September 28, 2003

The Century I'm Not Gonna Finish

Is what I called the ride midstream today. Our century ride met up with the normal group I ride with, Bicycle Fun Club (Trailnet). The rides converged in a big soupy mess of confusion - riders not sure whose rest stops were whose, which arrows to follow (most were blindly following other cyclists...because usually you can).

So one guy asked me, "which ride are you on?" And that was my response, "The century I'm NOT gonna finish."

And so it was. Riding today was sheer hell, the second toughest ride I've ever endured. I put in just shy of a METRIC century, though, at 65.8 miles. That was the end of loop one, where everyone met back for lunch. And where our cars were. That was enough, I'm told, for about 2/3 of the people slated to do today's Flat as a Pancake Century ride.

For starters, my clothing was inadequate. I purchased a long-sleeved and some spandex for fall rides, but, thinking it would eventually be just too hot, I opted for lesser layering. I wore my normal jersey, the long-sleeved jersey, and a mere pair of biker shorts. I suffered. Poor Hans and Ryan were wearing less still. I've not gotten their ride stories from them yet. I'm sure those'll surface tomorrow.

The morning was just cold. My extremeties and rear complained for the first 25 miles because of it, and I never felt like my muscles got warm. At our rest stop, I went into the bakery located at the rest stop (I'll plug the name in here tomorrow when I have the business card of the place with me) and stood near the oven (with blessings of the staff, of course). That was warm.

Oh, and the wind. What can I say about the wind that isn't obscene? The wind in central Illinois today was BRUTAL. And cold. Enough said. At points it was 15 mph or more, and I know at least 15-20 miles of the ride was directly into the wind.

So this is why I did not finish my century. My knees are creaky, and I had my left quad chirping at me for the last 12 miles. My average speed was laughable, and I was really, really cold.

I think I prefer the 95 degree weather to ride. At least I get a funky tan. I believe most of the rest of my cycling for 2003 will be indoors. Brr.

Thank you to my friend Tim for hanging with me. This ride appeared to be pretty much unsupported, and without someone to complain to (mostly "BRRRR" or inane laughter on my part), I'm not sure I could've finished the 65.8 I did. And it wasn't about conditioning. I barely broke a sweat ;)

UPDATE! - Ryan validates that I'm no pansy!


Posted by hln at September 28, 2003 08:04 PM | Cycling | TrackBack


For that kind of day, by far the best solution is arm/legwarmers. There's never any reluctance to wear 'em in the morning, 'cause you can just stuff them in your jersey pocket if you overheat, or the day warms up more than you expected. I still prefer my old wool ones, but don't know if you can get wool anymore.

Posted by: Light & Dark at September 30, 2003 11:27 PM

My spandex thingees would've gone nicely threaded through the back of my Hydrapak if it got too warm. I just wasn't wise enough to wear them. I had worn them around town the day before to gauge how warm they actually were and was amazed. Of course, Satuday was a much more temperate day than Sunday.

I still don't think I would have finished...


Posted by: hln at October 1, 2003 05:17 AM

And sometimes, it's just not your day! You should be proud of yourself for sticking it out to the metric century mark. That's still a pretty good day's ridin' too!

Posted by: Light & Dark at October 1, 2003 12:19 PM