Friday, July 27

Century Ride Recap

100 miles. Actually, it was more like 101.5 (or somewhere close to that) miles, but really who's counting? Hint* Definitely not me...

But before I dive into the after the ride recap lets talk about all the stuff that came before.

Friday, which also happened to be my 24th birthday, we packed up and headed out after some last minute tweaks to my bike. I had ordered a new set of tires for my bike that arrived just as we were getting ready to pull out of the driveway. Erik insisted that we unpack my bike and put the new tires on. Since I've recently learned how to change a flat tire Erik thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get my to practice my skills. Fast forward 10 minutes and I've completely shredded a perfectly good tube trying to get it off the rim. Luckily we had a spare tube packed up so I was able to get my bike completely put together with my sweet new wheels. We finally made our way out of town and started our ~2 hour drive to the start of the ride. Luckily the ride starts at a college so we were able to pay a little extra and spend the night in a dorm rather than a hotel.

For my birthday Erik had gone with a bike theme- new bike computer, Garmin GPS, cycling books and cycling sunglasses. In the car I cracked open the cycling book and for kicks started to list off the "must haves" on a ride. While reading through this list I realized I had left my gloves at home and spending a bunch of sweaty hours on a bike without gloves was not a option. Since we were about 40 minutes from my house we ended up making a detour to a bike shop in a nearby town. 25 bucks later I was the proud owner of a new pair of mens bicycle gloves. For some amazing reason mens gloves were significantly cheaper than the womens...

Anyways, we finally arrived and checked in and made our way to dinner in a nearby town. We spent Friday night watching the Tour De France in a common area lounge in the dorm building. (Fact: If you want to make friends at a cycling event turn on the's amazing how many people came to hangout.)

Saturday morning we were up well before the alarm and by 6:30 we were outside scrounging out breakfast. The ride was slated to start at 8 but cyclists completing the century could start at 7 if they were planning to be out longer than 8 hours. We opted to start at 8 seeing that Eriks optimistic calculations had us with a total ride time of 6.5 hours. In the many talks we had leading up to this I was nervous that I would blow up on the hills because I play this really fun game where I convince myself I can't make it when I clearly can, so I had figured we would be riding for at least 7 hours, if not more.

Before the ride. It's amazing how ridiculous and unflattering helmets look.
By 8am we had found my two coworkers that were also riding and found spots near the front of the line. At 8:15 we were off. Our plan was to stop every hour for a brief stop (5 minutes or less) so that we could fuel (I am not a happy cyclist when I am hungry) and I could stretch if needed. It's amazing how fast the ride went by, the first 30 miles flew by and before I knew it I was staring at this massive hill around mile 33. Most of the hills I've done have been the ones were you start climbing, turn a corner, climb some more..ect but this one was different. You could see the entire climb in front of you and it looks horrible. I ended up dropping to my grandma gears and maybe yelled a few "UHHH I AM OUT OF GEARS!" panic cries a few times in the super steep sections but I actually rode up the entire thing without blowing up. It took a bit to actually recover from the big hill but we continued on and quickly made our way to the lunch stop. The lunch stop was at a winery and supposedly was very nice. We had our lunch of gu and shot blocks on the road outside the winery. Having over 30 miles to go from the lunch stop the thought of eating real food made my stomach turn and luckily Erik agreed.

As we entered miles 70-90ish we headed into the outskirts of town were we entered farmland. Endless farm land. No traffic, no shade, just you, the sun and farms. This amazing scenery paired with hot pavement and no people made for a pretty tough stretch. Erik rode most of the ride in front of me. I always joke in my mind that its like the same scenario as holding a carrot in front of a horse to get it to speed up (maybe that's just cartoons or TV?).

Around mile 88ish I hit a wall. I didn't want to be on my bike and I definitely did not want to pedal anymore. I managed to get Erik to stop so that I could stretch when in actuality all I did was collapse in the shade under a tree in front of a complete strangers house. Erik, however, did not cave into my demands of taking a quick nap so I ultimately got back on my bike and continued riding.

Luckily as we rode into town we were treated to a long descent where I finally gained enough excitement to finish out the ride strong.

We finally pulled into campus where we realized that we had in fact finished dead on with Erik's previous predictions.

Below is the course profile from the ride...see Strava was nice enough to shade the really big climbs.
Do you have Strava? We should probably be friends!
In the end we climbed 3,753 feet, rode 101.5 miles in 6.5 hours and we spent a total of 7 hours and 15 minutes on the course. The funny thing was that when we finally were done, I was kind of ready to continue riding. 

Post ride
We made our way back to our dorm and we able to grab post ride showers which was probably the best shower of my life. The only thing impeding on the best shower award was finding out what spots I missed during the whole Body Glide application that morning. After showers we wandered over to dinner that was included in the cost of the ride but I quickly learned that my appetite for actual food was gone. I didn't feel sick, but the thought of eating made me nauseous. So after filling up my plate I grazed on some fruit salad and passed the remainders over to Erik who luckily was more than hungry enough to clean my plate.

And then that was it, we drove back to my house and we were asleep by 9 that night. I know what you are thinking...we are such party animals.

So with that century training is over. I spent Monday and Tuesday on a mini vacation from work with Erik. We even managed to go mountain biking, something I had stayed away from for fear of an injury before the century. Turns out mountain biking is hard work and you fall alot. My legs are currently sporting a large number of new and disgusting bruises to prove it. I even upgraded my bike a bit more to clip in pedals. Yes I actually, I rode a century and all the training miles with platform pedals. Is this where I also confess that I do not own bike shorts? Because, yeah, I do not. I ride all my long rides in a pair of compression shorts and my short rides in soccer/running shorts.

With those last confessions I'll call it a post.

Have a great weekend!

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