When we first moved to Lexington, my friend Jonathan Bylund convinced me to invest in cycling. So I promptly purchased a nice Cannondale, a pair of spandex padded cycling shorts, a jersey, and a million other cycling paraphernalia. After all purchases were final Amber nearly killed me thinking that I had invested in a sport that I would simply drop after 6 months. Three years, many cold mornings and evenings, and four thousand miles later, you can still find me on my bikes cruising around town. Thanks Jon for the good advice and Amber for not making me return my first bike.
This weekend was the 33rd Horsey Hundred put on by the Bluegrass Cycling Club (BCC). For the last 33 years the BCC has sponsored a century ride through Central Kentucky. After prodding from a third year dental school friend, I decided to enter the event and enjoy a ride through the nice countryside.
Saturday morning Amber and I awoke at 6:00am, packed up the car with my bike stuff, grabbed Greg form his crib and sped off to Georgetown for the start of the event. When we arrived in Georgetown Greg was in seventh heaven. Five thousand cyclists had registered for one of the five available distances (25K, 35 mi, 50mi, 75mi, and 102 mi) and Greg pointed out each one as he ran in and out of the bikes helping me prepare mine for the ride. At one point Amber and I counted how many times he said "bike" in 1 minute...41 (I think somebody loves bikes!). This is us before I took off. What a beautiful family!
I have to admit that I was slightly nervous; a lot of the other riders were riding in groups and I was riding solo. But right from the start I joined a nice older man from Louisville and we rode the first 10 miles together.
It was a beautiful morning and I enjoyed riding with several different groups. Unfortunately, due to my ignorance of long distance rides >50 miles, my adrenaline kicked in and I entered the 51 mile rest stop having averaged 20.3 mph. Whoops!
This is the route in pink.
Miles 50-70 were brutal with short fast descents and long tough graded ascents. I averaged a paltry 12.7 mph over the those 20 miles. Overall the ride included 7500 feet of climbing and as I pulled into the 69.7 mile rest stop I nearly completely cramped up. I decided to take a 10 minute rest and loaded up on gatorade, pickle juice, and electrolyte cubes. The extra time made a world of difference and I was able to average 17 mph over the last 30 miles.
I decided to stop at the 92.5 mile rest stop and phone Amber to tell her I would be near the finish line within the next 40 minutes. Here I am finishing.
Greg was so excited to see me, but I think he was even more excited to chug the rest of my grape gatorade. We all have priorities.
Here is my gps unit at the end of the race. I know it is blurry, I was tired and placed the camera too close to the unit.
I had such a great time riding in the Horsey Hundred and meeting a lot of other riders. The majority of the riders were from different states. For a large part of the day I rode with fragments of a group from North Carolina and a middle age man from Illinois riding a vintage Trek. But the best part was finishing and seeing Greg and Amber's faces light up with enthusiasm. Thanks Bumber for the wonderful support!