Happy Sunday my friends! See, I’m being a good blogger. Probably because I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m excited about finishing these miles. I feel like 2020 will be a good year, one of pushing to get this done. I’ve been doing this a long time and I’m happy to be on the down tick. I’m still catching up on calculating my miles, so bare with me just a bit.
Finally, getting around to the Reston Century recap. This was my second attempt at completing a century ride. Some people were racing, I was riding 🙂 My first Century was in Tuscon, Arizona about two years ago. I love the challenge of the century ride. It’s challenging for mind, body and spirit from the time you start training to ride completion. I try to train as I would ride during the event. Meaning when you feel like crap or are having a bad day…you still push through to the best of your ability.
The Century was hosted by the Reston Bike Club. Good club in NOVA with plenty of different ride events throughout the year at different levels. The ride started at the square in downtown Reston and it was a rolling start. Parked about 6 am and went to pick up my cue sheet and moved out smartly with my riding buddy at 6:30 am. Roads were marked well and I was ready to go at 6:30 am.
About 15 miles in was the first rest point. Unfortunately for me, I thought the two portos on the side of the street was the stop….so I stopped. Yeah, that happened. Got on my bike to find the REAL stop about a mile down the road. If you’re thinking hmmm…yeah this sets the stage for later in the ride.
For the most part the route was pretty level and easy to follow. Got up to Purcellville, VA for another stop. This is where the peel off was if you didn’t feel the full century ride. Fueled up on some water and food and said goodbye to my riding buddy. He decided that he only wanted to do 84 and not the full 103. Off I went alone.
Three quarters of the ride at miles 65 – 80 were the hills. They were the steepest I have ever climbed and took a lot out of me. I had to walk one hill towards the end and in true Laurel fashion I fell on one. It wouldn’t be a ride if I didn’t fall at least once. I wish I could say I was cruising along and skidded out and fell. It just sounds so much sexier, but no…no. Also, what I’m known for is just toppling over. That’s what happened here. I lost steam and just tipped over.
The ride that never ended….
Got past the hills and also, true to form, found myself alone. How does this happen? There are hundreds of people on the ride, but yet I’m by myself. Was following the arrows, until I got to some town and saw a women scrubbing them up. I yelled at her…okay I spoke loudly…and asked why she was scrubbing up the arrows. She mentioned the city didn’t want them on the street passed 5pm. She pointed me in the right direction and I kept going. Now what happened after this is hard to say. I know what you’re thinking ~ you got lost. Annnnndddd, yes I did.
I ended up in another city. I’ll be honest, I don’t even remember the name of the city now. I was riding along and saw two women and I stopped to ask which way was the Reston Town Center. They both looked at me like a deer in the headlights and just said I was 20 miles from Reston. Uh….How.Did.This.Happen? Yep, I was 20 miles off course. Needless to say I was a bit devastated. I was following the yellow arrows and for some reason I got turned around. Both the women told me to call an Uber, but I just couldn’t do it. I needed to finish. Then I saw this other cyclist (not in the ride) and he started me down the right path.
I ended up doing about 122 miles instead of the 103 and I still wasn’t finished. The pic above is a far cry from the starting photo, but then again it was a Century plus! Once I was on the right path I had three interesting events happen. I stopped at this BBQ place on the trail and saw this:
Met one of the previous deputy’s of NASA Dr. Michael D. Griffin. He rode with me for a few miles before telling me his bike isn’t made to go that slow. Yes, he said that….
Then a skunk ran across my path and I nearly hit an women cycling towards me. Sigh.
The good news: I finished 103 miles under the 10 hr mark. My last Century was 10:02 so this was good for me.
The bad news: I didn’t finish at the proper place, I called in and had a friend pick me up at the Green Lizard, a bike shop on the route. Well, it’s all good and I continue on and can’t wait to do better at the next one.
My mileage for this two weeks only came to 4.65. There was some serious downtime happening! I have 4,004.19 miles gratefully remaining in my journey. I hope this post finds you thankful! Life is truly good. Happy Miles to You!!
Because I love pavement…