This is My Century!

April 20, 2010

The difference between determination and stubbornness is in the eye of the beholder.  Today I was determined that I would ride my first century, which is a bike ride of 100 miles, solo.  I didn’t want to draft anyone, and didn’t want to pull anyone.  My teammates may think I’m being stubborn, but I wanted this century to be mine: to know that I was strong enough to take on 100 miles by myself.

The weather this morning was mysterious and eerie.  We were shrouded in a veil of fog that made me feel isolated from the world.  The thin slice of a lonely gray road cutting through the desolation of the West Texas countryside made me think that Cormac McCarthy must have been inspired by a road similar to Texas 180 when he wrote his post-apocalyptic novel, “The Road.”

The road cutting through Borden County Texas was even more dreamlike.  It was the smoothest road we have experienced yet and felt more like flying than biking.  The first 70 miles of this century were the most surreal experience I’ve had on my bike.

The last 36 miles were an entirely different experience.  When you’re most tired, you realize why biking across Texas could an incredibly painful experience.  The area around Sweetwater is considered the windmill capital of Texas.  The same Southeasters that power the giant turbines also make each mile exhausting, making you struggle to even maintain 14 mph.

I used to get frustrated entering into towns at the end of the day, but now biking through the town we’re staying in is like taking a victory lap, because there are lots of turns to look out for, lots of opportunities for the quick accelerations that KITT excels at, and the reward of seeing the R4WH vans at your final destination and being cheered on by your teammates for a job well done.

Lamesa to Sweetwater by embricate at Garmin Connect – Details.

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