During the last weekend of April, I performed a minor miracle for a body, who from time to time, has accepted middle age as a time of athletic regression. Not anymore. I rode from Pleasant View to Pleasant Grove (98 miles) then got on the bicycle the next morning and rode back! That was the culmination of training since last November, and proof positive that I could participate successfully in the Cycle Salt Lake Century. Now I say, I can look at middle age and spit in it's face!
Yesterday, I did in in fact, ride the 100-mile Cycle Salt Lake Century! The first 70 miles were really quite a bit of fun! The last 30, not unlike my Pleasant Grove ride, were pretty tough! It was a great event and a great day. Temperatures reached 90, and I drank about 1.5 gallons of water during the ride. My friend Troy, rode the entire event with me, even though he had been saying he'd do only the 66-mile option. Welcome back to century riding Troy!
I was surprised at a number of things at this event -- my first organized century ride.
- The sheer numbers of bicyclists was amazing (about 3000, I believe). For the first 20 miles on the road ahead I saw bicycles, bicycles, bicycles. In the rearview mirror I saw handlebars and pumping legs!
- There were quite a number of fat people riding. I'm not skinny -- still 20 pounds overweight -- but I was surprised to see folks who were 50+ pounds overweight riding the full 100 miles.
- The ride had 33, 66, and 100 mile options. So the numbers of riders was vastly larger in the first half of the ride. So was the variety in bicycles. I was a surprised to see (and hear .... squeak squeak) bicycles that had poor maintenance.
- The support for this ride was fantastic. Great rest stops and good food! Where ever we were on the ride, the support staff of Bingham Cycle shop was there to assist riders with mechanical and fatigue problems. Troy and I stopped twice along the route (other than at rest stops) Both times, a Bingham's Cycle shop guy came by to ask if we needed help!
What a day!