What I didn't focus on is the fact that the ride is a fundraiser for a somewhat local chapter of the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy, an organization whose mission is near and dear to my heart. I only wish their last name had been something other than "Ferst." I now have four t-shirts with the words "Ferst Annual Bike Ride" on them, which may make people think the organization can neither count NOR spell.
(By the way, I'm making a concerted effort to include more photos in my blog posts. Since I didn't take my camera on the ride today or yesterday, photos of the t-shirts are the best I can do. My goal is to get better at taking photos and get better ABOUT taking photos.)
|I really like the color of this t-shirt, and oddly enough I like the light blue accents on the green shirt. I wouldn't have thought those two colors would go together very well.|
The ride had several options for mileage, and Rozmo and I almost always choose the 60-something as opposed to the 100-mile route. There were also options of 25 and 12, but neither of those seemed worthwhile considering we spent 90 minutes (me) or 60 minutes (Rozmo) of driving time to get there.
The route was billed as a 62-mile one, and the map clearly indicated at the finish it was 62 miles. Now, I looked at my data last night from the ride last year, and it very clearly indicated the mileage was more like 66. But you know what?
I believed them. Again.
I calculated what time I thought we would be back. During the ride, I based our time for each interval on the big number of 62. Even though I had irrefutable video evidence (sorry, I lapsed into football talk there for a moment) that 62 was incorrect.
You might think an additional four miles wouldn't be that big a deal, and on some level you're right. If I got to the end of a ride and someone said to me, "I'll give you a prize if you can ride just FOUR MORE MILES," you can bet I would cheerfully ride two miles out and two miles back and collect my prize. Even if it weren't a prize of any value, or perhaps even if it was just to make a friend happy (see previous references to the Round Numbers Club).
But when you think a ride is 62 miles in length and you get to the 62-mile mark and realize you STILL have four miles to go, and the wind is somewhere between biting and nipping but has been blowing ALL. DAY. LONG., then four miles become monumental. Almost undoable. They make you question (again) why in the world anyone would get up at 4:30 AM after a sleepless night and drive 90 minutes in the dark to get on a bicycle and subject oneself to they physical and emotional pain that will be the intangible rewards of the ride. Lovely t-shirt notwithstanding.
I almost had a very ignominious ending to today's ride when I rode right up to my car and didn't notice the sand at my back bumper was actually quite deep. My front tire skidded off to the side, and luckily I was able to get my pedal unclipped at the very last second. Now THAT would have been embarrassing, to ride 62... I mean 66... miles and then fall right beside my car. It wouldn't have been a FIRST (or a FERST either), but it would have been embarrassing.
It seems that the coolest weather of the season so far always accompanies this ride. Last year I had to wear layers and NEVER got to remove any of them. This year I decided to tough it out and go in short sleeves and no jacket, although I did wear knickers to cover my ancient knees (good decision). My rationale was that it was bound to warm up, and it did, but there was significant cloud cover, and the sun was of the watery variety for most of the day.
I've just read over what I've written, and I realize it sounds like I had a miserable time. I assure you I did not, and I will be one of the first ones to sign up for the ride next year. It's in a beautiful part of our state, just south of the Atlanta airport, but in the country where there are many, many horse farms but not much traffic. will make a point to take my camera next year and try to capture some of the beauty.
All 66 miles of it.