Century Day

Today was a very significant day because it was moving day and also century day. I set my alarm for 5 AM and jumped out of bed to finish packing and get the show on the road. I managed to get my sleeping bag and sleeping pad and my luggage where it needed to be very quickly and headed to the breakfast tent where we had another filling breakfast which today included one of my favorites, biscuits and gravy. After eating breakfast, I headed to my bike so that I could get out on a 7 AM start to put myself in the best position to finish the century ride. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to open the gates to allow us to start riding for 15 or 20 minutes but once they opened the gates, we hit the ground running. The first rest stop was super early in the ride so I skipped that one and planned to stop at the second rest stop to fill my bottles, eat a snack and apply liquid gold a.k.a. chamois butter. Unfortunately when I arrived to the second rest stop, there were no port-a-potty’s. So I continued on towards the lunch stop where I was able to take care of business, eat a nice meal, and get back out on the road as quickly as possible. I can’t fail to mention that there was a very substantial hill at about mile 33 which I thought I was ready for, but ended up getting off the bike twice to try to catch my breath and then getting back on to continue riding. We left the lunch stop which was at 37 miles just before 11am. The next 17 or so miles between lunch and the next rest stop were exciting as we knew we were heading towards the route split and were making great time so that we wouldn’t miss the cutoff. Shortly before the next rest stop at 55 miles, we rode on a road that wrapped around such a beautiful area that it seemed this rode had just been poured for our enjoyment. We winded through this beautiful road and eventually came out to a beautiful area of water and a bridge/road we rode across. I couldn’t resist stopping to take a picture. Although, the crosswinds as we rode along this bridge were horrendous. When we arrived at the route split/cut off, we made it one hour before the cut off and were super excited to make the left turn onto the century route. Around 2 miles later, crap hit the fan as a handful of riders started coming back our direction and The Hammer who was visibly frustrated, screamed at us to turn around immediately. We were totally confused as to what was going on but certainly didn’t want to make anybody angry, so we went ahead and turned around and rode the 2 or so miles back to the route split. I’m not going to lie, it kind of felt like my dad yelling at me and I went through several moments of hurt and confusion and sadness. Haha and then I said forget it and let’s get this done! Nearly 100 of us say at an intersection with no idea what we should do. Apparently some riders ran into an area that the road was flooded. We weren’t sure if there was an alternate route or anything that could allow us to still complete the century. Many riders went ahead and just gave up on the century ride and headed towards the 75 mile route but as we waited around with learned that the previous riders had missed a turn due to a stolen sign and because of this they ran into the flooded road and that’s why everybody had turned around. So we were told that everything was all clear and that we could proceed back towards the century. This made me very happy as I knew my son, my mom, and my brother wouldn’t have made it to camp in time to see me cross the finish line if I took the shorter route so I was super excited to continue towards attempting the century. Such beautiful surroundings! Each rest stop after this was more and more exciting as we knew that we were getting closer and closer to completing the century ride. The second time that we emerged from the beautiful winding rode that I felt was poured specially for us and rode along the road/bridge across the water, I felt completely over anything(rain/wind/hills) that was continuing to make the ride more challenging. Once we made it back to the final rest stop, I was overwhelmed with excitement knowing that we were only 20 miles from finishing. At this point I went ahead and changed into my Finishline costume for the day and got on the road towards the finish. The last 20 miles were so difficult, both physically, mentally and emotionally. Amazingly, I pulled into the finish line with nearly 104 miles and could have collapsed. Once again, me and several other riders stayed at the finish line to watch all of the riders cross and then finally was able to head to the shower tent. By the time I made it to dinner, there were only a few minutes left of the dinner program. 🙁 Cell service is very spotty around here and I walked probably a mile or two trying to get a signal. Camp is so wet and a mud pit in many places, so walking around is a nightmare unless you like grass and mud all through your toes and all over your feet. I couldn’t be more excited to finish tomorrow’s ride and enjoy the final night festivities. I am so lucky to have been able to enjoy this experience one last time!! 170 miles down, 57 to go! We’ve got this! 

 

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