Today was our last official century ride. I know a few people have said they might ride an extra two miles tomorrow just to get another one done. If you added 7 miles on Tuesday and 10 miles on Wednesday you could have 4 centuries in 4 days. I’m not really too worried about how many centuries I have ridden so far ! I am actually far more interested in just getting to Boston, having ridden EFI (every foot and inch).
Yet again I started out a few minutes behind the first group because I had to wait for my routes to load into the Garmin (you would think I would learn by now). had barely started the ride when almost immediately (2.8 miles) we left Indiana and entered Ohio, the home state of the Golden Bear himself, Jack Nicklaus. I have been to Ohio a few times to play golf at Muirfield Village and Scioto Country Club. Deirdre & I I also went to the Memorial Tournament a couple of years ago so it was nice to be back in Ohio once again. It was a beautiful morning with the early sun shining through the trees giving that misty look that’s great for photography. Unfortunately, I could take much time to get some artistic shots as I had over a hundred miles to go and the forecast called for it to get much hotter later in the day. I did manage to get a photo at the state sign!
There was no rush early on as I didn’t want to run out of energy later and so I just enjoyed the early Sunday morning miles. The roads and route today were good. I am guessing with it being a Sunday and Father’s Day it helped keep the roads quiet. We meandered our way through the fields and small villages with lots to look at and little in the way of obstacles. By the time I reached the first SAG I had caught up with the group, and some of the faster guys had caught us from behind so there was quite a few of us at the top. Once we started back out I was on my own and saw my first Amish buggy on the road. This area has a reasonably large Amish population, and there were a lot of horse and buggies on the road heading to church. Having passed one church with a lot of horse and buggies outside I thought about taking a photo but knew that the Amish really don’t like having their picture taken so resisted. A little further on I came upon a group of our riders standing beside the road. Turns out the road was closed ahead due to construction. I didn’t want to wait around so decided to go and look for myself. When I got to the roadworks I saw Rick and realized you could ride on as no one was working given it was Sunday. The road was dug up, but off I went carefully, and was back on course with little time wasted.
The road continued to wind its way through the countryside, past farms and over many small rivers. I must admit I love rivers, streams and brooks. I always have since I was a kid, often saying I wanted to live by a river. Anyway I noticed a few really beautiful ones as we crossed bridges on our way to the second SAG at 78 miles.
Then it happened again – a ‘Road Closed Ahead’ sign! This time I didn’t see anyone else, so just kept going until I came to the actual work spot. A bridge was being replaced yet luckily there was no one working, so over Irma and I went, using a makeshift walkway that the workers had put into place for themselves! Not sure if this was allowed, but certainly beat adding more miles with a detour on an already 100+ mile ride!
Today I had a plan. I’s not sure if it is just me or the Waldenstrom’s but I do tend to sweat a lot on warm days. I also do not like riding in a wet shirt for hours on end. This morning, I asked Mary (one of the Crossroads Team) if she would take a spare shirt for me to change into at the 2nd SAG. It worked a treat, and I enjoyed the final 30 miles all the more. Entering Marysville I could believe I had just passed 100 miles as it seemed a lot easier than that today. I am not saying that being on a bicycle for over 6 hours is an easy, but it definitely didn’t feel as difficult as some of the centuries we have done before. The tailwind we had certainly helped enough to make riding alone easier.
When we got to the hotel. we were met at the hotel by some people who had followed our journey and called in to say hello. I think one of them had previously completed the tour. They even had a cold beer waiting for us as we entered the hotel. I don’t know what brand it was, it, but I can tell you it was one of the best beers I’ve ever drunk. Tomorrow is another day and arguably will be much tougher than today. We ride 98 miles but have around 4,400 ft of climbing. Let’s hope that the tailwind keeps on blowing. Finally, I have to congratulate Brooks Koepka for winning the US Open again, a feat that only a few other golfers have before him. I didn’t get to watch much of the tournament but from what I did see the course looked stunning but the conditions brutal. It will not be long now before I’m off this bike and able to see what my golf game looks from nearly 12 months of almost no play.