Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Udder Century Ride

Last year, I participated in the Udder Century hosted by the McHenry County Bicycle Club.  I had a great time so I decided to sign up again this year.  

So on the first day of June I got up bright and early to load up my bike and pick up Kelly and make the drive out to Union, Illlinois for the ride.  It's good that Kelly lives so close to me because on the way to her house, I realized I forgot my aero water bottle and instead grabbed two regular bottles.  I only have one cage on Bessie the tri bike (I guess I still used to preparing to ride my roadie) so we made the short drive back to my house. 

The sign in process was quick as I had signed up in advance for the very affordable price of $27.25.  The volunteers provided me with my wristband, cue sheet, and map and sent me on my way.   We finally got started on our bikes around 8:30 am.  I had suggested to Kelly that we do the 62 mile ride and if we felt good we could go for the 75 mile ride.  We wouldn't have to decide until we were at the final rest stop if we wanted to do the loop for the 75 miles.

The ride to the first rest stop at about 18 miles went pretty flawlessly.  The wind was at our backs for the most part so we just cruised along.  We took it easy and chatted a lot while we pedaled away.

Once we arrived at the rest stop, we took a short break to refill our bottles and our stomachs.  I grabbed a few orange slices and a cookie! Maybe it's the heat or the fact that biking makes me very hungry but I love these chocolate chip cookies.

We got back on the road quickly and had a tailwind for the next few miles but once we turned off to do the 12 mile loop for the 62-miler things shifted quickly.  We had to go straight into the headwind for a bit and it was challenging.  Headwinds are a great mental challenge for me because I feel like I am working hard and I look down at my watch and I am going less than 15 mph.  But it is making me mentally stronger!

Around mile 42, we hit the next rest stop.  This stop had a selection of bagels and the wonderful volunteers prepared one for me with peanut butter. Of course I also had another cookie. Priorities. 

The weather was getting warm but Kelly and I both felt pretty good so we headed out for the 13 mile loop that was part of the 75 mile route.  The roads were a little rougher on this part and we had a headwind for the second half but it went well.  Plus that way we go to stop back in at the rest stop and eat another cookie.

Photo from Kelly
The final part of the ride was the 20 or so miles back to Union. This was also probably the hilliest part of the ride too, although not too hilly!  We got caught in a little bit of  a rainstorm but it probably only lasted about 5-10 minutes total.  The rain came down hard and it hurt a little bit but the rain did help cool down the air! It was a nice reprieve from the heat! 

We made it back to my car and changed shoes for our 15 minute transition run.  And ugh, my legs felt so dead.  I managed to run my 15 minutes but it sure was not pleasant. Part of the problem was that I was under-fueled (and maybe 3 cookies wasn't the best choice!).

Once our run was done we headed to the big pasta buffet! The buffet had salad, two kinds of noodles, two sauces, garlic bread and brownies.  I was pretty starved so I had a hefty serving of everything.  The food was good and I appreciate that the buffet is included in your registration cost. 

This is a great ride and I hope to participate again next year! Maybe I will actually go after that century then.

And just so you know what happens to my hair after it is in braids all day:

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