It all started by clicking an ad on this site. I was looking for a century near Spokane, WA to use as a training ride for my Seattle to Portland ride coming in July anyway when I stumbled upon the Tour de Cure. I tossed out a feeler question on facebook inquiring from friends if they would support me and quickly signed up. From that first day the outpouring of support I have recieved from friends, family, and fellow woodworkers has been awesome! Since that day I have raised $768 for the ADA. I also enlisted my 16 y.o. son in the ride and he was able to raised $185, together that put our team 4th in fundraising. Thanks to all my friends that got us there! I am honored to have their support. I even volunteered LOML to help out, she does not ride. While my 16 yo daughter and 6 y.o. son spent the day with my parents.
Leading up to this ride I read every post I could find on centurys and traing tips for completing them so that I would be as prepared as I could be, being a Clyde and all. I decided to take three days of rest prior to the ride, although on Saturday I did ride 4.5 miles with both boys since I need to give the youngest his time with dad. He rides like a lion! Saturday after lunch we load the car and drive to Spokane, check in to the motel and go visit my parents. After a brief visit we drove out to Medical lake and met my best friend from high school for dinner and conversation about cycling, running, Jack Daniel's, old times, etc. We were both distance runners way back then, he a half miler, me a miler and we also ran cross country together. Had a nice visit, dinner was good as well.
Back at the motel room I found the beds too firm and somewhat crowned. Not sure if it was pre ride anticipation or being in a different place or the hip pain I was having or what but I really slept little Saturday night. I would have been much better to put the family in a motel and pitch my tent and sleep on my cot, which is what I'll do next year and probally also for the STP. However I learned way back when I was a runner that the night before was not as important as two nights before so Friday night I went to bed early and got plenty of sleep. Sunday morning woke up early. Off we go to checkin. Stop on the way at a Starbucks, only to find they do not open that early, who knew? Settle for a cup of Bubba's which was actually quite good. There is a story there as well but not now. We get to the ride, check in, unload the bikes, and eat what they had for breakfast. As it turns out that was fine with my system but I had a bagel and cream cheese and a half a bananna which is not even close to what I normally eat. As we are getting ready to line up they introduce a member of Team Sanofi, I did not get his name.
We lined up, me in the front row as a Red Rider with the pro next to me and at 6:30 am off we go. Down a pathway with crumbling pavement and deep gravel and out onto the Spokane County Raceway road course, only to find after a lap that we were not supposed to do that, more about that later. Off through rural Spokane county on a course that was mostly very well marked and had volunteers directing us at nearly every turn. The first rest stop was about what should have been mile 12. there was a canyon we went through before we arrived there. the landscape was sparsely populated and mixed forrest of mostly ponderosa pine and open space, some farmettes. Then out through a coulee that was small farms, other rural homes, then up an easy climb onto the rolling dryland farm lands of eastern Spokane county and into Lincoln county.
The dryland farmland brought me back to when I worked in agriculture. I noticed that much of the wheat, (winter) was minimum till or direct seeding, a modern farming method that saves fuel, soil, and has other benefits. Shortly after the second rest stop we went through some rolling hills that were fun, down a hill, round a corner to the third rest stop. Somewher in there I saw a field of mustard. I'm not much of a fan of yellow but there are few times in nature where yellow is as beatiful as dryland mustard, talk about vibrant! The route continued down hill for a ways, along a state highway for a few miles before turning right back onto county roads to yet another rest stop. Shortly after that was the steepest climb of the ride the top of which we turned yet again onto a different road. This road had also been used for several other supported rides and had painted markers on the road. At one intersection although there was a TdC sign advising there was also a sign on the road from a different ride advising to turn and it just happened that there were other cyclists riding on that road. We turned then pulled over because it did not seem right. Checked the map and sure enough we were off course. When we stopped I only unclipped on side and fell over the other side; I was fine this time but my left brake/ shifter was knocked inward. We continued on to yet another rest stop that I nearly rode by since I had plenty of food and water, but did stop and fixed my brake/ shifter.
We continued down yet another canyon and rejoined part of the earlier course where we made a right and added a shorter loop back up the hill to the second rest stop where this time we turned. All the while I was keeping an eye on my watch as all these stops were eating time and the course was officially closed at 3 pm. I knew we had time but not a lot of it. Finally we dropped back down the canyon and continued past the first reststop where I should have stopped and refilled my water since I was out by the end, although I was hydrated enough. to Sevenmile where we turned down what used to be a through road that has been changed to a MUP along the Spokane River, one of the palces where I ran and hiked in my youth. On to the final climb of the day, 2.67 miles of 3.1% then back to the raceway. To complete 100 miles we needed to do two more laps around the road course. Total distance was 100.44 miles with an actual pedal time of 7:41. Not too bad for my first century.
Shortly after the first rest stop I had muscle pain in one leg, not sure what that was about. I followed rule #5 and just road through it. Like the hip pain the night before I've no explaination other than perhaps three days of rest was too much? During the ride I stayed well hydrated, better than on my unsupported rides and well fed, well at least I was eating plenty and it did not cause problems. Although this was only my second supported ride I am greatly impressed with how well done this was. I think the course could use some help. Having to do 3 laps on a raceway in order to get 100 miles seems like it could have been done differently, although that is where they did the family ride portion. My son and I were nearly the last people on the course and they were tearing down when we finished but we did still get a great pulled pork sandwich and did not feel hurried at all. The volunteers were generous with theire support and attaboys. I had a great time but was pretty much exhaused from sleep deprivation. My son's goal was sub 8 hours and we did that, mine was to finish, I knew I would and actually today I feel great. Hydration, nutrition, and training rides I think made all the difference. Link to the course is here.
I'll add pictures after I resize them and download and upload them from my iPhone. My HTC phone battery died around the 70 mile marker so I do not have all the data and have not uploaded it.(this phone I no longer use as a phone but the ride apps still work and the battery seems to last longer without the phone running in the background)