4th of July ride

I rode my first century of the season today.  A friend of mine is training for an ironman, and she asked if we wanted to ride 100+ miles today, and of course I couldn’t say no.  So we set out at 7:30 this morning with a group of five: it was two triathletes, one road racer, and Hobgoblin and I.

The first part of the ride was good, except for some sprinkles, but rain when the temperature is in the 70s doesn’t bother me.  But then disaster struck: the other road racer all the sudden went down.  I was behind him, but I didn’t really see it; all I saw was bike parts flying across the road and the rider skidding across the pavement.  We never discovered exactly what happened, but it appeared that somehow his fork detached from his front wheel, sending the front wheel flying and snapping the fork in half.  The rider was okay, amazingly enough, suffering only some scrapes and road rash, as well as tearing his jersey.  No broken bones or head concussion.  His bike frame may be salvageable too.

The crash really shook us all, though.  I’ve been behind too many crashes and too often have had to slam on my brakes and swerve to avoid bodies and bike parts and then hope that the fallen rider is okay.  It can happen all too easily.

We waited for about an hour for the rider’s wife to come pick him up, and then we decided to keep our original plan and finish the ride.

From there on out things were better, although we wished our other rider could have been there.  The rain cleared out, although it never got sunny — which I can’t say I minded that much, as it kept things reasonably cool.  Our route was hilly (of course) and beautiful, through farm country in Connecticut and New York.

I was the slowest rider there, but up until the last hour or so I kept up with the others reasonably well.  Even in the last hour when I was tired and no longer felt like pushing very hard, I never got that far behind the others. We finished in around six hours, which is a good time for me.

It was a nice way to spend the holiday, and I hope to do more long rides like this one later in the season — and maybe ride even farther next time.

10 Comments

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10 responses to “4th of July ride

  1. Dorothy, I so envy you [stamina], and what an interesting way to spend a day! Well, minus the crash and all! But, when I say I envy you [and I mean it sincerely] I am referring to the fact that if I biked 100 miles in any given YEAR I would be hospitalized with cardiovascular issues of an unfathomable magnitude!
    All the best to you. Keep on rolling….

  2. Sorry to hear that. Perhaps the front dropouts became loosened from the fork? I’ve had that happen, but caught it in time to have it fixed.

    Happy Fourth of July!

  3. Sorry about the crash, but hooray for your century! Well done, Dorothy.

  4. Well done on the 100 miles (!) – that’s very impressive. At the moment I’m struggling to put 100 words together ;-)

  5. Very nice! Best wishes for future road safety for all concerned…

  6. Congratulations having finished it – 100 miles is quite a bit of saddle pain I imagine :) Well done and hope the rest of the rides are without crashes.

  7. What a nice day you had. I am glad the rider who crashed is ok and his bike is probably fixable. How scary though! Isn’t this earlier than usual for your first century? Seems like they happen generally in August/September. Hope you had a nice big dinner afterwards :)

  8. I’m sorry to hear about your friend’s crash, but so glad that he and his bike are relatively OK. I’ve had to slam on my brakes too a couple of times and it really does fluster you.

    I love your Frances Willard quote, above. I read her book last year for the first time and really enjoyed it.

  9. Thank you Cipriano! I’m sure you could do what I do, if you took the time to build up to it — it’s really not that hard!

    Fendergal — oh, good thing you caught the problem. The dropouts seemed to be secure; it looked like either the fork had been weakened and suddenly snapped or the wheel wasn’t in tight. Frightening.

    Charlotte — thank you! Knowing that my friend was okay, if a bit cut up and bruised, made it possible to enjoy the rest of the ride.

    Pete — oh, I know that sometimes riding 100 miles is easier than putting 100 words together!

    Jenny — thank you! I’m trying not to think about the crash too too much.

    Seachanges — thanks! Actually I feel more pain in my neck and shoulders than anywhere else … :)

    Stefanie — yes, it is earlier than usual (good of you to remember!); I was inspired by my triathlete friend to do some long rides. So starting with 100 so early means I may be able to work up to longer distances without too much trouble — I hope!

    Debby — yes, it’s best not to dwell on the crashes if you can help it. Wasn’t the Frances Willard book great? I loved it. Adored it, in fact. She has become one of my heroes.

  10. Except for the crash–it sounds like a nice way to spend the holiday. How many long rides like this do you do a year?

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