I’m Back

We had a great trip.

The new route worked out wonderfully: Two lane highways, no traffic, no stop lights, no Dothan, nothing but beautiful fields, budding pecan orchards, little country towns with old houses surrounded by blooming azaleas, and all in the same distance and time as the horrific US 231 route.

The ride on Sunday was great, too. Especially the first 50 miles, for which a tailwind and a strong group of riders helped us to average about 20.5 mph. The next 50 was into the wind, and we steadily lost members of the group. Fewer riders means more time for each rider at the head of the pace line, which means each rider uses more energy, which means the group slows down. So we ended up at about 18.5 for the whole thing.

By the end of the ride, it was just my buddy JD and I. When we got to the last rest stop, at mile 77, the guy working the stop told us it was only 17 more miles until the end. That would have meant a 94 mile “century.” Not a big deal, except: 1)  I drove down there to ride a century, and 2) this was JD’s first century. Thus, upon reaching the final turn, at mile 91, when everyone else headed for the finish JD and I went in the opposite direction so as to make up the extra six miles and finish with 100.

The best part of any century is “refueling” later that night. We went out for pizza, which we enjoyed in the perfect weather out on the restaurant’s patio, and which was complimented by the pitchers of Sweetwater 420. Hmmm, draught beer, hmmm.

Yesterday we woke up and had a big breakfast of eggs, cinnamon rolls, smoothies and coffee. Then it was off for a quick mountain bike ride on some local trails. After that, lunch. Again it was outside. But no pitchers this time, as I had to drive the five hours home. Instead, it was white wine on the patio with my salmon over black beans and rice. Good stuff. Then the goodbyes, not so sad this time, as maybe it won’t be too long before we see each other again.  

Like I said, a great trip. Unfortunately, though, I did not take any pictures. We went for a short ride through Tallahassee on Saturday and saw lots of cool stuff, like the Hemp Festival on the FSU campus, and the Burt Reynolds Student Housing, and the local shop selling t-shirts made from “100% Human Hair.” But I forgot to bring the camera. I remembered it for the century, but was too immersed in the ride to stop and take pictures of funny stuff like the “El Bethel” church or “Beaver’s Taxidermy.” And on the drive home yesterday when we went past the water tower in Clio, Alabama with its proud declaration that Clio is “The Home of Don Sutton” I just did not feel like pulling over to take a shot.

Pictures or not, it was a blast.

Update: Almost forgot one of the best parts of the trip. JD picked up my registration stuff for me, and, disappointed (rightfully) that registering did not get the rider a t-shirt (why ride if you can’t brag about it later?), he got me a new pair of socks instead:

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6 Comments on “I’m Back”

  1. Kathy Says:

    Welcome back! Sounds like a great trip. How long does it take you to recover from a 100-mile bike ride?

  2. wheeler Says:

    it depends on how hard you ride the century. we didn’t go too hard on sunday, i.e. we stopped at all three rest stops and never really hammered it during the ride. so i feel good now. actually, we spent an hour and half or so on the mountain bikes yesterday, and i’ll probably get in around a hundred total miles this week, with about half coming this saturday.

  3. Don Says:

    It sounds as if you traveled an interesting route that others might like to take, although probably not on a 2-wheeler. I wonder if you would post a map showing the route you followed.

  4. curtispalmer Says:

    are you doing the ride on Saturday that starts/ends at the Barber track?

  5. wheeler Says:

    i don’t know. i haven’t registered, so probably not.

  6. draftsonyou Says:

    Awesome ride! Thanks for coming back to get me! I felt like I hammered though…at least the first half. Viva El Bethel!

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