I have to say Sunday morning I was very jittery. I was pretty nervous, not only about the ride, but about the details of getting registered, getting my little one taken care of, and all kinds of other things I made up in my head. Mostly I was worried about my feet causing such a problem I wouldn’t be able to finish the ride.
My mom showed up about 7am. She took the little monkey and we headed over to Winfield. (I forgot how quiet it is without a 3 year old in the car lol). When we got there I started getting really excited seeing everyone there, and all the bikes. I was glad to see there were other people with mountain and other non road bikes. There were a few recumbants as well as two bikes where the rider laid on the ground and pedaled with his hands. (which was pretty cool to see ~ I biked behind one for a while and was concerned about cars being able to see him, but he had someone riding right behind him)
I went to the sign in place and registration was quick and easy. Then I had an hour to wait until the ride started lol. So much for that concern. I got my first (of many I’m sure) t shirt. We hung out in the parking lot, taking some videos, and I checked out a lot of bikes. (did a bit of drooling as well)
At 9am everyone gathered and the ride started. Dang I have never seen so many bikes in one spot in my LIFE!! I was kinda nervous getting started and getting in everyone’s way. I tried to pick a spot near the back, but those speedy riders came out of no where!!
(no the girl crashing at the start is NOT me)
Once things started going and the speedy folks passed me (which didn’t take long) I just started enjoying the ride. We don’t live far from Winfield and I assumed the terrain would be similar to ours. PHEW was I WRONG. At one point I thought I’d come over and ride the route in a car. I’m so glad I did not. I am also glad I didn’t have a good working definition of “rolling hills” when I decided to do this ride. If either of those things had happened I’m quite sure I would never have agreed to do it.
As it happens they didn’t happen and I quickly found myself facing hills bigger than I have faced thus far, and one right after another. I could not believe how many hills they found so close to my house. Where I ride you get a hill, then some flatness, then another hill ~ you have some recovery time built in.
I noticed I was riding much faster than normal, and I kept hearing everyone’s online voice in my head ~ about riding my own ride, not pushing it etc etc. Well, it all felt really easy, even the hills for the first 10 miles. I figured it was adrenaline or something.
The something goes by the name of WIND!! It didn’t really feel that windy (but it never does to me when I’ve got a tail wind lol). So I’m riding along and doing ok, I’m feeling good, I’m taking the hills. My feet are starting to hurt. I’m not looking at my odometer because I don’t want to look down and see how far I have left to go. I did watch the time. My goal for the ride was 3 hours. My feet were starting to hurt a LOT. I was, at one point, wondering if I was going to make it. At that point I came up over a hill and realized I saw BIKES (yeah, I hadn’t really seen any the whole way lol). I thought to myself, OMG I’m catching up to people. NOPE. It was the first SAG stop. I had never been so happy about a banana and solid ground.
After a few minutes I got back on and my feet were ok. I was good. I rode a few more miles and took the next turn. BAM. WIND.
OK. OK. OK. Yeah, at that point I really did start saying that to myself. I then started telling myself I can do it, it’s gonna be OK, I really can do it!! I just lowered my gears, spun it out and it went ok. Again at one point I was starting to think my feet were not going to allow me to make it. Wouldn’t you know it, I came over another hill and there was the second SAG stop!!
Another banana, a nutrigrain bar, big glass of water, walking on flat ground stretching out my feet. A few minutes later I was ready to go. I realized I was over half way there. The second SAG was at 20 miles. Only 15 miles left to go. A short way down the road was the split between the 35 and 65 mile rides. I took a right and followed the blue 35 mile arrows. The wind seemed to lessen a little bit. The hills were big and winding, but they were fun because the downhills were really winding as well and I’d never done that before. The scenery was absolutely AMAZING. I had no idea we had such amazing scenery around these parts.
I finally got, what seemed like, down a mountain ~ but considering I live in Kansas it probably wasn’t, and ended up back in town. The arrows got a little confusing at times, but I figured it out. I finally checked my odometer and realized I was already at 31 miles. YAY. I stopped and called my mom to let her know I’d be back in a few minutes and to look out for me so I could have video of me finishing my first ride.
As I rode down the street, back toward the place I had started just over 3 hours earlier I felt a huge sense of accomplishment, and joy. I did it. Alone. By myself. Just me, myself, the wind, my bike and my aching ass feet. By the time I rode across the finish line my feet felt like one huge charley horse of toes. I actually felt like my toes were curled and disfigured (which I’m sure they weren’t because they went back to normal quite quickly when I started walking). But I did it.
The end was somewhat anticlimactic. There were no people, well, just my mom and my daughter who promptly asked me “were you nice to your friends today?”. ahh. We went out for lunch, and I felt absolutely no guilt over my chips/salsa and chimichanga.