I wasn't sure, when we got up at 4:30 this morning, if we would be able to ride or not. There was a noisy thunderstorm that had moved through around 2am and stuck around. By the time we got to the starting site, the rain had died down and it was cool and a little windy. Perfect for starting a full work day of riding!
The first 30 miles was under an overcast sky with just a few little rain drops here and there. There was a pretty decent head wind as we headed south, but nothing that we're not used to here in Nebraska! Our first SAG stop was in Firth, Nebraska. They had water and Gatorade, home made cinnamon rolls, crackers, bananas, gels, and more. I sent the kids a text to see how it was going with Grandma and snapped a picture.
As we headed out from Firth, we noticed the clouds looking angrier but peddled on. There were two riders in front of us and pretty soon one of them turned around! We wondered if he had mechanical issues...but it seems he was the smart one.
A few more miles down the road, it started to pour rain. For five miles we got pelted with rain so hard it stung our cheeks. We soon lost sight of the second rider in front of us, but never saw her in distress. The rain was coming in sideways and the wind was horrific.
I prayed a lot. I felt doubtful that I would be able to carry on much longer, and then it stopped raining for the most part. We stopped for a train in another little town and a couple caught up to us. We rode the last 10 miles to the lunch stop with them, chatting and pedaling.
After lunch, we headed toward Beatrice, Nebraska and God turned up the wind and brought out the sun! It was sort of like riding in a clothes dryer. But who's afraid of a little wind, right? We dried out quickly and by the time we headed north, the wind was SSE and was more of a cross wind than a head wind.
In Beatrice I took a little tumble when I couldn't stop soon enough on a narrow passage. David warned me, but I just couldn't stop soon enough and ran into him, dumping my bike a little to the side. My right knee and elbow took a small hit. Another rider came up behind us and led us through Beatrice on some less traveled streets.
Outside of Beatrice about 5 miles from the last SAG stop, I blew a tire. My husband is the best at changing tires - I rarely get practice. However - I spent one afternoon a while back taking off tubes and tires to teach myself how to do it. After all, I am a Woman Taking the Wheels!
We stopped in Cortland, Nebraska long enough for a refill of water and a pit stop. The folks at the SAG stops were so fantastic. They were encouraging, and positive, I really felt like they wanted to see us succeed. The last 15 miles were easier because we knew we were on our way home! I have to say, this ride was harder than I thought it would be. Our total ride time was 7 hours, but with all the stops it took us much longer to get back to the start. My bike computer registered 107 miles.
At the end, we were presented with beautiful medals by the race coordinator, Stephanie. It was such a good feeling to do our first 100 mile ride. Three months ago, I couldn't have done this ride. But, I trained for it and completed the challenge! I feel happy and proud today!!