After months of preparation, the day of my first century ride finally arrived! I felt confident I could finish, but was still nervous about how uncomfortable I might get and the mental strength it would take to keep going despite that. There is only so much planning you can do for a trip like this — when the day arrives, you have to just do it. Here is some fun video footage of my big day. Grab a bowl of popcorn, sit back, and enjoy — it’s a LONG video this time!
The route I chose was beautiful, as you can see from the video. There are so many things to see and hear, there are very few dull moments. The towns I rode through included Muskegon, North Muskegon, Whitehall, Montague, Rothbury, Shelby, Mears, and Hart. Most of my route was on designated bike paths, but there was an 8 mile stretch where I had to ride on a couple country roads. It was still quite early in the morning at that point, so traffic was not an issue at all.
So what did I learn during this entire training and century ride?
— A big, cushy, spring-loaded bike seat is not necessarily a good idea.
— While bike shorts are a must-have, substituting with 20+ year old spandex is not the best choice.
— Chipmunks are suicidal. Even though I only ran over one, I’ve had MULTIPLE close calls.
— Biking long distance is a challenge, but doesn’t feel as awful as running.
— Doing a century ride by yourself is only as big of a deal as you make it for yourself. There are no crowds, no competitors, no banners, no announcer or music, no awards, no t-shirt. It’s like getting a new job but not doing it for the money. You do it because it makes you or the world around you better.
— You have no idea how strong you are until you push yourself harder and farther than you ever have before.
— Just because you find your limit today doesn’t mean you won’t have a new (farther) limit tomorrow or next week or next year.
I guess that’s about it for now. If I think of more, I’ll add to the list later on. So, here’s a question for you: How far can you bike? (or walk, or run, or swim, or whatever) Have you found your limit? Nobody knows what you can do unless you do it and find out. I challenge you to reach a new limit, no matter how small you think it is, and then come tell me about it! Share your story in the comments. 🙂 Catch ya later!