The thing is, I could’ve finished.
I had 100 miles in my legs. I’ve been at altitude since October, only going down for air once when I flew home to Florida for Christmas.
The thing is, the miles were in there. And I wanted 100 miles so badly. I told myself and everyone else I was riding 100 miles that day. And damnit all I wanted was to hear my Garmin beep beep beep into the triple digits.
But if it wasn’t for the wind and if it wasn’t for my poor fuel choices, my sour mood, and if it wasn’t for all these excuses, I would’ve ridden 100 miles. One hundo. My first century.
Ugh. I’m ok. I mean, I’m ok now.
But on Saturday, at 88 miles, thrashed by the wind, and pissed at myself for not hanging on and the weather for not cooperating, I was NOT OK. I threw my bike, helmet, shoes, socks, bidons, and a busted inner tube into the back of my car and I melted, depleted and defeated, into the front seat. I shoved a smushed Clif Bar into my mouth and pouted a little.
So. Much. Up.
It didn’t feel fair that even though I’d adapted to the elevation and put in solid base miles and kitted up like a pro, I couldn’t hold on to the group. I couldn’t descend like they could or climb the hills like they could.
Having fun but just barely 😉
The thing is, I could handle the wind and the group riding in Florida. I could take turns pulling that group in Florida. I could hammer out 30 fast miles with the guys at 5 a.m. in Florida. I could handle the pain and then keep going in Florida. And last weekend I couldn’t understand why all of that didn’t matter out here in Colorado.
“It’s going to take awhile. You’re not used to the wind and the hills and how to group ride in the wind and on those hills.” My friends tried everything to reassure me that I didn’t, in fact, suck at riding bikes, but that I just needed to learn how to ride them differently.
Joey pulled my ass for far too long. What a good sport.
I peeled off the 100-mile route early and headed back to downtown Boulder where I began. My legs were dead weight at that point. My heart, too. I peeked at my watch—87 miles. I thought about looping the little city for 13 more, just to say I did it. Just to finish what I started. I rounded a corner and, out of nowhere, a gigantic gust of wind blew me from one lane to another and I knew I was done. Gutted.
The thing is, I’d still ridden further than I’d ever ridden: eighty eight miles. I’d still climbed higher than I’d ever climbed: 3740 feet.
A gift. I’m only putting it on my bike when I get 100.
“But still!” I couldn’t get over it for a few days and I let it stop me from getting back on the bike. But I guess the thing is, I’ll be ready when I’m ready. Multiple riders out here offered to go with me on my next attempt but I haven’t figured out when to give it another go. Maybe next month when it warms up and when I’ve put some more mountains in my legs?
The good thing is, I’m not leaving any time soon.
Push on, PUSH ANIMALS >>>