Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Little Red Riding Hood

This past weekend I did something I have been wanting to do for years, but alway had some other race or event going on, or I couldn't convince any friends to go with me. Finally, I rallied friend Rhonda and a gaggle of Association for Women Geoscientists friends (Allison, April, and Laura) to ride the Little Red Riding Hood all-women's bicycle ride. There were options for 35, 45, 62, 80, and 100 miles, so we split up according to our experience on the bikes. Rhonda and I chose 100, and as it turned out, fellow racer and friend Leslie also was planning on the 100, so the three of us rode together for the first 63 miles.

The luau the night before was OK, but they didn't feed us enough. Rhonda and I were considering a trip to Iggy's afterward to fuel up, but instead scavenged our friend's food and her friend's food. Thanks Laura and Beth for feeding us.
Leslie, ready to go.

Rhonda's big boo boo. Bad bike rack.

The weather looked pretty bad that morning, but by 8:30, we were feeling brave and removed our leg warmers. Bad mistake. Between mile 43 and 55 it dumped cold, hard rain on us. At this point I was bringing up the rear of the group, so I was not putting out much effort. I was getting cold and crampy so I announced that I was going to lift my pace so I could warm up. Leslie came with me and we pedalled hard for about 10 miles until it stopped raining. I was looking for a sheltered place to wait for Rhonda and missed a turn. Back on track, I was convinced she was behind us so I stopped to wait. 10 minutes later I figured out she must be ahead, so I blasted off to the lunch stop. I was so relieved to find Leslie and Rhonda there. Leslie didn't want to pig out on Subway sandwiches and cookies like Rhonda and me, so she continued on by herself. After lunch we slowed down, but ended up finishing at about 4:45 PM. Man, that was a long, long day of pedalling. My legs actually felt pretty good, but other parts of me were not so resilient.
The ride was well run and it was good to see 2600 women all committed to such a great ride.