular intervals, free subs, pizza, and drinks after the ride, a decent place to change clothes and clean up, nearby parking, and a selection of colors in the t-shirt. I even saw folks out sweeping gravel from several turns. The race directors came around and talked to us during the meal, and took notes about our suggestions. And the feeling I got was that the main point of the ride really was to benefit cancer research and ride in honor of cancer victims and survivors. To the organizers, I offer my thanks and congratulations on a fine event.
My one suggestion was for a 100-mile option for the truly insane. They said they've got that option already mapped out, but have (so far) decided to keep the ride a metric/half metric as it seems to fill a nice niche. Their reasons made sense to me.
My only disappointment was that the photographer failed to capture me cresting the first climb, so I don't have a photo of that moment of fun. (Perhaps I was going so fast that the shutter speed as set too slow. I offer that as the most probably cause...)
For me, this was a truly memorable cycling day, and it inspired me to work harder to prepare for it in the years ahead. It sure would be nice to carry about ten pounds LESS for this ride--and I don't expect to be able to trim that much weight off of my bike. ;-)
Yes, there was Hurt, Pain, and Agony in this ride--but a lot of fun and a great sense of accomplishment, too. If possible, I'll be back year after year.
David Reitmeyer, #41
Dear Mr. Daye:
I am so proud of your efforts to help people living with cancer. You are an example of compassion and generosity for your community. The staff members of the Lance Armstrong Foundation are very proud of you.
Associate Director of Public Relations
The Lance Armstrong Foundation
"It's a little tough, but you'll be glad you did it."