Back to Back Centuries

So here we are in Rochester, Minnesota, home of the Mayo Clinic, and Minnesota’s 3rd Largest city. The ride here was beautiful, rolling hills, farms, nice small towns. The weather was great, slight wind out of the north, temps in the 70’s. It was the second day of back to back centuries, something I haven’t done in a long time. So let me try to tell you what it is like for me to spend approx 8 hours ( including stops) to ride 100 miles.

Load is at 7:00 AM-put your bags in the truck and go. The first 20 miles are great, as the air is fresh and the sun has that nice early morning glow, and we generally lave in a group. After 20 miles or so, I usually start riding by myself as I want to stop to take photos, or don’t want to maintain the pace of others, or I simply choose not to ride in a group. Then the head games begin, a song pops into my brain, I look at the scenery, I try NOT to look at the odometer too often as a “watched odometer never gets you there”! I think about stuff: life, family, work, what’s next on this trip, where might our next vacation be, all while still paying attention to where I am going, and staying safe on my bike The repetitiveness of cycling always help me think. I often do “head math”; I’m 25% there, I’m half-way there, at this pace I will arrive by 2:00 PM. Then a different song will pop into my brain, and I hold onto that for a while. In a funny kind of a way, a route with hills makes that day seem to go quicker, because I am focused on climbing and descending without a spot for any thing else in my brain . Reaching the half-way point is a biggy, as then I start calculating a more realistic arrival time. And then, miraculously, there are 30 miles to go, at which point I can “feel” the finish. We joke that, like eating in the dark so the calories don’t count, the last 10 miles hardly count. However, it seems that there is always a climb at mile 90 or so, and in the larger cities, a lot of navigating to get to the hotel, when you just want to BE THERE!

Anyway, tomorrow is only 88 miles, so it will be a shorter day, but there are lots of climbs and descents, so it should go quickly.

alan

Clear Lake in Waseca, Minnesota

Clear Lake in Waseca, Minnesota

typical farm in Minnesota

typical farm in Minnesota

fields of corn

field of corn

Sag stop with mural as bike rest

Sag stop with mural as bike rest

Main Street, West Concord, Minnesota

Main Street, West Concord, Minnesota

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