Violator's birthday happened to fall on the same weekend at the Cow Creek Classic. Since she's training for this uber ride in September, we all signed up for the Cow Creek rally to support her and celebrate her being bornded and all. Cuz we love Violator and we love bicycles. (and the heat, apparently)
Frunners on wheels (l-r, MK, EK, Fred, Drum, DK, The Cyclist, Ninja, Violator, me, Marci) Pic by Mama C
At stupid thirty we headed down south to Waxahachie. (pronounced Woks-a-hatchie) and set about the business of getting ready to ride. We were all riding different distances - many of us planning to tackle the 102 ride. (cause just 100 would be silly) I braided Marci's hair and then got my things together. Including, of course, my great big nutsack. Happiness in life, folks.
This looks super flat but the first 50 miles or so were nothing but climbing. And crosswinds. And chip seal. I really do not care for chip seal but it's just a fact of life, cycling out in the country. But it's bumpy and jostly and it makes me super grumpasaurus. Add those crosswinds that nearly knocked me off my bike and let's just say, I was NOT having fun pretty quickly. Fifty miles of this.
MK is a pretty positive person and I didn't want to seem all sad panda pants, whiney tail to her. So I mostly kept my mouth shut. Until we saw this horse, begging for attention. I suggested that we stop to make its picture and she agreed. Turned out, she was having a craptastic ride, too. I let her know that I was nearly 100% certain that I'd take the turn off for the 80 mile route. Eighty miles is still a dang good workout, and I had a brick run to negotiate post ride. I figured if I did 80, I'd finish about the same time at The Cyclist finished up 102. He could let me in the car and I could go about the business of my run while errybody else had lunch. She indicated that she might take the 80 too. We just were NOT having fun on this really unpleasant surface. And that's what we were there to do, have fun.
Hai, horse! Or should I say, hay, horse!
I put my head down and just focused on keeping my cadence high, trying not to get down on myself for wimping out and "only" riding 80 miles. ONLY. When we got to the turn off, we saw a speck of red. It was Ninja! Waiting for us - so he could take the 80 mile cut off, too. Suddenly this ride got better, now it was a party! We all cheered and smiled and whooped it up, even though we were now riding on gravel. (which is a little like riding on ice, truth be told) The fierce wind was replaced with a gentle breeze, we were protected from the searing heat by a canopy of trees, I swear I heard music and saw a unicorn dancing under a rainbow. Deciding to only ride 80 was the best decision ever!
At the end of the gravel road, Ninja mentioned that we would pass a gas station and could stop for cokes. THIS DAY JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER! The thought of a cold, sugary drink made my day. However, he soon realized that the 80 mile route doesn't go through town. He pointed to Italy (pronounced IT-lee) to tell us if we wanted a coke, we'd have to turn around. Without a word, the 3 of us turned around, ha! We could see the 102 milers passing the parking lot and joked that we might see The Cyclist. I stayed with the bikes while they went inside and sure enough, there he was! I jumped up and down, screaming and waving like a fool and he detoured over to say hai.
Seriously, y'all, he was at mile 80 when we were at mile 60. And we started at the same time.
We hung around the gas station a bit, enjoying our rocket fuel then took off, all smiles now. The last 30 miles of the ride were mostly downhill. Still chip seal but I do love me some winding downhills. I put it in my biggest gear, folded into aero and tore up the downhill, fueled by high fructose corn syrup and caffeine!
We loooove riding now!
Panda shots of the girlies
I didn't get the red and black memo
Dropping to 80 was a great decision. Sometimes, it's okay to change your plans. I enjoyed the day SO much more that I wasn't suffering for another 2 hours or so. Ha! I ran, we had lunch under a shade tree, we laughed and talked, enjoyed the company of great friends and celebrated Violator's birthday. I LOVE this crew so very, very much!
Pic by Mama C