Sunday, July 17, 2011

My First Century! Ride and volunteer report.

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?


  1. Congratulations! Another milestone. So pleased for you. Wonderful to be able to keep up to date on what you're at.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement @Swarm_Catcher! Looks like you've been having a busy year. So pleased to see that you've gotten your PBP number and are nearly set for that big adventure. I'd wish you dry weather, but you probably don't want that. You'd be like a fish out of water, right? I'm sad I won't be there this time, but am so looking forward to LEL in 2013! Tailwinds.

  3. George,

    Looking forward to seeing you in NYC 200k on July 31st.


  4. I happened to be at the Montgomery Place fruit stand on 9G in Red Hook on Sunday. There were a lot of confused riders coming through there! I knew nothing about the ride but looked at their cue sheets. I steered folks back onto River Rd. and across the Kingston Rhinecliff bridge. I guess these were folks on the 70 mile ride. That cue sheet could use some improving right in that area!

  5. @JimK - what a funny coincidence. I'm sure those riders were glad to see you! I noticed some static in that area as well. I had actually hoped to see the cue sheet before the event so I could get my mind around the route and perhaps even plug it into my GPS, but it was not ready until Sunday morning. This was the first event in a long time I rode in that actually had turns painted on the road, but if you're lost that doesn't help much. Thanks!

  6. Congratulations! Just catching up on your summer news, and this was epic. I wish I could have dumped cold water on your head...Sounds like a future auction item to me!

  7. @Laura - now THAT'S a good fundraising idea. Now your thinking. Thanks for the encouragement.