May 10, 2008 I rode in the Armadillo Hill Country Classic and it was the first time that I rode my bike over 100 miles in one day in Texas. I have not ridden a 100 mile ride, or century ride in about 8 years. My last century ride was in Oregon. I rode 105.5 miles in 7.5 hours and I averaged 14.2 MPH. I rode the first 30 miles in 1.5 hours and got to mile 42 in 2 hours.
So what make a person ride 100 miles? Well for me there are several reasons. One of the main reasons that I did thsi ride is because I wanted to reinforce my power to create reality with my words. I have ridden 100 miles several times in the past but for some reason I had this voice in my head that kept telling me that I would never ride 100 miles again. The voice is always there telling me stuff, some of it is positive but a lot of it is negative. We all have this voice and being aware of the voice is key to breaking the control that it has over your future reality. So this ride was a way to create a breakthrough in my cycling endurance in the Texas heat.
I am not in the same shape I was 8 yeas ago when I was riding 200 to 300 miles a week. This year I have been running more that I have been cycling. In fact I have only ridden my road bike on rides over 20 miles three times this year before thsi century ride. I knew that I could ride 100 miles so I created the possibility for a 100 mile ride. I told everyone that I came in contcat with that I was going to ride 100 miles. I prepared for the ride by riding 62 miles the weekend before the 100 mile ride. I took 4 Power Bars and Emergen-C Hydro in my pack. I did 100+ miles.
The first 50 miles was a piece of cake for me. The day started with completely overcast skys and it was perfect for riding. I kept pace with the speedsters for about 5 miles and then the pack of about 100 riders started to spread out. I started the ride in the front of the pack with the other 100 milers. I did not stop at the first three rest stops because I wanted to get to the Dillo Door before 10:30 AM. After 10:30 AM they would not let anyone pass through to the 105 mile option. I rode as fast as I could for 30 miles.
The second 50 miles was not easy for me. Riding the back roads of Burnett County in the heat of the Texas afternoon is difficult and not for the faint of heart. I have a mental block about bad roads and herky jerky hills , but that is what challenges me about this ride. At mile 60 I hit the wall and ran out of energy. I had just left the Lake Victor rest stop and rode 5 miles into 20 MPH head winds. I normally have never stopped on a ride unless I was at a rest stop or had a flat, but this time I knew I needed a Power Bar. I stopped under a tree next to a stop sign and ate it. I got back on my bike and kept riding. It took about 30 minutes before I really felt like riding again.
One of the nice things that I get from endurance riding is that fatigue really frees you mind. As I was riding I was so tired at times that I was able to just be with the road, the rocks, the pot-holes, the cows and the goats. I listen to my breathing, I watched my chain ring, I looked at the grass bend over in the 20 MPH wind, I felt the heat coming off the asphalt. Only one thing can keep me cranking and that is that voice in my head that says, Shut Up and Ride!