I DID IT! I ACTUALLY DID IT!
I completed my first ever century bike ride! Saturday I rode a total of 103 miles in 6 hours 26 minutes, with an average speed of 16 miles/hour.
Sometimes when I think about how far 100 miles actually is, I am still amazed that I did it and I am pretty proud of myself. Especially considering the fact that in the end I basically did it all by myself!
I started out the ride at 7:30 am with the group of girls that talked me into doing the century ride with them. We were rolling right along, and I was having a great time even though the weather was a bit cloudy and we were in our warmer gear. Here I am with one of the ladies in my group.
I was amazed by the number of cyclists who were participating in the ride. There were around 2600 ladies out on the road that day!
So I was rolling along with my group, when I noticed around mile 10 that my rear tire didn't feel quite right. I asked one of my riding buddies, and she said it looked fine to her. I told her that I was pretty sure I was going flat and that I needed to stop and check it.
At the next intersection I stopped and my rear tire was completely flat. Unfortunately, none of my group stopped with me! I was a bit annoyed, but determined to continue with my ride.
I got my tire replaced with the help of one of the support cars, and Honey Daddy showed up just as we were getting it back on. I gave him my flat tube and a kiss and headed out on my own. He met me at the next rest stop with the boys to cheer me on.
After the first rest stop my honey was going to go back to my sister's house for a while and take pictures of my sisters on their shorter ride. But then at mile 26 I got another flat on my rear tire! At this point I was really annoyed.
I didn't see a support car in sight, and I had already used my spare tube so I called my Honey. He turned around even though he had two tired boys in the car with him. A nice rider stopped and gave me a spare tube and I started to replace my rear tire again.
Two other cyclists stopped to help me with my tire as well as a highway patrolman. Then Honey Daddy showed up and helped me get the tire back on. At this point I had probably lost almost an hour with flat tires... so I knew there was no way I would ever catch up with my group. But I kept on.
Honey Daddy returned to my sister's house for a while, but then spent most of the afternoon following me around. So even though my riding group left me, I was never really alone. Honey Daddy and the boys were there at many of the rest stops to cheer me on.
They are definitely part of what kept me going through two flat tires, miles of farmland, some huge hills, and a 20 minute downpour. Honey Daddy even spent my lunch stop with me while the boys napped in the car. They were all awesome and I was glad to have them there.
Honey Daddy took some pretty great pictures of me too! Here are a couple of my favorites:
Then just after mile 80 I was coming down the road to find my mom, my sisters and my husband all there cheering me on. It was awesome and made me feel so good!
With such a great crew, it is no wonder that I was able to finish. I didn't roll into the finish until just before 5 pm, but I did it! My family was there to cheer me on at the finish line and it was great.
Surprisingly my muscles are doing really well following my epic ride. I actually haven't been that sore! The worst part has been the wicked sunburn that I got on my knees and upper calves because the sun finally did come out towards the end of the ride and I forgot about sunscreen.
Next year I will be sure to remember the sunscreen! That's right... I think I will be doing this ride again next year. Maybe I can beat my time and average speed... and hopefully get less flat tires!