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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Century Ride

I did it!! I actually crossed off a fitness/adventure goal that I had made for myself. I seem to rarely follow through with my plans, so when I am able to actually achieve what I dreamed I might one day do.... well I feel great!

Yesterday my buddy Salman and I set out to Point Pelee (approx 70km away) at 05:00.

We decided that since I had to be back at 4pm we should leave before our originally scheduled time (7am) to give us an extra couple of hours for breaks, sight-seeing, emergencies, etc. It was dark and COLD when we set off, and we made a lot of wrong turns trying to find the Chrysler Greenway. Once we finally, FINALLY found it, it was too dark to risk biking along a pitch black route that we were unfamiliar with. We found a place to grab breakfast and I had some coffee and toast. The coffee definitely helped warm up the hands and freezing noses.

Once it got brighter outside, we set out to find the trail again. It was easy, and it was right there. And once we were on it, we realised how lucky we were, because it was a beautiful 40km straight trail that was shielded from cars, horns, pollution, and noise and would take us over half the way there without us even thinking about directions. We had no problems at this point, and we were merrily counting bunnies and pedestrians that we spotted on our way.

We knew we were getting closer as we'd hit the important bends in the Greenway and certain landmarks on the map. I was getting antsy, and each time my buddy would check the GPS I'd update facebook, in case we were lost or in trouble. Finally it was time to turn off the Greenway and onto the streets of Leamington, following the signs heading to the national park!

We could feel ourselves getting closer and closer, and it was awesome to think that we'd finally made it, and we were half-way home! We passed a lot of restaurants advertising fresh fish that were closed, because it was only around 11am at this point. We paid the $7.50 and toured the National Park a little until it was lunch time. We were able to get right to the top of Pelee Point, which is the South-most part of Canada.

We'd lucked out with a perfectly blue sky, cool temps and few clouds. There were stars when we set out, and we caught the moon rising on our way back. I love that I've managed perfect weather for my 3 longer rides:)

The way back had us take little breaks every half hour. We'd stop to drink some water, hunt around in our backpacks for stray food, and stretch/lie down to relax. It was tough because we knew how far we had until we got back, but we also knew we HAD TO KEEP GOING or we wouldn't get home to more food, water, hot showers, naps :D

We made a final last stop at a Tim's to grab bagels and cookies and then we set off on the last 40 minutes of our ride through town to get to our area. We were exhausted and got into some fights with a couple of drivers, as one almost hit my buddy (turning right on a red-light, failed to even LOOK to his right). We hit our area before my Garmin said 100, so we toured our block a few times (too many times...) to push the mileage to this beautiful number:

And we were done! I grabbed some pizza, soaked in a hot tub and went to bed at around 10pm. I slept like a log and awoke to surprisingly find that I could walk with almost no limp, and my legs weren't as sore as I thought they'd be. I'm so proud of myself, I can't stop bragging and reading about centuries online.
I have another (easier?) goal coming up next weekend, 100km. It'll be an organised ride, my first, so I'm still excited! I need to remember a few things from this ride to help improve my next one, and I'll be set for a great time :)