Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Perfect (Almost) Day

The almost is for Annie, about which I will write in a moment. First, the perfection. We left our house at 5:45 this morning, Annie, I, Alan (son-in-law) and Jake (friend.) The temperature was a perfect 60 degrees and never reached above 88 all day. No humidity either. Remember last year? The last thirty miles in pouring rain? Not this time, by a long shot. We couldn't have dialed-up a more perfect day for a ride in the country. After arriving in Lancaster about 7:20, we got our bikes ready, our gear straight, registered and we were off. The first 20 miles were wonderful. There were very few cars on the roads, plenty of sunshine and a warming sun to take the near-chill off the morning. We arrived at the first water stop in great spirits. Here are Alan and Jake at that moment:

Unfortunately, just as we were leaving the water stop, Annie mounted her bike on some uneven ground, lost her footing and balance and went down. Another scrapped up knee. The same knee, of course, that has been scraped-up the last three times. We washed it off and put on a few band-aids and with no loss of good spirit carried on. We rode past farmland like this:

But the hills were beginning to get to Annie, and there were plenty of them. Finally, with only 3 or 4 miles to go before lunch, after having put in a great ride of 30 miles, she couldn't go on and the sag wagon came by at just that moment and she hitched a ride to lunch. I continued on alone and when I got to the final hill before the lunch spot I was very glad she wasn't riding. It was a killer, a good mile of very steep climbing. People were getting off and walking all over the place. I must say I made it (as did most folks, to be honest) but it was a rough end to the morning. We had a great lunch and re-grouped. Here we are just before setting out. Notice the new "do." Yes, I like it so much I've changed the template photo above for now.

Anyway, Annie felt fine and wanted to get back on the bike.
So we set out for the second half of the ride, again in good spirits. We crossed some six covered bridges during the ride, hence the name "Covered Bridge Metric Century." Here is one:

Unfortunately, Annie pooped out again after reaching around the 50 mile mark which made about 45 miles of tough climbing for her. She called for the wagon and I went on. She felt bad, but I didn't mind, as long as she was ok, and actually enjoyed going at my own pace through what were some of the prettiest scenes of the day. And yes, there were some more big hills, though not as steep as earlier in the day. More like a pretty steady climb much of the way.

On account of having to stop with Annie a few times and having to wait for the sag wagon, I rolled into the finish pretty late. but not before the cut-off and not the last to arrive. I went straight for the ice cream, which tasted really good, and then we loaded the cars for the trip home. Tamar and Shail were waiting for us and I charged up the bar-b-que for some steaks. A perfect ending to a perfect day. And then they all left. That wasn't too bad either.

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