Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Apple Cider Century 2008

Now that I've scared most of you off with that picture, I'll tell those that remain about the Apple Cider Century on Sunday.

Despite the fact that my dad had ridden more miles this year then perhaps he has in his entire life (ok, not really, but close!) he and I had not been able to get in a ride together. So we planned on meeting in Three Oaks, MI this past Sunday to ride the Century together. This would be a cool down ride for pops who completed a cross country bike ride this summer, and then rode the One Day Ride Across Michigan (ODRAM) earlier this month. I, on the other hand, have not been getting much riding in at all.

It was a perfect day for a bike ride. Temps in the 70's, overcast, and not too much wind. I took advantage of the folks being in town for this one and drove in to MI on Saturday night and slept in the RV. I was able to register Saturday too, so Sunday it was an easy up, eat, and out!

We got on the ride by about 8:30. We started at a nice 18-19mph pace, but I could soon tell this was a little faster than the old man had in mind. So we slowed to about 15mph. Soon, however, we're back at 18-19, and dad's setting the pace. So I just tried to stay a half wheel back and let him control the pace.

At the first SAG stop I ran into a co-worker, Charlie, and some xXx guys. I also saw Jeff who was complaining of some rustyness, but from what I could see he was riding just fine!

The lines at the port-o-john's told the story of the 5000 rider count this year. We got a late start last year, and that seemed to be to our benefit as most of the crowds had already passed through the SAGs. This year it was hurry up and wait!

It was good catching up with my dad for most of the morning. It was also nice riding at his pace as I really didn't need to worry too much about fuel. I could eat whatever I wanted as I wasn't pushing too hard, and at the same time I didn't need much for the same reason.

By about the 60 mile mark the miles and hills were taking their toll on dad's legs, and he said if I should lose him on a climb to feel free to ride my pace to the next SAG. Just then a buddy Kevin from Half Acre and his friend Julia rode by. We chatted for a while and sure enough, I noticed pops fading into the distance. I gave him a wave and shouted I'd see him at the next SAG. It was good riding with Kevin as we kept the pace spirited up the climbs. It was good to stretch the legs! There really must be a name for the disease that causes you to grin from ear to ear at the sight of pavement turning skyward.

I bid adieu to Kevin and Julia at the SAG as the old man rolled in barely a few minutes after us. I would catch up to them again after this stop for a short ride, but given that I had not been fueling for harder efforts, I quickly dropped back to finish the day with my pop. While a challenge, it was nice to take it nice and easy for the last 20 miles or so. We talked biking, politics, Fuller Center for Housing, etc... We finally rolled back into Three Oaks at about 5:00 pm. A little longer of a day than we had hopped, but I wouldn't change a thing.

Dinner #1 in the big tent near the start/finish was followed by showers, a change of clothes, and then dinner #2 at Roma's pizza with both of the folks.

So, only my second century is in the books. Days like this remind my how much i really dig riding my bike.


Blogger Julie said...

sounds like an awesome time! i'm so jealous! i love long rides like that because there's no better feeling than getting up in the morning knowing you have nothing to do that day except ride your bike.

2/10/08 10:30 AM  
Blogger Soupy said...

Agreed.. and just imagine, my dad got to do that for two whole months!!!

2/10/08 11:47 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

It was so good to know you guys were riding together and having a great time. I'm jealous, but I don't know if I am jealous enough to get out there and do 50 miles. I love you guys.

8/10/08 12:01 PM  

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