Sunday, September 12, 2010

Metric Century

I convinced Arlynda that she wanted to do some long bike rides with me. Last year I did the Gettysburg Metric Century (which is a 100 kilometer ride or about 62 miles). That was my first organized cycling event. This year Arlynda did it with me (which was her first organized cycling event).

Below is Arlynda sunscreening-up for our early start:

After about eight miles we crossed the first covered bridge of the course:

Who's that guy looking sharp in a dress shirt? Call me a non-conformist but as an alternative to all of the spandex one sees at these events I decided to wear mountain-bike shorts and a button-down shirt.

At mile 15 we reached our first official rest stop. It was stocked with fruits, peanut butter sandwiches, pretzels and other snacks, as well as water and sports drinks. It was also directly adjacent to the second covered bridge that we would cross.

In the photo below Arlynda heads out of official rest stop #1:

Those first 15 miles had some pretty gentle rolling hills with a couple of steeper ones, but nothing we couldn't handle. The next 19 miles would put us to the test with steady elevation gain and several steep hills. Arlynda is not a fan of climbing hills. By the time we got to official rest stop #2 she seemed to be spent and I was wondering whether we would have to rely on the SAG service (volunteers are on hand to shuttle people to the finish if needed).

Official rest stop #2 is located at a volunteer fire department. There was a little league game going on in the adjacent field. The highlight of this rest stop is the tomato sandwiches. In fact the tomato sandwiches might be the highlight of the entire event. Really? Tomato sandwiches? Yes, really. Slices of fresh tomatoes on whole wheat bread with mayonnaise. As I grabbed some tomato sandwiches for me and Arlynda I heard another cyclist say that they were to die for. He was right. Nothing could beat them especially after pedaling 35 miles. Here I am going back for more:

I think that between Arlynda and I we ate about 20 of them! There were also peaches, pears, nectarines, plums, grapes, apples and bananas. There were Twizzlers, fig Newtons, Chex mix, granola bars, pretzels, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, caramels, chocolate-chip cookies and nuts. The rest stop was well stocked and we spent a long time there fueling our bodies.

We headed out of rest stop #2 towards Gettysburg. By the time we hit Gettysburg we were in better spirits as can be seen in the two photos below:

In fact the next 12 miles to rest stop #3 went extremely well. I knew that Arlynda was feeling good when she hammered up a hill blowing past several other riders. We rolled into rest stop #3

grabbed a few snacks and headed out.

The last stretch had some rolling hills, but wasn't too tough. However, at that point we were both pretty tired and eager to get to the end. We made it in time to catch the ice-cream truck!

Our cycle computers said we had done about 65 miles. We headed home exhausted. I hope we do it again next year.


Evelyn said...

Congratulations for finishing the ride! 65 miles is nothing to sneeze at. I am with Arlynda on not liking hills. I don't get to practice them in Houston, so when we rent bikes on a trip and have to do hills, I am always underprepared. They are hard. But I love going down a hill!

Lura said...

Wow! This sounds like such a good thing to do with your spouse! It makes me look forward to the Ragnar next year. My mouth watered when I read about the tomato sandwiches. I LOVE tomato sandwiches! I like your choice of attire. You sure are cool, Jamie. I've always thought that.


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