The best kind.
I did this rally last year. But last year I knew no one else riding and headed down to camp, ride and run solo. This year a whole passel of cool kids headed to Wichita Falls for the fun!
We set up camp in the, apparently, orange tent only area. Plunked down in the same spot as last year where we could watch the Friday night trail ride go by as we ate supper. I couldn't believe the weather! Last year it was 100 still at midnight, this year, the evening brought cloud cover, a nice breeze and temps in the 70's. I just love sleeping out under the stars. Even if I cannot see the stars without my glasses!
Up early to get ready, get Marci & Jason their packets (they drove in Saturday morning with Mama C and Julie) and find the start line, I continued to marvel at the cool temps. Sadly, I did not connect with Heidi and Brian at the start. Our plan was to ride together but with so many riders, finding one another was a challenge. We eventually met up around mile 20, but not before I made a few new friends on the course!
Found Heidi! Yes, she's dressed in a tank and I'm dressed for arctic conditions. I wanna be covered, yo. Trying to keep the sun offa me! Those sleeves are working (ish). I do have a strange tan line on my wrists between my gloves and my sleeve. Oh well, you can't win them all.
Not the most scenic surroundings in West Texas. I saw and smelled a lot of oil.
The pumps makes an eerie creaking noise as they move. Do you have oil fields where you are from?
At one point, oh, mile 75 or so, my right foot got so hot I thought it might catch fire.
My left foot was fine but at the aid station I let my poor right foot breathe.
Same aid station, we got caught stretching our calf muscles on a slight incline.
Apparently causing a small scene, one dude said we ought to get a picture. The rest is history. The volunteers were great and the ice water was flowing. I made sure to keep my Camelbak full so there were no repeats of my near instant death due to dehydration at Shiner, ha!
I love this photo that Heidi snapped (thanks for sharing it, H!) She was so smiley the whole ride, singing and waving and carrying on. Here Brian and I are just tucked into our ride - I love her joy! This was their first century ride and I was glad to get to share the experience with them. We celebrated each mileage milestone along the way.
Shared the highway with a tractor for a bit. Oh, Texas, I love you so.
This was a super flat course. See? I actually heard a few people comment on the hills. Um, hmm. Maybe they went off course? Very flat, almost 20 degrees cooler than last year (it was 111 at the finish last year) and overcast for much of the ride, I consider this a gift for an August ride. It certainly was not hotter than Hell, but that is just the type of false advertising that I'm okay with!
Like the super smart cyclist I am, I tried out a new saddle on this ride. Before Saturday the farthest I had ridden on my new Adamo was, oh, say, 20 miles. Why not jump in for 100? You know what? I love this saddle! No complaints from the lady business. None at all. And that's saying a lot for 100 miles in aero!
The aid stations only had fruit and water. I wanted something salty like whoa. And a coke. So around mile 80 we stopped at a C Store for cokes and, of course, Fritos. Usually on a long ride, a cold coke is like rocket fuel for me. All that sugar and caffeine and cold, mmm. I swear by it. Train clean, race dirty, right?
All in all it was a great day. We took it easy, stopping as frequently and for as long as we liked. We sang (okay, Heidi sang) we visited, we just basically enjoyed each other's company. I love training with Heidi and Brian - they are such a fun couple! We got separated after the Air Force Base and I ended up finishing just a bit before them. It was great to be reunited with my friends. Mr. T finished the 100 about, oh, eleven hours before we did and the other glowing cyclists all the did the 50 mile, Marci, kneeling in front, well this was her first rally and the farthest she had ridden prior to this weekend was 13 miles. Hardcore! Congratulations to everyone who rode - it was a great day!
Thx for the pic, Mama!
I'd like to revisit 100+ a few more times this fall. Fortunately I know enough cyclists we can probably make that happen sooner than later - and I cannot wait!