A Peachy century

There are a few rides that have special significance to me, so I do them every year. Although I ride year ’round, I consider the Monster Cookie to be the official start of cycling season. Yesterday, I rode the Peach which ends the season.

The Peach normally attracts over 1,000 cyclists, but it seemed practically empty this year — undoubtedly due to the miserable weather report which called for cool winds and rain all day. Bryan was among the casualties, calling me at 6am to tell me it was just too miserable to ride.

The rain actually wasn’t that bad for the first 50 miles or so, but there was enough that I was glad I brought my commuter rather than my race bike. During the second half of the ride, the rain grew stronger. A number of cyclists opted to shorten their rides due to the rain, but frankly the wind was a much bigger factor. I knew from the beginning that my speed was going to be pathetic, so I set my computer so I couldn’t tell how fast I was going.

I can’t even remember the last time I rode a century under such crummy wind conditions. The big ring on my compact crank got very little use, and all riders were hurting. Fortunately, I was felt really good throughout the day and finished strong — though I was definitely ready for the ride to end at the 100 mile mark.

September is the month of the Bike Commute Challenge, and today represents the first day in 10 years that I chose not to ride in during the Challenge. When I’m in pain, a recovery ride with an easy pace is normally just the ticket. But it’s windy and rainy today, plus I have to make it to orchestra after work. Riding fast for more than 40 miles in lousy conditions when you’re already hurting does not a recovery ride make. Instead, I’m trying out a new philosophy I thought up yesterday. It’s called, “masochism sucks.” So far, it seems to be working well.

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