Yesterday I completed the Marin Century 100k ride. Woo!
I felt like writing about it so that I can have a journal of sorts about these experiences as I go through them and also make some notes for next time.
My riding buddy and I had been looking forward to this for quite some time, but I found out Friday that she was out due to health issues. Sad face. I knew an acquaintance was going and might know someone who could give me a ride to the start in San Rafael, so I reached out to her and she offered a ride! It was kismet. I was a little nervous that it might mean riding by myself all day, but I was rolling with it.
5am arrived before I was ready to roll out of bed, I met up with Kristen and Tom, we had a nice chat on the way. We started out riding together, they had to stop for a quick fix to Kristen's bike, they caught up to me and of course passed me. That was really the thing I got used to yesterday, being passed. By schools of flying fish in full glorious kits and pumping legs. Holy crap, I am no speed demon. I got used to that and comments about the Pelican. I received many 'beautiful bicycle' comments and a few 'wow, props to you for riding the whole way on your commuter/cruiser'. It was very interesting. I felt like mine was the only fendered bicycle on the road.
The route was beautiful. We had fog and grey weather until about noon. I was passed oh so many times on the climb up to Big Rock. After that, Lucas valley road was fun, lots of little rolling hills with passing redwoods and curvy lanes. Then we came to the first rest stop of the day in Nicasio.
Couple of climbs after that, the 2nd I wasn't expecting. I was in my lowest gear, (hanging on for dear life), the sound of my breathing keeping me company.
Petaluma rest stop was next, we were halfway, yay! I enjoyed the hell out of the flamboyant young man in his school girl outfit dealing gatorade. He said he liked the birds on my jersey, I said they were swallows. His comment after that, "we have SO much in common". He was FIERCE and he made me laugh.
I was considering skipping Chileno/Wilson Hill/Hicks Rd. I did it and walked the hill. There is no shame in walking. Fuck that hill.
The view from the top was nice though.
The return to Vallecito elementary school was ok. By kilometer 86 I was ready to be done. A group of gals in Velo Girl kits passed me and I hung on for dear life to a gal named Laurie's tire, she chatted with me up one of the last climbs and it made a HUGE difference. I just needed a bit of distraction to keep going.
I made it back, met the only other fendered bikey person at lunch, a randonneur! (I spotted him in the Rivendell hat and Paris-Brest-Paris jersey) We chatted for a while and afterward my mind sunk into a weird place. I wanted to get home, started riding towards the Larkspur ferry, didn't have the energy and turned back. Kristen and Tom were riding the 100 mile, so they were going to be a while. I felt a little desperate. I called another friend who lives in Marin on the off chance that she could give me a ride to the ferry.
Catherine and John came to the rescue and we had a nice chat and some beers in her backyard before she gave me a ride back home.
Things I learned and want to prepare for my next big ride (the SF Randonneurs 115K Populaire Oct. 1st):
• I experienced lower back pain & neck pain, the bike may need fit adjustments
• bring my own Advil, apparently one must sign a waiver for this on an organized ride
• have an escape plan in place if needed (handsome Bill in a zip car? friends? teleportation?)
• I want to learn more about being 'self supported' and what that entails I need to learn about bike maintenance