I did it! I rode my first century! Does that give me membership to the Century Club? It was AWESOME, but I'll get to that later. First, I have to tell you about all the fun I had this weekend. ***Warning, this may be a long post***
Saturday, after we went to church (by the way, the sermon rocked as people around the world wondered whether the world would end), we had Nick and Taryn, Tiago and Carolyn over for lunch. It was Jennifer's birthday, so we had to celebrate. As soon as she woke up, I gave her the present that I was super excited about. It was this beautiful blue Patagonia dress that only got prettier when she put it on. You be the judge...
|Maglee's trying to figure out where her dress is...|
When we got home, we were starving and dominated some homemade Fettucini (my mother-in-law's recipe), garlic bread, a yummy salad and some lemonade. It was good eatin'! Jenn wanted a "funfetti" cake, so I made her one that was pretty good. We chilled all afternoon because it was pretty nasty outside, and I was cool with that because I knew what was coming the next day. Josh's birthday was Sunday, and he wanted to ride 100 miles on his b-day, so that's what the plan was. We committed to a 50 mile out and back which would force us to go at least a hundred miles. Several months ago, he plotted a route that would head up the coast of Lake Michigan, through St. Joseph, pass South Haven, and then back. Actually, part of our route was a section of the bike course for Steelhead HIM that I'll be doing in a couple months. Here's a look at the course from way out to see the big distance that it actually is...
|We started at the green arrow and then turned around somewhere around the 50|
The weather was really nice, although I did sweat quite a bit. We had bananas, pretzels, Powerade, cookies and other food with us to keep us going as well as a whole lot of water. We stopped in South Haven to "drain the radiator" and get more fuel. Everything was going just great. We were both feeling good at the turn around at 53 miles, and our average, although we weren't really focused on that, was just under 18mph. As soon as we turned around, we were straight into a headwind, and that was ok since we both were feeling so good. On the way back, there was a beautiful neighborhood that went out to the lake, so we took a detour to get a better view. We snapped this pic, the only one of our trip, overlooking Lake Michigan.
We stopped again to get more water and Powerade, and kept pushing on home. At mile 67, the ride turned sour, because I had a flat tire. That sucks, but it has happened to me more than once, and plus, I had everything I needed to change it. We pulled off into the shade and the swarming mosquitos, and I got out my tube. After making sure that the tube was fully inside the tire to avoid a pinch flat, I pulled out my CO2 cartridge only to discover that I had purchased the wrong kind the last time I bought them. It did not have threads, and my "applicator" did. Well, thanks to my buddy, Josh handed me his CO2 that would work. I threaded it on and hooked it up to the stem but found out that my "applicator" would not work like it did last fall when I had a flat. The CO2 cartridge was already opened, but I couldn't get any air out. We didn't have any air! We tried to use the non-threaded CO2, and got a little bit of the air in, but not enough to ride on. There weren't too many options, so Josh got back on his bike and headed back 5 miles to South Haven to a bike shop that we had noticed as we came through. I swatted mosquitos for a couple minutes till a man named Fred Brown (at least that's what he said his name was) came by on his motor/bicycle. It looked very similar to this one only with bigger everything and two small gas cans strapped on to the sides. He pedals with the motor and likes to ride 300-400miles. He gets 75mpg, so that's not too bad.
I was glad to see that he stopped, and better yet, he had a pump! We quickly pumped up my tire and were ready to go. He asked which way I was headed, and I told him I was going towards South Haven to meet up with Josh. He said that I could draft off him if I wanted. That was music to my ears, so off we went at about 30mph. Three miles down the road, I looked down and realized that I was flat again! I pulled off to the side just as Josh pulled up. He had bought a new tube and CO2. We put a new tube in and pumped it up. After saying goodbye to Fred, Josh and I continued our journey. The wind was pretty brutal, but we were still cranking out the miles at a fairly decent pace. We didn't do too much drafting because we knew that we would push the pace if we took turns pulling, and we didn't want to wear out. So, we just kept riding side by side. At mile 87, Josh heard a noise and said, "Bro, I think you've got another flat!" Sure enough, the rear was down again. I don't know what the deal was. I am always super careful not to ride through crap out on the road. We checked the tube super carefully to make sure it wasn't pinched...both times. I was so frustrated! AGAIN, we pulled off into the shade to figure this out. We had checked the inside of the tire both times before to make sure there wasn't anything sharp poking through. We had checked the inside of the rim both times to make sure nothing was in there. We were really frustrated. Just then, some "pro" guy pulled up in his Jeep with his dog. He had his kit in the back and took over the situation. He checked the tire, the rim, and then poured baby powder inside the tire. He said that would allow the tube to adjust itself. We used the last CO2 that we had and kept riding. The last 20 miles sucked for me. I don't know why it got so bad, because I felt like I kept eating and hydrating all day! I don't remember a time where I stopped intaking, so maybe I just wused out because I was having a hard time keeping 14 or 15mph. Josh was a stud and pretty much pulled me on home. I was super tired, and took a cold shower/bath. It was an incredible experience to do my first every century ride. We ended up averaging 16.6 which I thought was fine for a chill ride for distance.
The day didn't quite end, because Brittany, Josh's wife, and I had planned a special birthday celebration for our spouses. We met a bunch of friends at Cracker Barrel for supper and then went on a scavenger hunt that ended with some yummy Kilwin's ice cream. It was a blast! What a great wife and friend I have!
The training is going pretty well, and I'm stoked about Steelhead as well as this Olympic distance coming up next month. Thanks for reading.