Last weekend I participated in the Little Red Riding Hood women's only ride. This is a yearly event with all proceeds going to benefit Huntsman Cancer and some of the most serious issues facing women.
Last year I did this ride and loved it. The scenery is beautiful, the weather was great, and there is a really fun atmosphere throughout the ride. Last year was the first year I had my bike. It was a Mother's Day gift from my loving husband (a biker man himself) Funny thing though, I said "sewing machine" and he heard "road bike". Huh, must be one of those Men are from Mars things. . . Anyway. I did 40 miles last year and was really excited to ride again this year.
So, figuring that I was a more experienced rider this year and I would be able to ride about the same amount as last Spring, I ambitiously signed up for the 64 mile ride this year. Of course things didn't quite work out the way I had planned.
We had a really wet and cold Spring (hard to ride when it's raining) and then if you have read my previous posts about my basement woes and graduation - the bottom line here is that I was nowhere near as prepared as I should have been for this ride.
So let's just cut to the chase: Ride Day
Here I am before the start. Don't I look happy? The weather was a little chilly and there was a slight wind - no big deal at this point. I've got my arm warmers, wind vest and my pockets in back are packed with all the essentials that I might need - cell phone, lip stuff, asthma inhaler, etc.
Here I am at the starting point - this is where you "hurry up and wait."
The first 30 miles were great - not really a problem.
Then after lunch the wind picked up and we had a REALLY strong headwind for the last 30 miles. I have to tell you I HATE, hate, HATE the wind!
Here I am making progress slowly, but surely. I had to down shift to a lower gear just to keep going in that miserable wind!!
Now, this picture is a story! Notice the three women behind me. They are drafting on me. This means that I am blocking the wind and making it a little easier for them to ride. When you ride on a team, you usually take turns being in the front so that one person is not doing all the work and everyone benefits. Even if you are NOT on a team, it is courteous to take turns. That being said - these chubby chicks come up behind me and start drafting on me (in the crappy, crappy headwind) for about 6 miles. This is hard work people! So finally I start straying off to one side hoping that they will get the hint. Not a chance! Then I say "Hey, do one of you want to take the front? " and the one closest to me goes "No, we're good!" all cheery like. So help me - - - if I get off this bike. . . .
Here I am on the home stretch - look, I can actually get my arm up to wave to Mark as he takes my picture!
At the finish line they give sparkling cider to all cyclists and the Big Bad Wolf is there to greet you and congratulate you on a job well done.
Whew - 64 miles! I feel good, but man am I glad Mark is driving us home!