Today I rode the first century since my accident and (after a nice cool shower) I feel simply maaaavelous. While not as strong as I was last June, I rode pain-free and relatively strong all day.
The event was the second annual Bike the River Valley century put on by Glen at Bicycle Shows US who also organizes the Ride to Montauk and other deluxe century offerings. Since I was not too keen on spending $100 to ride around my neighborhood with a bunch of strangers, I inquired about volunteer options which would generously eliminate my entry fee. Glen was happy to accommodate and gave me the task of leading the escorted 100-mile ride: a perfect arrangement. Talk about pressure, though. I was pretty sure I wouldn't run into trouble, but knowing I had people depending on me really helped.
We had a blast! What fun it is to pull together a group of total strangers of varying abilities into a team to take on some controlled adventure. The weather was generally cooperative, but temps did get into the 90s in the afternoon and the exposed sections of the route were a little brutal at times. Luckily much of the route was shaded. My knowledge of the area definitely came in handy when the other route leader had us heading south on River Rd. in Red Hook rather than north. While we took in an extra 10 miles due to some curious route markings, we were able to shave off an unnecessary northern loop near Germantown and clocked in at exactly the reported route mileage of 104. The route also passed directly by my driveway in the final 10 miles so my wife and son were able to bring buckets of cold water to dump on our heads as we rode passed.
So, all in all, it was a very nice day. I got to:
- enjoy the excitement of an organized ride,
- meet a bunch of nice people,
- ride over some beautiful roads on a gorgeous summer day,
- feel like my efforts and knowledge of the area were really helpful and,
- most of all, prove to myself that I can ride a strong 100 miles without pain and suffering.
Next up: the NYC 200K on July 31. Anyone care to join me?