04 June 2013

A Sunday Ride

For three decades I have worked Sundays. For sixteen summers, as I drove out of my neighborhood at 7am on the way to church, I have often seen a cycling group heading west down Geneva Rd. Golly, that looked like fun, and I have to confess it made me a little jealous. Oh, to have a free Sunday morning, and a group to ride with.

(Never mind that nearly every Saturday for almost a decade of summers, I have had an excellent group ride with friends. Sunday is another day, and I wasn't riding!)

Then there are the organized rides. Like marathons, always on Sundays. Kind of rules out participation when one works Sundays.

So as this last weekend rolled around, and my Saturday morning guys were deciding to do an organized ride on Sunday, my Karen said, "Well, of course you should go. Who knows how many free Sundays you'll have with your next job?" OK, then! I was in.

The Udder Century has been running for 30 years. It is sponsored by the McHenry County Bike Club, in northern Illinois. The route goes by a lot of farms. The event is very well organized, lots of cheerful volunteers, and there had to be a couple thousand riders involved. Being farm country, in the Midwest, there were lots of loops providing options for distances: 32, 50, 62 (a "metric century"), 75, and 100 mile rides were on offer. The Saturday gang opted for the 75 mile route at a casual pace.

It was overcast, in the mid-50s, with a fair W/NW wind. Good group riding conditions, and surprisingly (to me) we did keep a fairly casual pace throughout. Also surprisingly, the 75-mile route turned out to be 80 miles. It was a kind terrain, except for that one big bump about a mile before the end. Ouch.

Here is the route. The metrics (speed, heart rate) are Jon B's.

So, 80 of my 330 total miles, on one ride. By this time of the year, I'm usually on my second thousand seasonal miles. But this year has to be different, and I'm glad to get out when I can. And on this occasion, especially glad to ride with friends, finish well, and enjoy a rare Sunday getaway on a bike!

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