1st thing that I need to do is thank my wonderful wife and daughters for their understand and patience this year. I know that my wife was always worried when I was out on the rural roads. I made sure that I called her every 2hrs. I know that the few times that I rode in the dark, that it almost put her over the edge (calls or no calls). I couldn't have done this without her support.
I should also thank the many friends of the innerweb. Your comments, phone calls and text messages kept me motivated to keep moving on this last ride (past rides as well).
Lastly, thanks to Dave Mable for creating this crazy Cup O'Dirt Challenge. It created a nice fit between my return to the dirt (my 1st bike love) and my OCD.
Now for the December ride recap: I left the house at 7am (sunrise) hoping to finish 90% of the ride by sunset. My plan would also help me find an ice free route in case the roads were still in bad shape.
What good luck! The roads were in great shape, with only slight ice buildup on the tree shaded parts and north sides of the hills. I quickly made my way through Booneville and out on 105th to DeSoto. Part way out I realized that I had forgotten my wallet and would have to survive on my 2 Clif bars in my pack. This was depressing because I planned on riding west (into the slight wind) to the 50 mile turnaround point. Now I would have to return home to get the cash for food later in the day, I knew that going home mid-ride could be a problem. A few hours later, I hit my 1st bonk, another depressing time as it was only at mile 44. I began to plan my afternoon nap once I got home and was wondering what football games might be on TV.
My wife had other plans. She reminded me that I had taken a day off work and that everyone was pulling for me to finish the quest. She prodded and motivated me in the ways that only she knows how. I rested for an hour and then left the house again. At first I thought that I could just go north to Granger and return for a metric century (changing my goals for the year). My body was feeling stronger in Granger and I thought that if I continued north then I wouldn't have a choice but to finish the full hundy. I turned around in Woodward and fought the headwinds back towards town.
My wife and girls met me on a lonely gravel road outside of Grimes with my good lights and a roast beef sandwich for dinner (I told you that they were supportive). It was during this dinner break that I was trying to make a point to my daughters. I asked them if they were learning anything about perseverance, goal setting, etc. from what I was doing. Madison just stated that she "learned to never start anything this dumb". They did partially retract that and say that they were proud of their daddy (good motivation for the last 20miles).
Now closer to home, I road the same 3 mile stretch of gravel multiple times and finished the last bit of the mileage through the subdivisions as I looked for blocks from the wind.
I finished at 9pm, but the majority (4hrs) of the time was spend at Casey's food stops. I tried to warm up about every 90mins. The overall cold wasn't too bad, but the wind was hell. To give you an idea of the clothing (bottom up): two pair socks, fleece neoprene booties over the shoes, cycling shorts, 2 pair tights, 1 wool tights with wind-blocker, two long sleeve jerseys, fleece vest, winter ski shell, balaclava, ski goggles, and the pogies on the handlebars worked great. For most of the ride, I only had on a light fleece glove.
I was glad the ride was over and even happier that I had finished the full hundy. At the request of others, I'll pull together some thoughts on the full year in a separate post.