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My First Metric Century and then some.

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

My First Metric Century and then some.

Old 10-02-05, 06:57 PM
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My First Metric Century and then some.

Well, this is my first metric century post (I don't plan on starting a thread each time hereafter). It was an organized fund raiser for the American Diabetes Association starting at Milliken in Spartanburg, SC. The morning started early and it was pretty chilly when I left the house. So I wore a pullover, thinking I'd hide it in a bush come start time. I only live about a mile from the start, so I rode on down. After I got there I realized I had a long wait ahead of me and since the goody bag was better than I expected, I rode back home to safekeep the goodies and waited around the house til closer to start time.

I rode back and spotted a few friends and familiar faces. Then Ostuni spotted the goon in the Moon Pie jersey and I was able to put a face to another BikeForum poster. He was as happy and easy going as I expected. Even when I told him I couldn't remember if I'd seen the Godfather, he just shook his head and carried on like I wasn't a complete idiot.

I think there was a hundred or so riders there and you couldn't ask for better weather. Once the sun came out, it had warmed up just enough to be called perfect. So we all take off and I spot my photographer friend on the side of the road (photo links to follow). Ostuni, if you read this, he got a really good shot of you.

I get on the first main road and I'm trying to stick with the pack. It didn't take me long to realize that I'd quickly burn out if I kept that up for very long. By the time I reached the two different routes' split, I was practically pulling a solo ride. I take the high road, wondering what I was getting myself into. Not too long later, I spot someone in my rearview mirror. I decided to slow down to see if this person might want some company for the next 40 miles or so. As the rider approaches, I realize it's none other than Ostuni! With the "Hey, nice to see you again!" we settled into a comfortable pace (15.1 Avg Spd by the ride's end).

The further we went, the more I was starting to doubt my abbilities. We passed my Aunt's house. As a kid, whenever we'd drive there, it felt like it took forever. Now here I was out there on a bicycle, and we haven't even come close the halfway point.

I guess this would be a good place to mention that the route was great with plenty of wonderful scenery and the road markings were big and plentiful. Time started to lose meaning and before I know it, we had crossed the border into North Carolina! This happened to be another goal of mine and here I was sneaking it into another. Actually I had already passed another goal along the way by riding into the neighboring Cherokee county in SC. Needless to say I was pleased as punch.

The ride in NC didn't last too long, but that didn't matter to me. We had made it there and now we were headed back. Next thing I know, we were headed back into NC. I heard a laugh in my head similar to Homer Simpson's when he realized just how foolish he is. We stayed in NC for many miles and I was starting to look forward to seeing our welcome back home sign any minute. It was about this time that I was starting to keep an eye open for that first rest stop too.

Up until this point, Ostuni and I vollied scornful comments about the constant headwind. The route was relatively flat, but it felt hilly enough (to me at least). Then at one magical hard left, the wind met our backsides and we were really hammering away. I should mention that we had picked up another rider at this point, I think his name was Scott (help me out Ostuni). We formed our paceline and hauled along at 25-28 mph for several miles (Ostuni, if I'm telling a fisherman's tale here, let it slide ). It wasn't long after when we spotted that most blessed of all tables. Peanut butter pretzels, fig newtons, gatorade, water, bananas, granola bars; I could have sat there and devoured it all. We showered Richard the SAG host with thanks and continued on.

Somewhere around this time, things sort of got fuzzy. I don't know if I was in some "zone" or what, but it was blissful whatever it was. I felt no pain, the sites wizzed by and I can't say if I saw them or not. There were several moments when we'd pass something familiar and some proud Holy Cow would moo some cheer in my head. Surely my friends wouldn't believe I'm way out here, many of them surely still home in bed.

We start running into more hills and right over the top of a particular mean one, we spot the second rest stop. The ladies at the stop start clapping but you couldn't hear them over our cheers. I had learned many miles earlier that Ostuni didn't mind cutting up and having fun. Those were some heartfelt cheers for sure. The treats at this table were just as good, though Ostuni seemed preoccupied with the napping puppy. If I didn't know any better, I'd think he was trying to wake the little thing up so they could play.

After the last rest stop, it was all familiar roads and the miles were starting to make themselves know in my saddle. I was trying to figure out how many hills there were between us and the finish. I was revealed as a sucker MC when Ostuni pointed out that I had missed my count considerably.

As we come rolling into the finish, we see that most everyone had finished, packed up and gone home. Still, the drab ham and cheese sandwich was pretty tasty and I was beside myself knowing that I had just ridden further than ever, I had ridden to the neighboring county, and I had ridden to the neighboring state. I was stoked!

I also had to ride home, one last hill. So Ostuni got an Adios and I got moving. That hill was a piece of cake. I actually thought about going ahead and riding some more to shoot for the big 100. I recognized that voice as a symptom of shock and coasted down my street, into the driveway. By the time I had done the preliminary riding back and forth and then back home, my ride came to be 71.5 miles.

I'm wondering how far I'll be going when I shoot for the big 100.

Sorry this went on forever. Clifnotes version to read, "woke up, rode bike, ate a sandwich".
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Old 10-02-05, 07:15 PM
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There will be a point when you will no longer think twice about a metric. Then will come the time when you will just do them without stopping.

Rides like the one you just did are invaluable to your motivation.
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Old 10-02-05, 07:39 PM
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Sounds like an awesome time. I am doing my first metric on the 22nd so hopefully mine will go just as well.
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Old 10-02-05, 08:08 PM
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Way to go Hic!!!!! It's nice to re-live that thrill of completing your first century vicariously through you! Great post and congratulations!!!!
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Old 10-03-05, 07:02 AM
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Note #1: I did not just 'shake my head and carry on' when Hickabod told me that he had never seen the Godfather. I think I called him an 'alien'....

Note #2: Hickabod has some kind of cult/celebrity status. Seems like everyone knew him. And there were papparazzi following him around...

Note #3: Hickabod has legs as long as hockey sticks. My legs are long as Q-tips. He kindly eased up and let me hang with him....

Note #4: That was a napping 'puppy'? Guess I was a little delirious at that point - I thought it was a hairy kid.....
Tom Hagen: 'Thank you for the dinner and a very pleasant evening. If your car could take me to the airport - Mr. Corleone is a man who insists on hearing bad news immediately.'

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Old 10-03-05, 08:13 AM
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Great ride. I did a solo metric (my first) yesterday but it was not nearly as fun. Riding with friends makes all the difference. Congrats on the first of many (for both of us).
RIP Stacey. =3.
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