First, I only took a few pictures at the end. I've never tried taking any while riding(nervous about the wife's point and shoot) and wasn't riding with anyone(didn't know anyone). Some photos are from other sources.
Woke up before the alarm (set for 0330--don't want to disturb the wife). It's still raining outside, but the forecast for my area and the ride area is for the rain to stop around 0600 to 0700. Check-in starts at 0630 and the ride start is at 0730. I putter around on the computer and making some final preparations--re-checking gear and supplies to be sure I have what I'll need. I did a lot of prepping the day before. Don't want to get dressed until closer to the time I want to pack the car and leave. I'm in the robe and slippers until then. Eat a PBJ&B sandwich around 05:30.
I get suited up and pack the car. Not going to put the rack on and have a drowned bike to start--so I back the car to the garage door, lower the back seats, remove the front wheel, and put the bike in the trunk(front is behind the driver's seat). I'm sure glad I got that Sugoi Hydrolite Jacket(wind jacket and water resistant). Check and re-check the contents in the car and check the house to ensure I don't leave anything critical behind. I start off and 2 miles down the road I literally shout, "Crap! My route wrist strap!" Well, turn the car around and go home and get it--have a devil of a time getting the darn thing on.
I always like to be early and, as it was, I started off for the site later than I wanted and now it's even later, but, not wanting to be further slowed down by an Officer or get in an accident, I drive the speed limit(well, around 4 miles over where safe to do so with wet roads). It's still raining a bit.
When I finally arrive(≈0645), there is a slight mist which stops really soon after with temps around 55ºF, windy, moist air and wet roads. I park, pull out the bike and ride to find the Team Red tent but no one is there. At the breakfast location, I just have small amount of eggs, half a biscuit, half a banana, an orange wedge and a small apple juice.
It's nearly time and we line up at the start to hear a small group from a local church do a wonderful rendition of The Star Spangled Banner and have a moment of silence for the victims in Boston.
And the 100 milers are off.
Top image is of the start and the one below is during the Star Spangled Banner(not my image, obviously).
I get behind a group that is riding a bit slow for me for about 30 minutes when I decide I've got to get ahead of this group. I don't push hard, but finally manage to get beyond the group. I want to take it easy but not that easy. I ride at a relaxed pace and only stop at the first rest stop to re-fold the cue sheet to show turns to the next rest stop. I stop at every rest stop to fuel, replenish water, and use the bathroom(except for the first and last stops). There is nothing except some homes which are few and far between rest stops so I was not going to chance needing anything. I ate a few of the things I brought, but the rest stops where well stocked and were only about 10~15 miles apart(mostly 15)--ate mostly peanuts, bananas, orange wedges. At two of the stops I ate ½ a PBJ&B sandwich(37 miles and 61 miles).
I'm sure glad I'm wearing that wind jacket as it was chilly with the wind and overcast sky. The sun finally came out around noon and packed away the jacket at rest stop 5. Still a bit cool, but the sun was out and it was getting a bit warm with the jacket. Of course the sky became overcast and the wind was keeping up so I was cool, but not chilled--kept going fighting the wind and inclines a lot of the way(long and most not big, but more than I'm used to).
At around 70 or so miles, my butt was getting to me probably because I was in the seat most of the time. On the route I do at home, I have a lot more stops, stop signs, traffic, and do more standing for getting re-started and such and don't have issues. But this ride there were a lot longer segments where I was riding before doing any stopping and I'm not as used to that. I would stand every once in a while to relieve my butt. I am wearing a really good pair of shorts and I've done long rides, (80, 86, and a 108 miler), with them so I was used to how I'd feel--not the shorts, just length of time in the saddle.
At every rest stop, and intermittently along the route, there were people cheering us along. Two ladies, and I wish I took a photo of them, were at nearly every stop holding a sign up and cheering, "Go Red Rider!," and "Super Job!" They'd pass us after a while in their car and yell out the window, "Go Red Rider, Woohoo!"
I finally make the last turn on the final road to the finish. As I approach I hear cheering and noise makers. When I turn to go to the finish, they announce my name over the loud speakers and cheer.
Moving time on my computer was 6hrs 30 minutes(which includes time walking the bike at rest stops and pulling up to a house). Had I not been stuck behind that slow group in the first 30 or so minutes, and on many stretches(with false flats and inclines) not been fighting 12~15 mph winds with gusts of 20 to 30 mph headwinds, I think I would've had shaved 15~20 minutes off the traveling time--maybe a bit more. Total time, with stops and all was about 7hrs 30 minutes which would've been less had I not had to wait in long(15 deep) line at my first bathroom stop and not pulled to a house because I thought I missed a turn.
I want to conclude that the roads where really well marked(especially since there was wind and thunderstorms late the night before and into the wee hours of the AM)--many turns were manned. I could've done this without a cue sheet and maps(but wouldn't want to do so)--the cue sheet though helped me gauge how much time I had between rest areas. The volunteers, "cheerleaders," and police were super. The police manned several major intersections and did a great job--thank you.
Cyclocomputer showing 103.4 miles of travel(official distance is 102.9 miles). Extra distance over the official due to walking bike at rest stop, going to that on house, and riding to where I took the photo.
Self portrait after doing the ride.
Shot of bike with ride number.
Finisher medal and ADA dog tag hanging from bike.
Close up of finisher medal and dog tag.
Post ride meal at event. Chicken, pasta, and salad--quite tasty
Some of the event images--not mine.
Crappy cell phone pic of pie
Called the wife when I finished and told her I wasn't up to cooking dinner. I wasn't up to anything sit-down(ordering), so we went to Golden Corral.
Of course I had Pie...and no, I did not eat all this. I ate the whole no-sugar added blueberry pie, and about 1/4 to 1/3 each of the sugar free pistachio cake, the chocolate pie, and the cookies. The remainder, the wife ate some of(each)--we often do this, share dessert since she knows I will only indulge a little.