Last week I was invited to do a century in Logan, UT put on by a group called Road Respect based on respect between cars and bikes to each other by a buddy of mine named Kent, and I wasn’t sure I really wanted to do it. It sounded like it could be fun, and I definitely supported the cause, after all I like being respected by drivers and respecting them back. I just didn’t really have the motivation…
After a couple days of thinking I decided it would be great preparation for Leadville getting a long day of riding in (since this would be my first century this year after all) and decided to give it a shot. I also prefer riding with a group versus by myself and willing participants are always needed for that! My son and I packed up Friday and headed down to Utah. Kent graciously offered to let me stay in his house that night and ride out to the spot everyone would be meeting for the century that day.
After getting settled in, it was time for some shut-eye and the alarm was set for 5:45. I later discovered I didn’t really need an alarm, after all, I was awake every hour. The bed I was sleeping in was soft, so that wasn’t the problem. I even took some “Infinit: Nocturne” which was supposed to help me sleep before I went to bed, so I’m not sure what the problem was but either way, I was tired!
I got ready for the ride by putting on a base layer under my jersey along with arm-warmers because I knew it would be pretty chilly that early in the morning along with the other regular essentials. I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that tasted like candy after all this dieting I have been doing and then headed on outside. It was cold. I considered driving instead of riding my bike to the spot because if you don’t know, I HATE the cold. I decided to just tough it out and started riding anyway. It was a good seven mile spin before we got to the meeting spot and by the time we got there it was warm enough I decided to ditch the arm-warmers.
Before I knew it, the ride had started. I knew from experience these “rides” were always actually races with no official times so I got to the front as quickly as I could. We had a police escort out and when he stopped and we passed him by, the pace line formed and things started to heat up. The pace slowly started to quicken. Right out of the gate we started hitting the hills and the weaker riders started dropping like flies. I knew after the first one that I felt good and was ready to inflict some pain. The pace seemed to get quicker and quicker, we were flying. Since there were quite a few riders, the pace would “yo-yo” a lot which was something that I really hate even if there isn’t much you can do about it.
We did the first forty miles in an hour and a half before we hit an aid station. I was using “Infinit” in my bottles which had all of my carbs in it, meaning I didn’t need to eat any food so I was able to refill my bottles pretty quick and get back on the bike. Next up was an eight mile hill. I had ridden it about a month earlier so I knew what I was in for but like I said, I was feeling good and was ready to crank it out. My goal was to stay at 250 watts the whole way up. I knew my son was sitting behind my wheel because he had his portable speaker playing music behind me and the people we were passing on the way up that weren’t going as fast kept jumping in our draft, but couldn’t keep up the power and would get dropped soon after. One guy, however did come in front of us and pulled for a short period of time before we passed and dropped him.
We started getting closer to the top when I realized yet again another guy was in the draft, only he wasn’t getting dropped. He stayed in the back clear until about a mile before the top then pulled to take the lead. My son Cobe jumped on his wheel and I fell back behind Cobe. We were almost to the top and I hear Cobe say “Is that the top?” knowing that meant he was going to take off… I hesitantly replied, “yes”. Sure enough, Cobe stood up and started to take off. The guy who was pulling also stood up to try and beat him, but slowly fell back. I also stood up and picked up speed a bit and passed the guy who was pulling before reaching the top.
I lost track of what kind of watts I was pushing because eventually I just put my head down and suffered so I am not sure what kind of average I held the whole way up but I do know that it was from 230-250. At the top everyone took pictures with the “Wellsville” mountains in the background before we started heading back down the other side. The descent really wasn’t all that steep and there were no sharp turns so it wasn’t real intense. Once reaching the bottom I heard someone yell “All good!” meaning everyone was together and everyone took off again. Not too much time went by when my son started to fall back a little. I knew from how quick he climbed the hill he must have been hurting. I told him to jump on the wheel of the guy about to pass him and he said he didn’t have it.
I discovered shortly, however, that everyone was going so quick because we were right at another aid station. Everyone refilled bottles and we were back on our way. The pace was definitely slower now and only randomly picked up a couple times before we rolled back into the start. My Garmin only read 80 miles so I knew that even though the ride with the big group was over, Cobe, Kent, and I would still have some riding to do. After hanging out for a couple minutes we were back on our bikes and on our way. We were really just spinning now after pushing so hard for so long and weren’t pushing too much of an effort. After probably ten miles we started up a hill right next to Kent’s house. It was a really pretty climb with a steady incline and we were even able to fill our bottles back up with a water pump at the top. We headed back down and headed in to Kent’s driveway, my Garmin read 101 miles. All in all I had a really fun day and the weather was great! I am definitely glad that I decided to go do it and can’t wait to get on the bike again! 🙂 Thank you for reading and keep Cycling Strong!