I did my private century today. The secret? Plentiful rest stops. I had surmised that all along. I started out with Annie at our usual time, the first time I'd been up at 4:45 in a few weeks! But she needed to work and wanted to ride, so I went with her and after once around our loop she headed home and I headed out. I rode to Spring Mill Station and took my first break - that's where the Freedom Valley ride rest stop had been. This time, with the extra miles from the loop I arrived there at just over 20 miles and took 10 minutes for an energy bar and water and rest. Then was able to go past Valley Forge out to Perkiomen State Park for my next stop, again about 20 miles. Here I had the first half of my peanut butter sandwich for lunch and a coconut water and a good rest. Back up, I felt perfect. Rode on toward and past Collegeville and then toward Schwenksville. I thought I had heard that the Perkiomen Trail had been paved past the state park. It hasn't. I went on anyway, but lost lots of time riding the dirt and gravel path. I didn't quite get to Schwenksville. I could have, and perhaps gone all the way to Green Lake Park where the path ends. I wasn't tired, but I was getting bored. And just as I passed Collegeville I got a call from Jake who had said he might meet me on my way back at Valley Forge and draft me home. His call confirmed he was on his way. So I calculated approximately how much time it would take him, rode on a while past Bridge street almost to Graterville and turned around. This gave me enough time to stop at Perkiomen Park for a short break on the way back. My feet needed to come out of my shoes for a few minutes. By that time I had ridden 50 miles.
Then I rode on to Valley Forge and, perfect timing, as I sat down to eat the other half of my sandwich Jake rolled in. He took a break and after awhile we started homeward. It was great having his big body blocking the wind and we traveled at 17 mph average most of the way. We were quickly in Manayunk and then home. We parted ways and I went to the bank and stopped for a cup of coffee. Still feeling fine and the trip odometer sitting at 78 miles. I just couldn't get that close and not finish. After all, if I didn't I'd just have to try it again sometime and I really didn't want that hanging over me. So I headed back out to the SRT and rode two loops around to finish off my "century." 100.1 miles! Still feeling great, but the last 10 miles were getting to me, my feet especially. And the heat was much more of a factor. When I rode out this morning the temperature was 67 degrees with low humidity. The perfect day for this ride. While it was still not a scorcher, the afternoon sun had heated things up closer to 87 and the humidity seemed to be rising. I'd had enough. Out for dinner with Annie now and I'm betting a very good night's sleep. Thanks Jake, it was a great ride!
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