Base training has come and gone, but we’re still feeling the effects of all those miles in our legs. In a good way. This year, Jameson became quasi-obsessed with century rides, completing 4 of them in the space of 5 weeks. I’m sure that anyone reading this who trains at a Pro/1/2 level is like, “Yeah, so?” Let’s just pause a minute and appreciate the slight insanity it takes to accomplish this.
Now, it’s a little embarrassing for me to admit this, but in the six years I’ve been riding, I had never done a century. Here’s Mr. Show-off, doing four of them, and I’m all like, “I’ll just stick to my 70 and 80 mile rides, thanks.” I finally succumbed to peer pressure and decided this was the year I would do my first 100 mile ride.
I recruited BChan to partake in my crazy idea, and one windy day in February we set off for PA, following a route that Jameson had laid out several weeks previously. Incidentally, he did his own century that day, and beat us home by about 3 hours. Don’t judge.
I’m not going to lie, it was a hard ride. And we went very slowly. Eight hours is a long time to be out in the cold February wind! Highlights of the route included a pea-gravel descent, followed by a gravel climb (it had been raining, it was wet, and I was having flashbacks to cyclocross), and a stop at a gas station in PA. I love it when people ask you, “Where are you riding from today?” The look on their face when you say “Baltimore” is priceless. After purchasing as much sugar as we could stomach (mmmm Poptarts and Turkey Hill iced tea) we turned around into our tailwind and promptly got lost. Later, we’d be glad, because those two miles ended up being important to reach our grand total of 100.
We headed back across the Mason-Dixon line, pausing for pictures, at which point I neglected to re-start my Garmin. Three miles later, I was wondering why the route we were following wasn’t showing us any closer to home… yeah…
The last three hours were not the most enjoyable I’ve ever spent on a bike, but I was in good company (BChan rocks), and after I had defrosted in the shower at home, I was really glad I’d undertaken this milestone in my life as a cyclist. Have any of you readers been addicted to centuries? I’m certainly looking forward to doing one again 🙂