Over the last 3 weeks I had begun to seriously figure when and how to ride my first century and on Sunday the 2nd I did it.
I planned a large figure 8 pattern extending to the west of Winston-Salem and then to the east.
At the half way point I would be back at home. This way if anything went amiss I would really be no further than 25 miles from the house and my wife could find me.
I set out at 8:00 in the morning heading across the Yadkin River into the rolling farmland of Yadkin County. It was a beautiful morning for a ride and I passed and was passed by a number of riders as this is a popular bike course from Winston. I took my time, stopped often to take pictures (attached) and hydrate, eat, etc. Arrived back at the house for a short lunch in 3hours 3 minutes for an average of 16.3mph. It was a real piece of cake ride.
Ate a quick sandwich, apples slices and drank some Power Aide while watching the Tour on TV. Then off to the east for the second half of the figure 8.
The afternoon session was not quite as nice. The temp rose to 92 degrees with a hot wind downsloping out of the Blue Ridge to the west. It at least provided me with a nice tailwind heading to Greensboro and when I reached my stopping point there I had traveled 82 miles with an average speed of 16.4mph.
From here on it was not alot of fun. Riding back to Winston facing a hot headwind in 90+ weather. to get back into town I had to climb a series of hills beginning about 6 miles from my finish with the final hills being right in the downtown district. At that point I was having no fun at all.
I knew I would be riding more than 100 miles and so when I hit 100 miles I stopped to take a break, record the figures etc. Average over 100 was 16.00mph in a riding time of 6 hours 14 minutes.
The final data upon arriving home was 108.68 miles in 6 hours 51 minutes for an average of 15.8 mph.
I was really beat. Although I had stayed hydrated, going through about 10 water bottles and I seemed to have plenty of food, with a lunch stop and a PB&J for the road as well as 4 little packs of fig newtons. It seemed really a long ride and my legs were tired.
I was surprised that I did not become saddle sore as so many threads on the forums argue about comfortable saddles and I have always just ridden on the Bontrager saddle that came with my bike.
Anyway it was nice to get that monkey off my back. Now two days later and having just returned from my regular exercise ride,(thighs still a little sore) I feel it was worth it to ride. I do believe though that the next century I attempt will be in cooler weather and perhaps on a tour ride. There is a popular ride here in Sept called the Tour to Tanglewood that offers a century course.
Anyway this should help my numbers for July.
The attached photos show some the the pretty farmland west of Winston-Salem as well as the small town of East Bend decked out for the fourth of July. One shot shows a pretty Methodist church on a hill. In this rural area I pass 4 to 5 small churches like this in the middle of farm country, they seem well attended and are very pretty. The photo of my bike on the sign is of a small vineyard in the area. It's a beautiful place and this region is becoming more and more a wine region as time goes on, perhaps like CA looked 40 years ago. My daughter took a photo of me as I was leaving for the second half of the ride. I didn't look nearly so together upon my final return so no photos of that. The only photo in the Winston area is of the Texas Pete plant. Known round the world and made right here. Also a pic of the bike computer when I hit 100 miles.