So… I had it in my mind that I needed to ride a century, the reasons for this are many and diverse.
- I wimped out of the one on GOBA.
- I haven’t done one since 2008.
- The weather was perfect today.
- I wanted to know if I could do it.
- I wanted to know how fast I could do it.
- I wanted to know if I felt like I could ride another 60 miles afterwards.
- I’ve never rode a century alone.
So I took off this morning to answer those questions. The route I had planned was going to be mostly flat, a few rolly hills in the middle but no real climbing. I hoped to take advantage of the wind which was supposed to be coming from the North East so I rode towards the North East.
I have an annoying saddle sore left over from GOBA and it hasn’t went away yet, that almost made me abort the ride about ten miles out-of-town, but I decided to tough it out awhile longer. Coal trucks were my constant companions on route 13, but the wide shoulder gave us both plenty of room. I did learn a valuable lesson about riding with no hands; I was taking a few ibuprofen and digging them out of my pockets when a truck came by, the wind nearly pushed me off the road. I straightened up but lost my precious pills in the process. I was using Hammer Perpeteum, Cliff Bars, and Gatorade to fuel my ride, and when I got to my first planned stop at Shawneetown about 24 miles into the ride I had no reason to stop. I got off the bike and took a fast picture then started North on the New Haven Road.
This spring 3 cyclists were ran over on this road when a driver apparently spaced out. This was on the back of my mind the whole time I was on this road, and it seemed like it may have been on drivers minds as well, the few vehicles I did see gave me a very wide berth.
When my path crossed route 141 I got into some nice rolly hills and passed through the town of Herald. I came into Carmi and bought some more Gatorade and replaced the ibuprofen that I spilled earlier. Next up was a trip down route 14 to Mcleansboro which was a perfectly straight line with a few rolling hills. The wind was finally on my side now and my speed went from around 15 to around 18.
At Mcleansboro I stopped to take a picture of the Gholson funeral home and then took route 142 towards Eldorado. The wind was still with me some but I was going South East so it wasn’t helping much. At Broughton I stopped again and snapped a couple of pictures; from there on I was heading due South and got pushed by a big wind and found my speed going up to 22.
When I last rode a century I found everything after the 75 mile mark to be painful. Today I was finding the opposite, it seemed like it was getting easier. I know the wind was part of it, maybe my pain receptors shut down from over use but my saddle sores didn’t seem to hurt anymore and my legs were just a bit heavy feeling but not bad.
From Eldorado home I continued a good pace and felt really well, I even sprinted with traffic up Poplar street. My computer says I did 103 miles in 6 hours and 13 minutes. I left at 6:00 and got home about 12:40 so my overall time was 6 hours and 40 minutes, most that non riding time was spent taking pictures, or buying Gatorade.
The last century I did had 7000 feet of climbing and I was with a group of guys that liked to stop and take breaks, I think I finished it in around 10 hours. Being by myself all day was nice at times, I never waited on anyone and I could stop anytime I wanted to, the conversation suffered though.
Now I am sore and tired, a little bit sunburned, and thinking there is no way I would ride farther than 100 miles. See, I was thinking of doing this ride called, RAIN, which means Ride Across Indiana, it’s a 160 miles. I won’t rule it out forever, but I’m definitely not up to it this year.
Well, thanks for reading, I think I’m going to crawl back to my couch. Good night.