I signed up for Digital Gee's "Ride Against Paraska-whatever, knowing that my real plan was to ride a solo century today.
I did some planning. I wanted to ride Highway 70 from Quincy CA (my home) to Hallelujah Junction, on Highway 395, not too far North of Reno. 57 miles one way. The Beautiful Mrs. Slim, concerned about my safety volunteered to SAG for me. I loved the idea.
I was going to leave at 7:00 this morning, but I forgot to check the sunrise, so waited until 7:20. It was 30 degrees. Now, here's the first coincidence: I'm climbing the first hill, thinking about Carmen Electra (don't ask). A few minutes later, one ONE Carmen Electra song out of 6240 on my iPod began to play as I climbed the next hill.
Mrs. Slim was waiting for me at mile 15 with hot tea and a muffin. It was now 38 degrees. I had averaged 12 mph to get there. I knew it was the slowest part of the ride. She went on to spend some time with a friend, whose house is along my route. The next leg was a 20 ride to just past the town of Portola. At a Rest Area, Mrs. Slim was again waiting. After some refreshments and wardrobe manipuplation (got ride of all the cold weather clothes except a windbreaker vest, it was in the mid-50s now), I was again off.
The first 35 miles of the ride is hilly and tree-lined. I was now heading our on a high desert. A slight headwind, but not too annoying. About 22 miles to lunch at the turn around. The last 7 miles were into a stiff headwind over Beckwourth Pass, 5200 feet. After a mini-mart sandwich (I really wanted one of those Polish hot dogs going around in the little glass cage), chips, banana and a coke, I'm off. Can you believe it? A tailwind! I was doing 30 mph for a while and averaged better than 20 mph across the valley.
Mrs. Slim met me at the rest area again. Nice to see her. 35 miles to home. Back in the hills. Small tailwind. I stopped for a Power Bar at 100 miles and rolled into my drive way 8 hours 50 minutes after I started. Averaged 15.5 mph, which is pretty respectable for me. 114 miles.
I've done a number of centuries, but this was my longest ride ever by a few miles. I feel that good tired we get when we work hard. I didn't pick up any bungee cords (and there were many) and lost count of the former snakes. It was a great ride for me.