This last Sunday was my last major scheduled event of the year, Team Revolution’s Tour DeWitt bicycle ride in Lansing. The main point of the ride was to do a full century. That’s what I did last year for my first century.
This year my goal was to do 66 miles. The course consists of a loop of 22 miles with the fourth loop having an additional 12 tacked on.
As you can see, everything is easy to measure when all the country roads are one mile square blocks.
As I was looking at the weather heading into the ride, I began to suspect that I might be in a bit of trouble. The high for the day was around 62*. I hoped that once I got the blood flowing things would be good. That’s how it worked out last year. After the first 10 miles or so I was warm enough for the rest of the day.
I was staying a couple hours away, so I was up at 4 AM to get there in time for the 7 AM start. As I closed in on Lansing, the temp hovered around 50*.
We all then went out and unloaded our gear.Here we are lined up and ready to ride. I’m the fourth one back. It turned out that we only had six riders this year. There were some other active activities (by definition, I suppose) that kept some away, and the temperature no doubt kept others away. Here we are as we head off. I set the pace for the first six miles, shooting for between 15-17 mph, usually close to 17. We had a mixture of riders, so this was an attempt to keep us all together.
As we were heading down to our first corner, I moved left to avoid roadkill. When I came back into my position at the head of the pace line, I hit the front tire of the rider behind me. He went for a tumble, but he and his bike ended up ok. I managed to stay up despite being on my aero bars (really, I thought being in anything but aero was too cold).
As we came to the first corner, Dave, a strong cyclist, jumped out of the pace line and took off. A few of us went with him, but he was cruising, and keeping that pace for the duration wasn’t a possibility.
After the first 22 mile loop things weren’t going well. Physically, I wasn’t tired, but I was very cold. I wasn’t warming up. In fact, I think it was getting colder outside. A cloud cover moved in, and a cold wind started blowing.
I didn’t have any goals at stake in the ride, so I cut my ambitions back to 44 miles total. I knew that the second loop wasn’t going to be fun or pleasant, but I didn’t want to quit at 22. So I toughed it out.
Although really, I think everyone else did the full 100. Toughing it out is relative I guess.
In summary, it’s always good to ride with friends, and we raised over $200 for Amazon Lifesavers. The only downside was the cold weather. But that’s just circumstances. I’d like to do more centuries in the future.