As has become our annual tradition, now, we rode the Horsey Hundred over the weekend. Quite unbelievably, the organizers took an already perfect ride weekend and made it even better.
I’m funny in that I love a good, challenging, repetitive ride. I can enjoy riding the same route a few dozen times because doing so is like watching a good movie. It takes a few times to really catch the little nuances you miss the first time or two. When I heard they’d changed the routes for the weekend, my heart sank. The normal hundred mile route was both challenging and extremely beautiful. Cut through the heart of horse country and getting into some decently challenging climbs and a couple of screaming 45+ mph descents, I had about as much fun as I thought I could have riding a bike. The routes had everything and I was certain they wouldn’t be able to best what they’d given us.
I was wrong.
This year, rather than heading toward the Kentucky Capitol Building and parts out west, followed by an east route on the second day, they flipped everything. Saturday’s hundred headed out east, while Sunday’s 50 went west (there was also a 70, 40 and 25-mile option – 40 just doesn’t seem enough and 70 works out to a longer day… 50 is just enough that you wish there were five more miles as you hit 40 miles – then you get to the last climb and you’re like, okay, that’s enough).
While the tougher climbs were out, the hundred mile route still wasn’t easy and the roads were quieter and the scenery was simply spectacular. Of course, whilst viewing scenery, it helps if you’re not screaming down the road at top speed in a pace-line… so we missed quite a bit because we ended up with a freaking horse of our own at the front of the group. Put simply, we were too fast for me to take pictures – it was both hands on the hoods.
As is always the case with the Horsey Hundred, the rest stops were plentiful and expertly staffed and stocked. They had everything one could need for a hot hundred miler. Everything from pickles to watermelon, oranges, bananas, Payday bars, sports drinks, water… everything. This year’s route had seven stops over the hundred (we skipped one or two). The Sunday 50 had four and we skipped one.
As I do every year, I am going to recommend this ride for anyone who can make it to Kentucky over our Memorial Day weekend. They have something like 26 countries and 40-ish US States represented every year – and if safety in numbers is your thing, you’ll have 2,500 like-minded friends to hang out with. It’s never so ridiculously packed that you get stuck behind slower riders, but the roads are populated enough with cyclists that we outnumber cars by… a lot. We (my friends and I) rode with a group from London, Ontario Canada this year. People come from all over, and for good reason; it’s only a long weekend, the roads are phenomenal, and it’s one of the best supported rides I’ve ever had the pleasure of taking part in.
Check it out here. Oh, and one more thing… if you come from the colder north, bring some sunscreen and be prepared; it’s HOT.