The most amazing 100 miles ever! Hubby stayed by me the entire time and he pulled me along. During the hills I fell behind and he waited for me at the top and then we continued on together. The first 50 miles went by superfast, at mile 75, I thought to myself that if I had gone for the 75 mile route I would have been done right then and the ride would have been "easy" but going for the full 100 made it a challenge, a good type of challenge.
At mile 68 we had lunch and we met a few friends: Momber, Cannonball and his friend Mike. As we were eating we reflected on the fact that we only had 32 miles left--a piece of cake, we had biked 32 before and we knew we could do it. As we climbed on our bikes after lunch, the five of us took off and I lagged behind a bit and Mike made a comment on overcrowding me and I told him that it wasn't him, it was my shitty skills with the bike. As I explained to him how I just learned to ride a bike last year, he was impressed that I was already road biking. It hit me then that really, I was still like a 5 year old in my cycling skills and I was out there giving it all I had. It kind of made me smile and "dig in" for a little more.
As we approached mile 85, the heat was unbearable to me, due to my lack of skills on the bike, I cannot reach down and grab my water bottle so I had to make hubby stop for a quick drink every 5 miles after mile 85. The stopping not only help me hydrate but we realized that the little break gave me a burst of energy that made us go a little faster. From now on, whenever I do a century again, I am going to schedule stops after reaching mile 80 (every 5 miles or so).
The last ten miles were superb! We were already entering town and I knew we were close but what got me excited was that I looked at my average and I was at 16 mph!!!! I have been able to keep 16mph over short distances of 26 miles but not over a full 100!!! I was excited. I wanted to keep my average that high to the end. I pedaled for all I was worth, the last stretch I was cranking out 19-21mph...then the last train tracks came and with it fear struck me, fear got worse when I saw that there was already a fallen comrade on the side of the tracks surrounded by other cyclists and paramedics. I quickly glanced at the tracks and saw the extreme angle and froze for a millisecond, I glanced at my front tire and the train tracks, the word PERPENDICULAR came into my head and quickly shifted my front wheel. I held on as tight as I could to the handlebars and closed my eyes. I felt the rattle and I was over. I didn't fall. I felt terrible that it wasn't me on the side of the tracks but having been there a few weeks ago, the fear was still too fresh in my mind. After the tracks there was only a mile or two left, full of stop signs. Hubby had gone ahead of me by then, he knew I could do it from there by myself, but I wasn't alone, next to me was a couple wearing Fatty jerseys...I felt inspired being next to them and I felt in good company. I pedaled to the end and reaching the finish line had never felt so good. There were people cheering there for me, for everyone else coming through...people thanking us for riding for the cause.
100 miles. Sam and I together during the entire haul...him there to support me and to pull me along. My best time ever and my best mph ever. I cut about 1-1/2 from my previous Century, and I increased to 16mph.
This ride was the best event I have ever participated on. The support was fantastic. Some of the roads were closed completely to traffic and there were cops at major intersections to help us out. The volunteers at the rest stops were kind, corteous, and helpful---some of them even coming to the bikes to fill up your water bottles with ice and water! But that wasn't it--it was the fact that many of them stopped and said thank you to us for riding. I felt appreciation. At the last rest stop, I told them a huge thank you because without them there to help us out we wouldn't ride--it would be impossible to go 100 miles without some sort of support.
I can't wait for next year's ride!!!
Pictures: coming soon...zazoosh is still developing them. Thanks for sticking by to read the report.