Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Century Ride Plus 9......

This is how far Katydid and I rode today on our tandem.

And this is the bandana we got for completing the century ride.

We weren't even last. There were a bunch of century riders who came in after us, which we find pretty amazing.

I wrote a post a few months ago about the mental aspect of cycling. Today was a prime example of this. Yesterday we rode 50 miles, the longest route choice. At 25 miles, I was kicking myself (well, not literally, since it's pretty hard to kick yourself while riding a bicycle) because if we had chosen the shorter option, we would have been finished. At 47 miles, I thought, "There's no way I can finish these last 3 miles." But of course we did, and it wasn't as bad as I thought.

Today we got to the 47 mile mark, and we had 60 miles left to go. I didn't feel bad at all. I didn't really start feeling bad until about the 70-mile mark. Of course, knowing we still had 37 miles to go (we thought) made it that much worse.

Another mental aspect of cycling concerns the all-important century ride. A century is a 100-mile bike ride in a single day. Why we feel compelled to do such a stupid thing is completely beyond me. But Katydid had never done one, so I agreed that this was our best chance. The terrain was SUPPOSED to be flat. And it was, relatively speaking, but toward the end, especially with the brutal headwinds, even the tiniest incline became a mountain.

I have heard cyclists complain when they got in from a century that the mileage was "only" 98 miles or some such. I wanted to say to them, "Well go ride around the parking lot a few times, you dorks." So this weekend's "century" ride was billed as 107 miles. On my computer (which I admit isn't accurate, because it doesn't agree with the GPS that we have on the back of the tandem), the mileage read 109.40. First of all, the extra 7 miles beyond the 100-mile mark were painful. But they had been in my head all day. I KNEW they were there. The other two almost made me sit down on the side of the road and suck my thumb.

It's sort of like childbirth. When you're in the middle of it, you think, "What in the hell was I thinking?"

Then when it's over, you think, "Well, that wasn't so bad."

The things we will do for a bandana.


frogger_blogger said...

I'm proud of both of you. I still think you're crazy, but I'm proud of you.

Maggie said...

You are both awesome and nuts- I admire that in women!

it's amazing to me each time I read one of your cycling posts because I have zero ability to do something as physically challenging as this. Great work, ladies!