100 Mile Century Ride
WE DID IT!
OCTOBER 18, 2021
100 Miles / 11 Hours / 7:53 Hours of Biking
12.3 mile avg.
My 2nd Biker Chick Century. Only 2 of us did it last year and we grew to 8 this year. I think it is our thing now. The new Annual Big Ride. I'd say 100 miles is pretty big and qualifies.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO RIDE 100 MILES IN ONE DAY??!
If you asked the 8 that did it....
WE DID IT!!!!
Let's just say there are no words and too many words. Before I unpack all the nitty gritty details of this day, which you know I will. I want to try to describe it for you, but of course, this is me. Most will probably not agree. You will have to find out their story from them.
It was an out of body experience for me. It's 100 miles that felt like 10. Every new 10 miles felt like my first 10. It was like the easiest ride I have ever been on. (now I know the girls will kill me for saying that) It was like time stopped. Every hour felt like my first. It never got hard. I never sweated. I never hurt. I was literally in a state of elevation above watching it happen. Perhaps like a runners high but on a bike. I don't know. It's like a great party that goes by in a blink and you wonder how 7 hours went by and can't remember most of it. All I know is when we got to lunch and had knocked off over 50 miles and everyone was tickled to death they were halfway I was sad. It meant it would be over soon. This happened last year. I told Molly I feel so good I could ride till midnight. It is an experience that resides in my soul and I could not be more grateful. When I reflected on it 2 days later on the way to a sunrise ride, I was transported back to that feeling of elation, butterflies, tingling in every part of my body. That is the best. To be able to relive the electrified feeling with a memory. I will treasure and relive that as much as I can. I want this for everyone. I want to make this opportunity available to anyone wanting to push themselves to do something most can't or don't think they can. We have seen amazing things that have happened with these girls this year. They are finding their inner strength, endurance and will to overcome. It has been such an unbelievable journey. I have never been so happy in my life!
So you know this is going to be long. You know I have A LOT to say especially when it comes to recapping such an amazing experience shared with these amazing girls. Our 2021 riding season was all about training for the 100. I pushed for longer, harder rides, adding in more hills and a weekly boot camp ride to push endurance. We started the Pitman Challenge where you could climb your way into the weekly Braggin Box if you made it to the top without walking. We had 15 riders accomplish this. It was a fun season and the girls all got stronger and faster.
By September we were ready to pick a day and pull the trigger. But the weather was not on our side. I think we rescheduled at least 5 times due to heat, rain and or wind. Waiting for the perfect day was critical to our success but hard on our patience. Poor Tami gave up pickleball out of fear of getting hurt and missing this opportunity. It was worth the wait because we landed on the most amazing day.
We met at Salt n Smoke in St Charles before the sun at a early 6:45am. Upon driving up I was met by Tami standing in the street with the saddest look on her face. I was sure she had bad news like a flat tire or something. She said she just got a text from Molly who woke up 5 minutes ago and would be late. Ugh! you got to be kidding. I told Tami we were not waiting and she would have to catch us. Then she discovered there was more to the text and she missed the ...."just kidding" part. Well, Molly sure got me and Tami on the one. Talk about stopping my heart. Good one. But I would have left your butt. Just saying. Remember that for next year.
We were right on schedule to start after our traditional group selfie and prayer for protection. It was riding time. I waited too long for this. Something we would be doing for the next 11 hours with 8 of those on a bike seat pedaling. Kind of hard to get your head around it actually. We got out about 20 miles having our first soft stop near West Alton when Holly discovered a rear flat. Being recently trained on tire changing, just the day before, I felt confident we could give it a try. That is until I found out she might not have the correct tube. We decided to error on the side of caution and not take the chance. We filled it and crossed our fingers it wouldn't leak. This got her another 10 miles to our next break at the Lady of the River Shrine in Portage Des Souix. Another shot of CO2 and Holly made it all the way to lunch at Massa's. She was only doing the first half so we dodged that bullet. I'll tell you what that beginning prayer has power.
Tami's husband met us at lunch giving us someone to hand off our extra layers. The 48 to start with long pants, vest and gloves was no longer needed with the sun warming to nice 70 by now. We fueled our tanks and filled our water bottles enjoyed a nice big seat for an hour and were back to it. The day was about riding...and more riding...and just riding. The second leg was a nice easy 33. Nothing compared to 52 now a notch in our belt. This section took us out to Hwy C and around 370 lake. Although the wind was only 5-7 miles that day it does gust when out in the farm fields. I knew we would need a break from these open fields by now and planned a route that got us on the paved paths behind the RecPlex down to McClay. Boy was this a welcome break. It is mostly downhill and the closest you will come to riding the Razorback. It was like ice cream on a hot day. I was a little bit of heaven on a bike for sure. We had a few climbs but the variety was welcomed. We made our way to the Page lot on the Greenway bridges over Hwy 94. Another amazing welcomed downhill. So hear is the funny part. We were climbing the hill to the Page Lot and this random guy was standing in the grass near the trail with a plastic bag waiving and offering gatorads. I swear I thought it was a homeless guy who found them and wanted to give them away. I was riding right next to Best Robinson and we both dismissed him as a little crazy. Come to find out that was Beth's husband. She didn't even recognize him because she scratched her cornea and was riding without contacts - basically blind. I wish I knew that I might not have ridden so close to her for the past 7 hours. We laughed!
We came into St Charles right on schedule and had 5 new fresh riders waiting for us to morally lift us up and support us on the last 15 miles. Our group grew to 14 for the final 15. It was great to share this with them. This was nothing I promoted. It was unexpected to see our fellow chicks come out and want to be some part of this awesome experience. To share the joy, to feel the excitement to root us on. Fresh faces were welcomed. We pedaled our way out to New Town and back. An old standard I can do with my eyes closed. There is one section of this trail that screams crank up the speed and ride out your brains out. I always do to a really good song. Tami's husband joined this last leg and was in my lead when we got there. He takes off like I usually do and I was inspired to keep up. I managed for about .5 mile doing about 22 miles and had to let it go. I shook it off. He was fresh out at 5 miles and I was at 95 by now so gave myself a pass. But it sure felt good to be able to do it after 95 miles.
All good things must end. We pedaled into St Charles Frontier park and were met with spouses and biker chicks cheering us on. We rode right by them still needing to circle out another 2 miles somehow. Everyone wanted to see their odometer's turn over to the magically, never seen before, 100.0 ...and we did.
I have to do a little braggin box about these women. Four girls planned to do this for a year. Four joined at the last minute and everyone was able to handily accomplish this. It didn't mater what speed I cranked it up they were like the "flock that stayed together" and right on my heels. Now I'm not saying they were cursing me under their breath. We had no one hurting, sore or struggling to keep up. It was truly amazing and made doing this one of the easiest rides. I know I keep saying that and I know the girls are going to kill me for it. I'm sure the cool weather was a big contributor. Everyone looked as fresh as daisies when we finished. I think you are just on a natural "high" after something like this.
The after-celebration was long overdue for me. When Molly and I finished last year it was dark, we took our selfie and went immediately home. Now this year was the right way to finish a century with our spouse there and all the chicks who finished with us there embracing this milestone.
Until next year when we tackle the 100 again. I wonder if anyone has ever ridden 24 hours? Now that would be something. No Mark, don't be scared. I'm kidding. (Not really, but I won't)
Watch the Slideshow now...