Wednesday, September 27, 2017

DAM Century Ride


Dam Century Ride
September 23, 2017


My apologies in advance.  Riding over 100 miles is going to create quite the lengthy recap.  I hope you'll hang with me to the end.  I mentioned in HoLottaMiles that we had started about 30 minutes behind most riders.  It was a little hairy going through traffic stops in Tallassee, mostly because Teresa and I were still nervous I think.  We crossed the DAM for which the ride is named and once on rural roads, we settled into a rhythm.  
 
The DAM.   Cycling over the bridge (twice) was pretty cool!
Except for being chased by a dog, things went smoothly.   Of all the things we fretted over, dogs were something neither of us considered.  I announced to Teresa we were 10% done.  Little did she know I'd be yelling out my percentages all day (along with our average speed).  The most disturbing thing I saw was a dead raccoon with a plastic fork placed on top.  Disturbing, but somehow weirdly funny.
 

Stop # 1 -- Raisins, Water
I wanted to document each rest stop and the volunteers were happy to oblige.  As we were leaving, we were told to look for the kiwi farm.  Kiwi?  Growing in Alabama?  Who would have thought...  The kiwi farm was lovely as were the countryside, farms, pastures, small churches, cemeteries, ponds, swamps, and woods we passed.  We conversed.  A lot.  We're women.

We broke the ride into segments between stops.  Otherwise, it'd be too much of a mental bite to chew.  During Segment 2, my singing started.  I sang up every hill.  Elton John's Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me was stuck in my head -- so I let it out.  Nothing significant happened except for losing my magnetic pouch after hitting a huge bump flying downhill on rough pavement back into Tallassee.  It almost smacked Teresa in the face.  I went back to retrieve it but not before a car smashed my Advil, Salt Capsules and Goldfish.  I would have to bum off Teresa.  After crossing the DAM again, it was time for Rest Stop 2.

Stop # 2 -- PB&J, Water
Here, we were told we were the back of the long distance riders and that someone would be following us for the remainder of the race.  Aren't we special? I didn't notice our SAG vehicle and it's possible he skipped ahead to Rest Stop 3 to wait.  If not, he sure kept a respectable distance.   It was in Segment 3 that my obnoxious singing started.  There were hellacious hills and it was getting HOT.  I had switched over to John Denver's Sunshine on My Shoulders and I belted it out up every mountain for distraction.  {Your welcomed, Teresa!} 
 
With big uphills came big downhills and we wheeeee'd our way down eventually clocking a maximum speed of 36.9 mph.  Dang that was fun!  There were a few Deliverance type moments--complete with banjo sound effects, many cotton fields--complete with singing Dixie {yes, Teresa gave in and started singing with me} and finally we reached Rest Stop 3.  We were around mile 40 and knew we'd have to make the Metric/Century decision soon.

Stop # 3 -- Candy, Pickle Juice, Water
The group at this stop went overboard to make us feel welcome.  They racked our bikes, filled our bottles and gave us crack (chocolate candy, peeps).  With cramping already in my foot, they served me a cup of pickle juice.  It did the trick.  I stuffed food in my pockets, but can't tell you now what it was.  I sent PoPo a message we were OK and off we went.

Segment 4 had the worst traffic.   We received a few irritating "honks"  It was flat and we began missing the early hills; no whee's to rest and enjoy.  Constant pedaling.  Constant...with a head wind.  We cycled over a river, along double railroad tracks, saw golf courses, a casino, and a prison.  We pushed on and after crossing the Interstate -- there they were; the big arrows pointing us either back to Tallassee for the Metric distance or on through HELL for the Century.  Well, you know what that decision was.  We giggled a while because Teresa imagined SAG Dude thinking "Oh, crap -- they are going the full distance!"  We were sure he'd rather been watching football.
 
Elevation Graph from my Garmin
 
After a beautiful stretch of homes and farms, we reached the fluid only Stop 4 around mile 58.  {We're 58% done, Teresa!}  The volunteer was an IronMan who had Gatorade and Water on the tailgate of his pickup.  We did not document this stop.  I think we were getting delirious.  However, we made sure SAG Dude was well hydrated (ha ha).

Segment 5 was Hell on Earth.  It was so freaking hot with the sun directly over our heads.  However, I did a little celebratory seat-wiggle dance after surpassing my PR distance of 65 miles.  We were in the middle of nowhere.  I remember singing Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, and Zac Brown to name a few.  We were completely delirious and couldn't remember more than a couple of lines of any song, but that didn't stop us.  

We talked (again!) about what we'd eat later at the Mexican restaurant and how big our margaritas would be.  My feet felt like they were on fire!  The road kill was bad.  Some were unidentifiable; one with weird hooves.   Had Bigfoot ran out of the woods, we wouldn't have batted an eye.  He could have hopped a ride with SAG Dude.  We shared some gummies Teresa had stuffed in her pocket.

A beautiful oasis in the middle of Hell...

Finally, we arrived at rest stop #5!  {We're 70% done, Teresa!}  I was getting that WE DID IT feeling although we had over 30 miles to go.  The sweetest people were sitting on the front porch of the church parsonage waiting for us to arrive.   An INDOOR stop with air conditioning almost brought a tear to my eye!  WHAT a spread of food! -- OMG at the homemade Pecan Sandies.  We made ourselves go to the restroom for the first time even though it was not necessary.  Being so hot, it was difficult to eat and I stood over the A/C vent in the floor. 

Stop #5 -- Pecan Sandies, Cookie, Banana, Water
 
It was hard to leave knowing we had to go back the way we came; back through hell.  Another "I'm OK" text and we were off.  I can't remember much of Segment 6.  There was more singing and cursing too.  A big group of fat tire motorcyclists passed us.   We were sent down the worst road imaginable with rocky pavement, huge buckles spanning the road with deep potholes nestled inside.  We won't discuss our potty mouths every time we hit a brain jarring bump.  But as Teresa pointed out, it was shady. After an eternity, we arrived at the last stop.  Teresa convinced me to drink in a Dr. Pepper (hoping for a burping contest -- no such luck).  I can't tell you how good that tasted.   
 

Stop # 6 (with SAG Dude) -- Iced Grapes, Banana, Dr. Pepper
With about 17 miles left for Segment 7, we sang Johnny Cash (a lot of Cash) some Elvis, crossed back over the Interstate where I convinced an 18 wheeler to blow his horn and we pedaled on.  {We're 90% done, Teresa!}  In the distance, we saw an ominous cloud.   Rain?  Really?  Now?  Maybe it would go in the other direction.  Oh, no no.  It stormed.  We were soaked in seconds.  There was nothing to use for cover.  I'll admit there was some repenting going on -- you know, just in case.  We pulled up to a stop sign that was whipping back and forth from high winds and two SAG vehicles soon caught up to us.  "Do you want us to take you back?"  NO WAY.  We sat drenched in the vehicles until the wind died down. 

File this away under EXTRA BADASSERY

Back on the bikes, the storm left much cooler air in its wake.  We appreciated that and the fresh, just rained smell.  I had gotten cold while off my bike and my inner thigh kept threatening to cramp. Thankfully it never made it all the way.  More cotton fields.  We steeled ourselves for the last DAM hill.  We knew it would be a doozie.   And ... success!   One.hundred.three.freaking.miles.
 
 


PoPo took us to our favorite Mexican restaurant where we indulged.  Homemade guacamole, made right at our table, tasted like heaven on earth.  That actually could have been our meal, but we didn't stop there.  And the margarita?  Well...


There were no medals given out.
But this memento sweetly gifted by Teresa
has been around my neck every day since.

Thanks for making it to the end!  Be sure to check out Teresa's recap as well.  A special thanks to everyone associated with this event.  It was perfect for our first century.  A big shout out to all of you who sent encouraging messages throughout the day (especially you PoPo!).  Knowing we had that positive energy coming our way helped more than you can ever know. Oddly, we rarely even looked at the time.  It's almost as if it didn't exist.  We had a job to do and we just did it.  And Teresa, what can I say?  Thank you, my friend.  It was a DAM good time.

 



54 comments:

  1. Ahhh, you remembered things I had already forgotten! What an epic adventure and accomplishment! I couldn't have had a better partner!😙

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    1. Epic is right! Who knew we could create so much fun sitting while sitting on a bike for the day? When is the next one?

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  2. Oh my goodness, what an adventure you both had! That elevation map gives me the chills. Running hills is one thing... biking them though... OUCH! Way to go and congratulations to you and Teresa on this huge accomplishment! The freshly made guacamole was worth it ;)

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    1. Coming around a curve and spotting one of those really big hills was quite nerve wracking. I would just stare down at the pavement until it was over. LOL.

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  3. It sounds like quite the adventure and IF I ever decide to do a century ride I wouldn't want anyone else by my side!

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    1. I think we should do a group century ride. It would be a blast! Spending a few minutes at each stop definitely make it more doable.

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  4. Huge congrats to you ladies! What an odyssey! Way to go for the full hundo!

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    1. We talked a lot about only doing the Metric but both of us knew (barring unforeseen complications) we would do the Century. Why not, right? Are you up for a group century ride?

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  5. Aww, how lucky you two are to have experienced this triumph together.
    A dog would have been the last of my worries too...lol

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    1. That dog caught up going up a hill so we were going slow. He was right on us. There was also traffic and we were scared we were either going to hit the dog or a car. Or, the dog was going to be hit. We finally got away from him.

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  6. So amazing! I forgot about the leg cramping risk. I'll have to load up with Nuun and salty snacks. I only hope I have as much fun as you did! (and that I don't see as much roadkill)

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    1. I needed my crushed goldfish later in the race! There were a lot of sugary snacks and fruit but I never saw salty snacks. I'll definitely take some next time. My Salt Capsules were crushed like my goldfish but Teresa had salt chews which I took several times. They were actually quite tasty. I'll have to ask what kind they were. They worked.

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  7. Such a great recap! Now I know I love you because you laughed at the dead racoon with a plastic fork on top. That's the sense of humor I love. Sounds like an epic adventure. My only question is: will you do it again?

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    1. Who put that fork there is what I want to know! I'll absolutely do it again. You know I'm not a one-and-done type person. Would a group ride interest you?

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    2. Maybe! I'm not doing much with running (sniff sniff) so why not? My bike is feeling really neglected these days.

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    3. Well you know if would be a huge recipe for fun. Bikes can be flown or shipped anywhere...just sayin'.

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  8. What an epic adventure!!!! Wouldn't this be a fun girls weekend endeavor...sometime (obviously NOT in 2017 LOL). That rain at the end...ha! How's that for a finale! Excellent job, you two ladies ROCK!!!!!

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    1. The rain was just the icing on the cake. It hailed at my house so we were grateful it didn't hail on us! But, that is an indication of how bad the storm was. I absolutely agree about a fun girls weekend. Are you up for a century ride?

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  9. Thanks for taking me along for the ride.

    What an adventure? What's your next one? Can't wait to hear.

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    1. I haven't decided yet. But it was definitely worth a repeat.

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  10. It amazes me how much you remember from 100 MILES! I can't even remember 13.1! Surely they must have these rides when it's usually cooler? Because of course the weather can do anything these days.

    Congrats to you both! You gals are definitely bada$$es!

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    1. Ha! I made a quick one-word list of things right after the race. It helped spur the old memory. Yes, they do have rides when it is cooler. And I intend to do another!

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  11. WOOOOOOOW! That is such a big day :) Congrats! It is always great when you find a friend crazy enough to jump in and do those epic events with you. I loved every detail. I think traffic would have scared me to death and I can not imagine 36 miles per hour...I think my bike is too heavy to go that fast lol but it sounds scary!!
    You know I had a bad incident awhile back with a lady walking a dog who let it loose on the leash right in my path as I going by on the bike, I almost wiped out...and dogs make me nervous now!
    Those hills are something...well done :)

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    1. It was pretty freaky to glance down at my computer and see that number! RE dog: we were scared we were either going to collide with the biting dog or oncoming traffic. We were not going very fast since it was uphill. Once we got our speed back, we left the dog in the road.

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  12. I LOVED READING THIS!!!! You and Teresa are amazing - what an epic adventure to take on together. Congrats on your first century ride!!

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    1. Oh that's sweet! Thanks so much. Recaps are my way of preserving a memory (I'm aging!) and I know this was really long. I appreciate you reading it! LOL.

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  13. So happy for you ! That is an amazing accomplishment. LOVED the recap. The badassery photos and the roadkill comments. LOL. You rock coach !

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    1. Thanks! There is so much to see, and think about, and sing about during 100 miles!

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  14. Holly, "SAG Dude" here. It was my pleasure to follow along and do what I could to make your ride safe. I had my XM radio and plenty to eat, so I was fine. I'm glad you had a good time, and I hope you and Teresa join us in Tallassee again next year.

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    1. We both felt much safer knowing you were back there. We simply can't say enough about all of the kind people who worked this event. Thanks to everyone!

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  15. Wow, congrats! That sounds like an amazing experience. It awesome that you remembered so much! I loved that you sang throughout the ride. And I definitely wouldn't have thought you would have had to worry about being chased by a dog- that would have freaked me out!!

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    1. I knew without my music I'd be singing something in my head. But after a while -- I just started singing out loud. The distraction helped get up those big hills. Teresa was very kind to humor me!

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  16. How fun! Thank you so much for the detailed recap. With a century ride on my bucket list, I really enjoyed reading every little detail!

    T
    As always, thanks for the linkup!

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    1. You definitely need to do one. It's really fun. You just have to get over the fact that it will take all day.

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  17. Wow 100 miles! That is really hard for me to wrap my head around knowing that my 20 miler was tough. Great job!! And, now I'm craving Mexican ;)

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    1. Most (if not all) of my much shorter training rides were tougher than the 100. We didn't race it -- couldn't have. We just rode leisurely and made our own fun.

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  18. Congrats on your ride! I would like the #5 Pit stop. That is such a cute necklace that Teresa gave you. Enjoy your recovery this week.

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    1. The volunteers at the rest stops were so nice and accommodating. The homemade goodies were an extra special touch!

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  19. 100 miles!! What an accomplishment. That's definitely something to be proud of. You ladies are full of BADASSERY for sure!

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    1. We were pretty proud of ourselves! Honestly, it wasn't the monster we both feared it may be. It was fun.

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  20. Love the matching outfits!! Congrats on the century ride. WOW! I can't imagine doing that many miles. Enjoy taking some time to recover! You deserve it.

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    1. We thought we needed a "team" shirt. I'm glad we went with that print.

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  21. This was a great recap! What an epic ride! Huge congrats to you both!!

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    1. Thank you! It truly was an epic experience.

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  22. Great job!! I bet that rain felt great after going two ways through hell.

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    1. The cool air in the storm's aftermath felt fantastic after being in the blazing sun all day! It helped us finish strong.

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    1. Thanks! I'm so glad I had Teresa to do this with.

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  24. This sounds like an epic day. The raccoon with a fork is pretty hilarious. So proud of you two for tackling the century!!! Congrats!!

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    1. It truly was epic. I couldn't get over the fact someone took the time to place a fork on top of the raccoon.

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  25. Than Dam bridge is impressive! I love this recap. Breaking it down into chunks seems like a good idea. So happy to hear the stops/volunteers were great. What a ride! Congratulations!

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  26. WOW! What an amazing recap - it sounds like you guys had a blast!

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  27. Great recap!! I really loved your pictures and little comments, it sounds lke you had a great day despite (or maybe because) of the challenges. And that guac and margaritas sure were earned in the process!!

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  28. I'd seen your pictures and I had to come check out your post about this epic 100 miler. So many challenges, I think you guys did incredible, and look at those smiles after you both finished, you don't even look like you just raced a 100 on a bike, you guys rock!!
    FYI love the Johnny Cash singing LOL I don't usually admit this, but I have a lot of him on my running play list, love it!
    Great job to you both, you are outstanding athletes for sure!!!!

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