Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Knotts Island - Metric Century

Well to say the least the last two weekends have been challenging and exhilarating all at the same time…

Last weekend I took on the challenge of completing my first century. Facing many questions from my non-biker friends of “Why would you want to ride 100 miles,” etc…I sloughed it off and just smiled as I went about my business. I wasn’t really sure of the answer myself.

The drive up to Williamsburg was easy; such a nice time to ride when one does not have to deal with traffic. Arrived at Chickahomony park, checked in, got ready and off we went. My riding partner Erika was feeling spunky and decided to try to catch a wheel of the first group, likewise I followed and when I realized that within the first 3 miles I was cruising at 24 mph logic set in and I said, “Claudia, you have 97 more miles of this, do you really want to be going this speed so soon?” So I dropped off and eventually got into my groove, met back up with my pal, hooked up with a nice group and off we went to Richmond into the headwind praying to God the wind would not change directions right when we had to head back. Feeling thrilled to be flying down the hill into the city of Richmond, it hit me we would eventually have to climb back up this sucker to go home.

Lots of things went through my mind as I rode. Despite the fact that there were many more hills than I anticipated, I felt strong until about mile 75. Then I started getting hot spots – new experience for me mind you and severe back pain – need to talk to Roberio about my fit. Some stretching and a little foot massaging at the rest stops helped a lot and before I know it we were climbing the Chickahomony Bridge to the finish…

The feeling of exhaustion I felt that night was a new one on me. It wasn’t until I got home, sat in my garage and slugged a beer with my hubby that I realized just how tired my legs were. I fell asleep with a huge sense of accomplishment and my little girl wrapped in my arms; a perfect ending to a perfect day. I am proud to be showing my daughter the importance of staying healthy and taking care of your body. She rides around our driveway and our garage and considers herself a Vanderkitten because she rides a Specialized like mommy. She gets off and feigns being out of breath and sits down for a quick refuel as she calls it then hops back onto her bike for some more exercise…needs to strengthen her muscles she tells me. She’s already looking towards and talking about her next bike, she said as long as it’s purple and a Specialized, she’ll be happy.

Onto Knott’s Island this weekend took some of the kittens. The decision for me to complete the metric and not the full century again was simply just one of logistics. I wasn’t really sure I could swing two 100 mile bikes rides two weekends in a row (wasn’t sure I really wanted to) and when I completed the Metric I was happy I had made the decision I did. Joined by other kittens Susan, Donna and Maggie, we set off at the start. Knotts Island itself was an uneventful ride, well despite the rain that dumped down on us the first several miles causing splatter to form on my brand new jersey! The surprising part was pulling into the Ferry Dock along with my riding buddies Erika and Darryl, ahead of everyone else! We passed several groups and felt like pretty hot stuff; me sporting my new Pink Vanderkitty jersey and her in her Coastal Racing gear; Darrly said he was just happy to hang with us chicks as we met in the first few miles and rode the whole ride together. We met our bright cheery faced V-kitty teammates and Manderkittens Bob and Ryan braving the century ride as we boarded the ferry bound for the final leg of the ride. We had great conversation on the ferry with new friends we made and managed to soak up a little sun in the process. Then off we went into the headwind for the last 27 miles of our ride. The course itself wasn’t anything special, in fact I’d say the road surfaces in general were pretty yucky overall…but the company was great and we managed to get to know our new kitten friend Susan pretty well. Way to hang kitty cat Susan– you roared! Complete with a decent spaghetti lunch – which as BJ said is surprisingly yummy in the afternoon, we headed home with again a feeling of accomplishment and some new friends.

Donna and Maggie also said they enjoyed the h - - - out of it. They loved everything about it and were very proud of themselves for finishing it as well as they did. They averaged 17-19 mph, and neither of them had biked that far before. The route was very interesting and they met some really helpful and friendly people.

We all agreed bikers are so friendly and always willing to help you out. Donna and Maggie cannot wait until next year and hopefully they will be ready for the 100 miler!!

Spunky Cat

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