The open road and 2,600 women riding the Little Red Riding Hood Tour to raise money to find a cure for Breast Cancer. Yesterday, was a day with a purpose. A day where our strength, our will, our determination was tested. As always before a big ride, excitement, nervousness, and giggling abounded. We set off on our epic ride, despite the cold, the gray clouds up above and the sure chance of rain, we took off on our ride through the back roads of cache valley.
The first 30 miles were uneventful. We all just rode at a nice, comfortable pace. Some of us paired and chatted along the way, over the rolling hills. We stopped to shed our outer layers during this time and got a drink and kept going. Small rolling hills all along the way, giving us a small test and then a quick downhill to rest.
The next 30 miles had the monstrous steep hill, the very same one from last year. When we saw it, Laurie, my riding buddy, and I just wanted to cry. We both remembered the previous year and how hard it was then, we knew what was coming, the pain through our legs, through our lower backs. As we climbed, we both focused all our attention on this hill, we kept quiet, just barely whispering to ourselves "we can do it", "push-pull, push-pull". As we climbed at barely 6mph, we felt that we could probably run faster up the hill with our bikes on our backs, but we stuck to it. We climbed and we conquered. It was a bit easier than last year, but it was still a struggle. We both look forward to when this hill can be as easy as eating chocolate cheesecake.
At mile 60, we got lunch and we saw our families. Both of them infusing us with energy. After the quick bite to eat, we geared up again and prepared for the next 40 miles. We didn't know what was ahead of us, but we knew that as long as we were together, we could conquer it. The very next 20 miles tested our power. Winds came and pushed us back. We were working as hard as we could but we couldn't go much faster than 12mph. Our legs and good spirits were being tested, even as we switched our pace line as much as possible, the wind was no match for us. It beat us and we just fought and fought. As we climbed the hills of Newton and the wind came to push us back, we realized that we had just enough to get us to the very next Aid Stop. As we crawled, to the rest stop in Newton, all of us seemed relieved to have a break from the blustery wind.
The last 23 miles, were a bit easier than the previous 20, we had almost no wind and the sun had decided to bless us with its warmth. Also, at this point our lovely Louise, joined us, and pull us to the finish line. She infused the team with energy and with her fresh legs, as soon as we saw her waiting for us, we all smiled and you could feel a surge that just went through all of us. We had been through 80 miles together, 20 of which had been through horrid weather, we were tired, our happy spirits had been trampled over by the winds, but then Louise came and she revived us.
We arrived to the finished line bursting with energy. Husbands and children were there waiting for us. Applause and congratulations surrounded us. We had done it. 103 miles. Friends helping friends achieve a goal. It is friendships as this one that bonds women together not as friends but as sisters. I love you guys...I love you all for helping me achieve this goal. For being there to pull me, to smile, to cheer me on, when I need it the most. 103 miles of success!