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Falling Into a Century

When I woke up yesterday morning, I was pretty sure I was riding a 100k. My buddy, Mike is in the middle of his triumphant return from a broken ass and he was set to ride with us again. The important part in that first sentence was the K.

Unfortunately, Friday’s 42 miles and Saturday’s 46 miles were too much for Mike’s hurtin’ heinie and he called to let me know he wouldn’t be there for the big 100k weekend finale.

That decision had ramifications for me. I was okay with 100 miles (161km), but I didn’t need the miles, I was already over the 1,000 mile mark for July by 19 miles. That, and I really like 100k rides. The 100 mile ride, while excellently, arrogantly American (I’ll see your 100k and raise you another 61), I really enjoy having something left in the tank after a ride. I don’t ride in a manner conducive to staying vertical after a full century. When I’m done, I need a little nappy.

I’ll skip the BS (back story). 100 miles it was. The weather was perfect. A cool start, low 60’s (16 C), no wind and impossibly sunny. Our group was ten deep (including my wife) and after a first warm-up mile, it was on.

I spent the first ten miles trying to convince myself I had another ninety-some miles left in me. It wasn’t going well. Twenty miles in and I was starting to feel it. Thirty in and we were pulling up to our first stop. Banana downed, other stopping issues tended to and we were rolling again. My wife and two others cut for the metric century, seven of us committed to the full century.

Fifty miles in and I was looking forward to lunch at the Hemlock McDonald’s. Having eaten and had an ice cold Coke, we rolled out. The legs were feeling it, though. Getting them moving again sucked. We were better than halfway there, though.

I didn’t think about mileage till we hit 70, and it was time to stop at a park in Chesaning. Only thirty to go. “I can do that standing on my head”, I thought. Just an hour and a half left. Water bottles were filled, I downed a quick banana, facilities were used, and we rolled out. That stop was much needed. Once I got my legs rolling again, I felt spectacular. We kept the pace north of 20-mph the rest of the way.

Members in our little rabble were starting to tire out about mile 85 but I was feeling surprisingly good. We were on the home stretch with just three miles to go and I took my final turn up front. I kept the speed between 21 and 22 mph, but as we approached the finish, I started ramping the speed up. We had the final City Limits sign to contend and even though I’d been up front for the last two miles, I wanted to try to give it a run from the front. We crested a little hill that I thought was supposed to be the last incline before the finish and I saw another – that double-hump gets me every year. I was almost out of gas but I knew if I went back I wouldn’t recover in time for the sign so I just kept my legs moving.

Over the crest of the second tiny incline and it was downhill to the City Limits sign. I picked up the pace, from 23-24 mph to 26. With a few hundred yards left, I launched and took the sign before pulling into the driveway of the fella who puts the ride on every year.

I was well and truly spent. I’d had enough.

I ended up with 279 miles on the week, and dinner was particularly yummy. And as one would expect, my nap was glorious.


  1. ericritter65 says:

    I can’t keep your speed, but I have the same feelings at the same milage point when riding a century! Metrics I can do solo, infant, I did 60-miles yesterday, with a short break to swim 600-yards, just to break things up, lol.

    Good read as always!

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