2012 Hermann continued...
Now with 20 miles until lunch we peddled with determination. Our Biker Chick Security was never far away, always lingering in the shadows, keeping an eye our safety at all times. It was very comforting to all of us. Having them accessible actually saved us when one of our riders was having breathing trouble and feeling exhaustion. We call our guys and they quickly picked her up from the trail. Making 38 miles was not in the cards for her today.
Even with the overcast day - it was truly pleasant on the trail and our new hoodies came in handy. We all stayed pretty close and rode side by side talking and passing time easily as we peddled our way to Gore - Anticipating LUNCH and REST.
My parents out- did themselves as our lunch host. They had a huge spread of delicious food and tasty Fall treats. Desert on this day is more than deserved when biking for 6 hours. We had not only seating but laying down areas available. Plenty of cool beverages and fun fellowship over lunch. We were all pretty proud to have made 28 miles of our 38.
The end was in our grasp, only 10 miles to go. My Mom actually joined us for the next 3 miles giving her finally full Biker Chick membership. We made it to the Hermann Spur where we had to ride on Hwy 19's shoulder for 2 miles. This was a little intimidating. Our Security Team kicked into high gear again, as Michele, who drove down to spend the night only, and Mark with his truck, protected us from traffic by riding in the lead and rear of us keeping us safe from passing traffic. This was the absolute hardest part of our journey. After 36 miles and 7 hours on the trail, we had the Hermann Bridge to conquer which was ALL UP. With lot's of grunting and swearing we pushed our exhausted muscles to make it to our destination. Bike to bike we peddled into town elated to be there and excited to have a well deserved glass of wine.
Then it happened. Marsha lost her balance and over she went. The Biker Security was 2 feet away and leaped into action. Mark yelling" Chick Down!" Marty darted from the truck to help her back on her bike. Now you have to understand Marsha rarely goes on a ride without being the "Chick Down". She has a record similar to my own mother. She was perfectly fine but a little shook up. She choose to walk her bike to the B&B at this point. She has adopted the nickname "Chick Down" and will never live that story down.
We checked into our B&B, cleaned up and headed to the Hermannhoff Winery for a long over-do adult beverages. Michele was able to talk the winery into allowing us to stay after close so we had more time to relish our huge recent success. We reminisced and shared stories over wine of our recent adventure. I handed out 5$ certificates to all the ladies who completed this challenge compliments of Granada Cyclry once again. It was a great time!
We had dinner in town at the Barrel Bar and everyone was ready to head back for some down-time. We sat outside with a fire and had a great opportunity to get to know each other better by sharing personal stories. Everyone was tucked in by10:30 and I personally spent the night dreaming of the PERFECT RIDE that is "down-hill both ways". Too bad this just a dream.
We woke up refreshed to a warmer day, filled with sunshine. It was going to be a good ride home. I could not wait. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast and got back on the trail right on schedule at 10am. We were now down to only 7 riders who felt confident enough to endure a second day of peddling. Others made other arrangement to return home.
We set out to ride 26 miles to Marthasville for lunch and managed it. The ride home was so different than the ride there. Everyone found their own pace and most of us enjoyed personal time listening to our ipods - letting the music push us on. The chatter was not important today - getting to the end was our only goal. I rarely rode next to any of my fellow chick for the next 30 miles. I usually could not even see them. I found a nice 10 mile an hour pace and dug in. The trail was amazing with the changing leaves and near blizzards of leaves filling the air as they blow off the trees.
Chick Security was at all the check points with water and constant encouragement. I don't think we ever crossed hwy 94 without the blue truck at the crossroads waving us on and cheering us to finish this mecca ride. We enjoyed an awesome lunch in Marthasville at Philly's Pizza. I think everyone was beginning to feel the heat and exhaustion. Only 12 miles to go. Kathy had concerns she would not make it. I rode with her the last 8 miles talking and distracting her from the task at hand. It worked! She made and so did we all. WOW, what a great feeling. Now I know why people run marathons. It really feels good to find out you can do it.
So here we are at our starting point back to our cars in Augusta ... but wait we are parked right in front of the Augusta Brewery. Well twist my arm - let's have one last celebration drink. Husbands came out to meet their wives and we enjoyed one last round while sharing funny stories of a recent accomplishment.
Looking forward already to next Fall's ride from Hermann to Jefferson City overnight then on to Rochport and back by train. With a whole year of rides ahead of us we will be more than ready to take on this 80 mile ride.