Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cycling Season is On!

At last, we are getting some fairly consistent warm/dry-ish weather. Just in time, because today was the first 5-Star century ride for me.

Today was a day of obstacles:
  • It started when I got a little lost driving to the ride -- 14-mile detour!

  • Flooding re-routed 30 miles of the ride, causing a lot of overlap on the route.
  • Trains kept getting in the way of crossings at inconvenient times -- spent at least 30 minutes waiting on trains!

  • I got a flat tire. SAG was nice enough to change it for me. :)

  • A driver in a giant pickup truck buzzed me at about 60 mph.

  • The wind was a factor as it picked up throughout the morning.

  • One of the water stops wasn't ready in time for many riders to use it.

  • I wiped out on the road around 45 miles or so. Fortunately there were no cars around when I did it. I have a beautiful strawberry with a big bruise and bump underneath it on top of my elbow. Also have a bruised left hand and a road rash on the front of my left calf. The crash took out my cycling computer. I think it can be fixed -- just don't know how yet.
In addition to the physical obstacles, there was the psychological obstacle that goes along with riding a century -- setting out to ride a bike 100 miles in one day is daunting! Even though I have done three century rides before, I felt a little unsure going in to this one because I haven't had much time on the bike this year due to the poor weather. First ten miles of the ride was spent debating with myself over whether or not to do the entire ride. Before I knew it, I had 25 miles under my belt, and had decided that I should be able to finish the 100 miles after all. Then the flat and the accident happened and those two things -- on top of the other stuff -- were enough for me to call it quits after 65 miles. At least I got in a metric century. ;)

On the bright side, the injuries from the crash are not serious. And, since I had made up my mind to finish the ride at 65 miles, I was able to push myself in the last 10 or so miles and see how fast I could go. Unfortunately, since the computer was on the blink, I don't know how fast I got to, but with the tailwind I had at that point, I am pretty sure I was in the 23 - 25 mph range. That was fun. It was really fun when I passed the much fitter person on a time trial bike -- sweet! :)

There's another century coming up in a couple of weekends. I'll give it another try then. :)

1 comment:

Dominic said...

Hi Beth, been on the road for 18 days from Washington DC, will be entering Missouri tonight. Will let you know when I reach SL, my email is - probably easier using that as blogger can be so slow sometimes. It would be good to meet up.

All the best,