Well I finally did it. I rode 65 miles in four hours and twelve minutes. There were a couple of stops - I didn't make it all that way without taking a break. The first was the longest as it included some hamstring stretching time and a quick phone call to my sister Patsy, "23 miles down and 40 to go." is the message I left on her voicemail. It was fun at the first stop because it looked a little like a biker bar. Rows of bikes lined the shoulders. At the second and third stop I rode right up to the cookie baskets, grabbed a couple chocolate chips and off I went. Mile 23 takes you through the city of Walburg. It's a cool little town. Lots of rust covered farm equipment everywhere, beautiful little homes and no noise except for the visiting cyclists and the occasional rooster.
I saw so many sites. I saw lots of award winning cattle, I mean these were gorgeous animals. They looked like they were just bathed. I saw goats, donkeys, turkeys, lots of horses and the prettiest were the Paint Horses. (sorry, no photos). I saw a cyclist fall, I saw some families working, but the coolest site of all was that of nobody rushing.
I have been planning this tour for a while now and I am so pleased with my accomplishment but actually a little sad that it's over. It has been my goal to go far but the farther I traveled the thinner the crowd became so at times it got kind of lonely. I do appreciate the solitude of this sport and in some of these photos you will see just how peaceful this ride was. There doesn't appear to be anything for a mile or so and that was pretty cool. These were big farms, recently plowed, so I saw soil so rich that it looked like dark chocolate.
On the down side, this was out in the country, past the city limits sign, where the bumpy road met my tail bone line. As much as I appreciate flat road, I would have preferred more hammering up hills with my thighs screaming in pain, than the constant vibration against my bottom from the long and rocky "road". And I was wearing my really good shorts. I remember a conversation that I had with some guy after I turned onto a smooth road. I said, "Oh, thank God!" and he said, "Yep." -- true story. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining one bit. I loved it out there!
It was a huge surprise to me when energy hit me. After two hours of riding I sucked down a Mocha Clif Shot which is a little like chugging a small bottle of hersheys syrup. It's funny, one minute you think your legs are done for the day, "check out time", "see ya back at the truck" and the next minute your passing people left and right and laughing about it. "Uh, what was that about?"
Alright, enough story. It was wonderful and I cannot wait for my first Century Ride. If only there could be 100 miles of smooth, quiet, country road, I'd be in heaven. Suggestions anyone? Oh, I forgot this one. I checked out the website tonight and browsed the 253 photos from the ride. The very last photo, number 253, where the slide show ends, there is a glimpse of me, Mr. Argyle jersey. Check this out....can you see me? Almost off screen.