Two Sundays ago, I somehow had a whole day to myself with perfect weather. Not wanting to waste the opportunity, I readied my untrusty stead (a.k.a the joker), grabbed and extra tube and headed out. I had never ridden the full Emerald Necklace so I looked up the map my ride route and hit the road. About 30 or so miles, in, I ended up missing a turn and riding through East Cleveland where I noticed my bike was worth more than most of the cars. I had (2) thoughts: Pedal your ass through here as quickly as possible and don't stop. I had just made it to the outskirts of downtown Cleveland (E. 17th and St. Clair) when I hit a big bump and double pinch flatted. Luckily I had grabbed that extra tube and after wrestling with my stupid valve extenders for about 10 minutes I was up and riding again. I decided to head to Spin as it was only 8 miles away vs. trying to navigate my way back home. They hooked me up with some extra tubes and CO2 cartridges before hitting the parkway. I had ridden more on the west side this year than ever before and I actually knew a good portion of the road for about 20 miles. It was relatively flat with a very slight grade for about 20-30 miles until I rode east of I-77 and then the climbing began. The sun was at it's highest point and I was cooking. Tons of motorcyclists passed me, making me wish I had taken this bike of mine out instead. I stopped at Station Bridge to refill my bottles and upon leaving hit what I think was the steepest climb of the day. I cramped in my cavs and hamstrings for about 2 miles and spent the time spinning and hydrating. I climbed through the Bedford Reservation and it took all I had to push those pedals the rest of the way home. Nearly 6 hours of riding with over 4500ft. of climbing and I completed my first completely unsupported century solo. Oh and I had a bit of a sun burn.
Friday I rode from home up to Willoughby to help The Bicycle Hub run a challenge/aid station at the Dark Horse 5K. It was like the Warrior Dash, but in the dark (headlamps, glow sticks and flashlights galore). Roark met me up there after work, so thankfully I didn't have to ride home in the dark. Chalk up another 21+ miles.
I managed 5 hours of sleep before heading out to the Rev3 preview day at Sawmill Creek, hosted by the CTC. I wasn't really too keen on swimming, but I neglect it so much and I HAD TO that day. A quick 30 minute swim and I was hustling to get ready to roll for the ride. My friend, Danner had never ridden a full century and with the course being only 2,500 feet of climbing and supported, it was the perfect opportunity.
We set out with the B group and ran into my friend TK who was also game for the full century. The ride started out fine but after 10 miles or so 90% of the group was riding in a paceline in their f*ck#ng aero bars! I couldn't believe it. I always here how roadies think triathletes are stupid and refer to us as "tritards" and how against having people join group rides on tri bikes are but that day, I found myself agreeing. I am without a doubt of a roadie mindset now, posing as a triathlete. I couldn't believe how stupid and/or ignorant they were being, especially with all the crashes this year. We decided to get away from this group and jumped up to the B+ group where it was still occurring but much less frequently. I don't give a crap how fast my average speed is or about any Strava segments....
**FYI - If I catch you riding with me on your aero bars I WILL CALL YOUR ASS OUT!!!**
SAFETY IS MY FIRST CONCERN on my bicycle.
We rolled through the first loop with about 20-30 people, but when we made the left hand turn to hit the second loop it was .... CRICKETS!! I think we saw 2 other guys turn with us but it was pretty lonely. We picked up a girl on a custom Shiv riding 90s that couldn't have weighed more than 130lbs (the wind got under her at one point and she almost ended up in the other lane) and we fought the wind the last 25 miles or so with her back to Sawmill. My Garmin only had 97 miles on it and my friend wanted a legit 100, so the 3 of us rolled past the resort for a few more miles to get our triple digit ride in. I came to find out our new friend had never ridden 100 before either, so it was a great to get to share that moment with my 2 riding buddies. As for me, I hit my 200th mile about 20+ miles before that and had my own secret victory party pedaling through the headwinds with them. We managed 100.5 miles in just a hair over 5 hours.
Total Miles: 221.4 miles