Well today was a long day for me. Not a bad day, just a long day. Depending how you look at things it went like this:-
I got a little behind at breakfast as it was served and not the usual self service. I realized I had not filled my bottles or got my cue sheet so ended up starting 15 minutes behind the others. I then rode alone into the headwinds along some major roads with nothing much to look at.
I had a really nice breakfast of pancakes which has not been the norm for us so far. So after finishing and filling up my bottles I set out and enjoyed trying to catch up the early starters one by one during the morning. It was fun seeing a red light way in the distance and then watching it get closer over the next hour or so. It reminded me of the Tour de France when the pack closes down the breakaways one by one. As I was alone and we were riding for quite some time on the shoulder of some major roads I had an earphone in and listened to some really inspiring music. I am glad there wasn’t anyone near me most of the time because quite often I found myself singing full bore as I rode.
I did have one massive stroke of good fortune at the SAG stop. I had got to the second SAG and saw all the fast group there minus the Colonel, who had been and gone already in his usual efficient way. I had thought of Barry earlier when I saw this sign, which sort of says it all (Barry 10 miles ahead).
Anyway I had put Irma and my helmet on the ground while I went next door to the garage to pick up a couple of sparkling drinks. Once back I ate some wonderful watermelon and drank my drinks. Ready for off I picked up my helmet and for some reason I looked at it before just putting it on. It was completely filled with ants, oh man if I had put it on that could have been ride over for me. Thankfully I didn’t and after a wash off with water the world was back to normal and I was on my merry way again. I must admit for a mile or two I was waiting for a bite on the head followed by getting my helmet off fast, it never came and I forgot about it a few minutes later.
One field did catch my eye as I rode through many cornfields and farms. A fence post caught my eye as it appeared to have a boot on it. Then another and finally as I looked along the whole fence to this field I realized that the owner or some ninja artist had put what looked like old used boots upside down on the tops of the fence posts. My guess is this will continue until all the posts are booted up.
The final forty miles seemed a long way and as it was mostly through corn fields not that interesting either. It was far more of a mental test to keep moving forward at a decent speed while your mind was saying its only twenty miles you can slow or rest. I have learned once you start doing that you just get slower and slower and today was already a long slow ride anyway. I used everything from thinking I couldn’t let Lily down to watching my Garmin tick past every five miles (eg 89.99 to 90.00 miles).
So I plugged away and finally got to the hotel safe and sound. The harder these rides are the more satisfying they become once it’s all over and after a long week so far this was a satisfying one to put into the books. Someone later said something about congratulations on another century which always makes me smile. I really don’t see any great difference between a 90 mile ride and one of 100 miles, they all seem long to me. However it was indeed another Century ride to add to few we have done already.
Tomorrow we will ride 87 miles to Champaign and a rest day. Maybe we will have to have a glass of bubbly to celebrate once we arrive.