I hate to offend any far North Texas and Okie readers I may have out there but I’ve come to believe God just got really lazy when he created that part of the country. I reached this conclusion during my 100 mile bike ride around Wichita Falls, TX.
The Hotter Than Hell 100 on Saturday was my first century ride. The weather wasn’t quite hotter than hell, but it was pretty dang hot. The course might have been dog ugly, but it was nice and flat. Overall I had a great ride. First of all, I was sporting a super cute new kit.
Feeling sexy is really top priority. The downside to the day was that I told the faster riders that I came with not to wait on me so I wound up doing the ride pretty much alone. Well, other than a few thousand fellow riders.
I had anticipated that the ride would start to get pretty tough around mile 70 due to the heat and the fact that 70 miles is the longest I had previously ridden. I was right. The closer I got to the Oklahoma border the hotter it got and the lonelier I got. I started to feel a country song in the making. But, just as things got were starting to feel really unbearable my friends were waiting for me at the rest stop at mile 84. They gave me plenty of cool rags, stuffed some ice down my top, and made sure I loaded up on snacks and water. The best part was that they were there to make me laugh and break up some of the monotony.
This ride was the largest ride I’ve participated in so far and I certainly learned a few things about large group riding. First of all, most the folks out there don’t know what the heck they’re doing. You can’t assume that just because it is a century ride that all your fellow riders have actually been on a bike before. Many will seem like it is their first time out of the gate. Secondly, don’t think that just because there are so many people it will be easy to find a pace line to get in on. I was at mile 80 by the time I found a group that seemed to have it together and wasn’t too much faster or slower than me. But then those boys let me do all the work for a while just so they could pass me up and leave me behind. Jerks.
I was still really happy with how I did out there. I was able to keep a steady 17 mph pace for the whole ride. I also must have gotten the nutrition thing right because I didn’t suffer any bonking or cramping for the entire 100 miles. Now my goal for next year is to be fast enough to hang with the rest of my group and finish in a lot less time. Safe riding, friends!