With only 3 weeks until my main event, I had one last organized bike ride ahead of me. One last 100 mile ride until I do my first ever 112 mile ride (alone with other things I will be doing). I have a couple of friends (Michael and Janell) that I love riding with whom I met this spring. On every ride I have done with them I have met someone new. This ride was no different. Today I met Mark Fitch. This would be his first century ride and I was very glad to be apart of that. I love being apart of people’s firsts when it comes to fitness. It reminds you of your first time. The eagerness, the anticipation, and the drive to finish. You just plainly feed off their energy.
The plan was to take off at 6am and let me tell you, that is SUPER fucking early to ride. I worked the night before at my part-time job and didn’t get home until after 10pm. Then I needed to wind down a bit so it was after 11:30 before I actually made it to bed which meant 5am came pretty quickly. Since I had everything set out and ready to go the night before, but I kept pressing snooze until 5:20am. Now with that said, I actually contemplated just ignoring my alarm and telling my group that I didn’t hear it or set it for pm vs am. However, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself since I made the commitment so I needed to get my ass out of bed, stop making excuses and get this shit done. I did end up being about 10 minutes late but it was ok because it was dark as fuck and the first rest stop didn’t open until 6:30 anyway so all was good.
We set out on our first 14 mile leg. It’s very important to your ride based on the rest stop. This was especially true for Mark. It is easier to focus on the 14 or 16 miles in between each rest stop versus how many miles you have left. This is what we did for the entire ride. We sent from St Charles, through Creve Couer, through Brentwood and Clayton to Downtown, road on the River Front Trail to the Chain of Rocks Bridge where we had lunch (at 9:47am). After “lunch” we rode to Alton then to Grafton IL where we caught a ferry to cross the Mississippi to Brussels.
From Brussels we took another ferry back to MO where we had our last 14 miles back to St Charles. This was a hard leg for a couple of reasons.
A. You just want to be done with the ride.
B. We sat long enough so our legs were tight getting back on the road.
C. The headwind wasn’t helpful.
But we were all determined to finish this bitch and finish we did!!
Mark completed his first ever 100 miles and I finished my last 100 miles before my main event. Michael and Janell rode for the complete enjoyment of it but in the end, we all accomplished, succeed and conquered.
My next couple of weeks will consist of 20-30 mile rides as my “long” ride. Only 3 weeks left!!