Century Day

I'm all ready to go out and suffer.

So… I had it in my mind that I needed to ride a century, the reasons for this are many and diverse.

  1. I wimped out of the one on GOBA.
  2. I haven’t done one since 2008.
  3. The weather was perfect today.
  4. I wanted to know if I could do it.
  5. I wanted to know how fast I could do it.
  6. I wanted to know if I felt like I could ride another 60 miles afterwards.
  7. 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.

Shawneetown's most famous residents restaurant

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.

Hmm, Gallatan county art students?

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. 

Welcome to Herald!

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. 

The Gholson Funeral Home, a Mcleansboro landmark.

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.

Hmm, this sign in Broughton needs to be fixed.

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.

I was never happier to see Harrisburg.

Well, thanks for reading, I think I’m going to crawl back to my couch.  Good night.      

See, smiling.


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
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4 Responses to Century Day

  1. martinsj2 says:

    Wow, well done! After a week on the road and still nursing injuries, that was quite an accomplishment. Thanks for the pics and get some rest!

  2. Congrats on the century. The finish time was great!

  3. Matt Gholson says:

    Thanks guys, I appreciate the encouragement. I’m still in awe of Miles 600KM, that is just amazing.

  4. Pingback: Century Sunday | Barn Door Cycling

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