Despite not having ridden a century in over a year, coupled with the fact that my longest ride the past several months has been somewhere in the upper 60s, I felt obligated to ride to the start. After all, Judson is barely five miles from home, so what kind of cyclist-training-for-an-Ironman would I be if I drove there?
As I pedaled down 78, I misgivings were already in place. However, I felt comfortable about pacing myself with the trusty S725x back on my wrist, ticking my heart rate, the time, and the miles by. The crowd was quite small, but a few familiar faces were present, including Murray, so off we rode a little after 7:30. A couple of the guys were a little squirrelly, gunning it not even 10 miles in, but the ride soon got under relative control, courtesy of Murray & me.
Rather than bore you with a mile-by-mile recounting of the ride and sprints for city limits signs (Murray & I tied at 3/ea), I'll say that this was the longest <expletive> century in the history of centuries. Even had the map been accurate, to say nothing of the occasional wrong turn, we were far over 100 miles for the ride. In fact, S--- crashed at mile 101, and we still had close to 10 miles before we were back at Judson.
(S---, btw, was okay, but his front wheel & tire were shredded. Fortunately, one of the guys' wife came looking for us in the car and picked up her hubby and S--- to cart them back to the start. Murray & I were on our own to finish.)
When it was all said and done, the odometer on the S725x read 121.7 miles, finished in a ride time of 6:32:52.5. I would stop the counter when we hit a rest stop, as well as when S--- crashed, but, either way you look at it, that is a seriously long day in the saddle. Regardless, it was a learning experience, and here is what I have taken away with me:
- Never trust the accuracy of mileage on a map.
- Guys you ride 50 or 60 miles with on a regular basis are not necessarily the best of companions for a 100+ mile outing -- especially when your training needs are so different.
- Convenience stores no longer carry Yoohoo!
- Watch out for those cracks in the pavement that look just wide enough to swallow a bicycle wheel; they are.
- I am a bad-<expletive> on the bicycle.