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.