Good morning! The century ride went SO great yesterday, I couldn't have asked for a better experience. I found a new friend to ride the century with because my other biking buddy, Rebecca is sick. Thank goodness that I found Kirsten wanted to do the ride, I don't think I could have ridden this without her or her friend Phil. Thanks guys!
Here is a short recap of the ride, longer recap below. Beautiful, sunny day for a 100 mile ride. Had a rest stop ever 20 miles or so. Varied terrain with lots of fun, gradual hills and 2 HUGE hills, but legs felt good powering up them. Butt hurt from sitting on the saddle - need more comfortable seat and some chamois butter... Finished the 104 mile course in 7:26 (averaged 14.2 mph) of actual riding, 9 hours total including rest stops. Not sore today besides knees aching (I think it's my ACL...), been icing them, need to adjust seat. Had a lot of fun, but realized I don't think I can do STP (205 miles) in one day.
Phil, Kirsten, and me ready to go!
Detailed recap: Kirsten and I left Bellingham at 6:30 and headed south to the starting point. With rides like these, there is no firing of the gun to start because it isn't a race, just a ride. So people started on the course from 7am to 8am. We got all our gear situation, bibs on and started peddling at 7:36. It was a chilly, yet clear morning and we rode through the flats of Skagit county for the first 10-12 miles. No wind, just sunny. : )
Then we started the climb up Chuckanut, which runs along the water from Skagit County to Whatcom County. I thought this was going to be hard, but the hills were very manageable and I really enjoyed our time on that road. Our first rest stop was at mile 19ish, with a great view and tasty treats. I had some grapes, a quarter of a bagel and cream cheese and a handful of chips.
Rest stop - beautiful view of the San Juan Islands
Thanks to all the great volunteers - we had tasty snacks the whole way!
Doesn't get much better than this!
The next part of the ride was on roads I'd ridden before, so I knew when the hills were coming...We tackled them and continued on. By the way, I am SO glad I took those two rest days earlier this week, my legs were so ready for all the hills I usually dread. Since I only have two front gears I really need momentum on hills, so I was speeding past everyone on the hills - so fun!
Kirsten at 2nd rest stop.
My champion bike! I heart you!
Made it to the second rest stop at about 37 miles, refueled and went on our way. This is where the 62 milers broke off from the 100 milers. I was now in brand new territory and it was fun and exciting riding new roads. I did start to get pretty uncomfortable in the saddle at this point. A little chaffing combined with a horrible seat caused a lot of discomfort. I was SO relieved when we reached the 4th rest stop at 48 miles. Gotta rest that butt!
Pretty much half way done at this point, we still had a loop to go before we started to head back to the start that included one HUGE hill. Oh. My. Goodness. I have never ridden a hill like this. It went up, then up some more, the turned and went up, and oh, did I mention, it kept on going up? And it was steep! I am usually in my easiest gear on hills and never need something easier, but this was the first time where I wished I had one more smaller gear in the front. I was only managing to go 5.5 mph, maybe... I kept saying, "keep those legs moving, keep those legs moving!" I finally reached the top and yelled out "that hill was dumb!" to my friends who had to stop mid way.
The ride only solicits 2 big hills on the ride - that hill and one to come on Bow Hill Rd, yet the whole course is so varied with terrain that there were a ton of shorter hills, gradual hills, etc. which I was very thankful for. As my legs got tired it actually felt better to be on an incline because I would get into a grind that forced me to peddal correctly.
We made it to the last "hill" where the devil is known to be spotted - Bow Hill Rd. I've learned to stay away from any road with the name "hill" in it... The hill was steep and pretty long and yes, the devil was there. A woman dressed in a devil costume! HA! As I rode by she called me the queen of the mountain because I was able to stay ahead of the pack that was on the hill, yes! It was funny that she dressed up for this, it isn't the first time she's done this either, its a yearly thing! : )
The last rest stop was 10 miles away from the finish and we were back in the flats. I was tired and my knees were SORE! Right on the outside/underneath of my kneecaps hurt. I really wanted some ibuprofen, but it was no where to be found... The last 10 miles took forever. The course took us along some nice roads that were along the water and there was even a slight tailwind that helped. FINALLY, we turned a corner and my catyeye flipped to 100.0 miles! I raised my hands, and yelled, "100 miles! Yay!" Yet the school where we started was not in sight. We rode an extra 4 miles to the school which were the longest 4 miles I have EVER ridden. I was getting pretty bitter because I wanted to get off my bike so bad.
We made it back after 7:26 of riding and 9 hours of being on the course! It didn't feel like that long at all - I'm at work for 9 hours a day and the bike ride felt a lot shorter than a day at work! Anyway, it felt SO wonderful to put on my chaco sandals, just amazing. We wolfed down some spaghetti and bread they were serving - which tasted incredible, by the way - and made our way back home.
I only signed up for 100 miles, not 104.17... : )
Way too long to be on a bike.
What a great experience! This really made me question though, my ability to ride Seattle to Portland in one day. That is DOUBLE what I rode today. I think I could do 150 miles the first day and 55 the second day, but the whole thing in one day sounds crazy. My body hurt after 100 miles, I think I would just be miserable after 205 miles.
My body is not sore today except my knees. It hurts to stand up and sit down. I've iced them twice last night and will do more icing today. I'm glad no muscles are sore - a sign that I'm getting into shape!
Ready to continue training, this ride only made me more pumped to keep on riding!
PS. I would have taken more photos, but my camera was a little unaccessible in its case in my jersey. How do you carry a camera on a bike? I think I should ditch the case...