I was fortunate enough to complete my first goal for 2011!!! I rode a century this weekend. I participated in the OC Aids Ride, which raised over $100,000 for the Orange County Aids Services Foundation (link). I choose this ride because it is close to home and I believe in the foundation. If you could physically hurt for a day in exchange for making someone’s life a little easier why wouldn’t you?
People need help and the economy is tough for all of us. Foundations that work to help individuals and families get what they need to live are essential and even though the country is going through issues, we can come together to help each other.
My thoughts about riding were to get out with the front group for the big hills and stick with the first 1/3 of the pack along the ride. I am not really good about riding in packs and I was questionable about my tires.
The first climbs were tough, but in the cool morning air they felt good. I sped off into the morning and met some great people along the way. I rode with a guy for the first 50 miles who told me about his participation in the Little Dragon Race and AIDS Ride from San Francisco to LA. It was cool to hear him talk about participating in things to raise awareness and really getting out there to do good in the world.
We stuck together until mile 30, where I stopped to meet up with some co-workers who came out in the hot sun to support me. It was very cool of them because it was hot out there – yeah Irvine, Ca I am talking about you, hot with no shade, fact.
I caught the guy I was riding with around mile 43 and we got to the middle together. We ate Subway sandwiches. I only stayed for a few minutes because my hamstring started bothering me and I knew I would want to quit if I did not warm it up. I took off alone and rode that way till the end.
Mile 65-ish I ran out of water. And in my usual fashion I missed the next pit stop. Mile 74 was a pit stop, but I missed the signs and rode an extra mile. So I was frustrated and got back on track and decided to go for it till mile 84 (last pit stop) with no water. Yeah that did not work. I stopped at a gas station and got a Mountain Dew 22oz, 2 Gatorades 16oz and headed out.
I got to the last pit stop, had a banana, got ice in my water bottles, asked the volunteers to point me in which direction I was supposed to ride and took off. Mile 92; how I hated thee. It was a big hill and there was no breeze, no shade, and to boot…a runner ¾ up it. So if I hiked-a-bike I would look like a total wimp. The running guy was not quitting so I powered through it. I actually shouted motivation at the runner and he wished me good luck, it was nice. El jefe thought I was going to pass out at the top but I made it over.
When I got to the end I was informed I was the first century rider to finish. I am not sure how that all worked out. It was a great end because many of the metric century (100 km) riders were there and they cheered, it was very cool. I also got a massage at the end, which was legit and it probably saved my weekend. If it was not for the boss’s support I think I would have quit at mile 75 and again at 90.
Whenever I have done things before there were always clear lines, this is for me or that is for you. I felt like this ride was for us, everyone who participated grew a little on the road. For some it was an individual struggle to get to the end, for others it was a group effort, but all of us took the sweat, dirt and pavement and made it matter. I am a really lucky guy