Yesterday dawned dark and dreary w/the weather oracle predicting rain, rain and more rain. But in the human breast, hope springs eternal (thank you Alexander Pope) and off I drove w/my cycling partner to Findlay for the Hancock Horizontal Hundred.
Despite the fact we had no map and only our wits to guide us (extremely risky behavior) we arrived at the start to mount our trusty steel steeds.
To inspire us on the dreary way were our bikejournal buddies, Dave and Jane, and Larry. Imagine how difficult it was to refrain from congratulating ourselves on our vigor and determination. More timid souls likely would not be riding in the adverse conditions. But here we were, stalwart, determined, indefatigable, and very, very soggy. Only the most discerning of imbeciles would consider riding a bicycle 100 miles in the pouring rain, commuting 4 hours by car and paying 21 dollars for the privilege.
Despite the conditions, or maybe because of them, I closed the day w/a personal best time for the 100 mile distance. Due in no small part to unambiguous sandbagging by yours truly, coupled w/copious drafting off Dave and Jane on their tandem, I stopped the clock at 5:52 at 100 miles for an average speed of 17mph.
This is an improvement of over one full hour over my previous century time.
Whether or not this feat is a testament to my new bike, my strong, capable and longsuffering cycling buddies, my sandbagging and drafting, or a combination thereof, I do not know. I only know, it will be a very, very long time, if ever, before I am able to shave a full hour off my PR for a century ride.