Sunday, March 9, 2008

Solvang Century 2008

Ready to go!

Woooo Hoooo! We did it! 100 Miles. (Acutally it was closer to 104.) The weather was beautiful. (Thanks to everyone that prayed) It started a bit chilly. My hands were numb for the first 45 minutes but it really wasn't bad. We did have a little wind but not like the "scary" winds I dealt with during some of my training rides. Fortunately, the strongest winds were at our back and worked in our favor.

We rode through some gorgeous countryside. I'm so used to city life, I tend to forget California can look like this.

Beautiful California landscape

Since I had never riden a century before, I had no idea if I had trained enough. Well, my training really paid off. I rode extremely well, especially on the climbs. I'm convinced the training dvd's I used with my indoor trainer prepared me for the tough climbs. As I've previously mentioned, the climbs scare me. Not because they can be slow and painful when hammering so hard. Rather, because I still have difficulty getting my feet out of my pedals. My constant fear when climbing is that I'll run out of strength to push the pedals and have to put a foot down. I've fallen twice previously in such situations. I literally look ahead up the hills for places that would be better to fall should I not be able to get out of the pedals quickly enough. So I press on and try to at least make it that far. I won't say the climbing was easy on Saturday, but it wasn't nearly as hard as I anticipated. I did really well. I passed a lot of people on the climbs which surprised me. I kept hearing the voice of Chris Carmichael (the training coach on my dvd) saying, "This is just like climbing." I laughed and 'answered' him saying, "This IS climbing."

Rest Stop #1

It was very special to ride with my friend. I use the word "with" loosely. We often separated and met up at the tops of hills or at the rest stops. Even still, it was a blessing to do this with him. He and I used to ride a lot together. Back in 1988 (yes, you read that right. 20 years ago) we rode from San Francisco to Los Angeles together. Except for portions of 2 of those 8 days, it was a wonderful trip! So riding together once again was very special. Crossing the finish line together was such a joy. And how wonderful it was to have Julianne, Lily, and my sister, Ellen cheering us on at the finish.

Completing this century ride less than a year after my health concerns came to light made this quite a significant accomplishment for me. I am so very blessed to have had the support of my wife through this. When I thought of giving up after coming home scared from a dangerous ride in strong winds back in November, she talked me into not giving up. (Thank you, Sweetie!)

Here are some details from the ride:

Solvang Century 2008

Start time: Approximately 7:00 a.m.
Finish time: Just before 6:00 p.m.
Actual riding time: 7 hours 30 minutes
Distance: 104 miles +/-

1988 San Francisco to Los Angeles

2008 Solvang Century


Melissa said...

Woohooo!! You did it!! And did it well by the sounds of it! Thanking the Lord for the fine weather...and for His protection. Just looked at what Julianne wrote...and saw the picture of you crossing the finish line...and it sounds like overall it was a fantastic day. Congrats to you for all your hard work leading up to the race. So what's next??

Val said...

WooHoo Robert! Great job...and over 100 miles! That is fantastic!

Happy to hear it was a great ride without any troubles. Sounds like you had a great time too!

Congrats on your achievement!

Karly said...

Yahoo, Robert! I am so proud of you!

Green Eyed Girl said...

WAY TO GO!!!! That is so awesome! I am so glad you had such a good ride, and the weather was great.
You got some lovely pictures along the way, it is nice to have some visuals to go along with the story.
I love the comparison pictures of you and your friend!!

Grafted Branch@Restoring the Years said...

GOOD FOR YOU! What a great accomplishment.

When I first saw "Solvang," my only thought was, "where's the picture of Lily in the giant wooden shoe on one of the intersection corners?" (Wish I knew which one.)

Dillo said...

DUDE! We haven't aged at all! We still look great for a couple of old(er) men! Nice post and pics as always....

Robin said...

You deserve to be thrilled with this! I can't imagine riding that kind of a ride, and it's wonderful to see how far you've come in such a short time. I wish there were pics of your family greeting you across the finish line--but I bet you were spent!

How fun for you to include past AND current pictures; that says a lot about your endurance--on the bike and in your special relationships :).