June 9, 2015

Wenatchee Apple Century Bike Ride

Several months ago my brother informed me that he had bought a road bike. He told me that he decided to buy himself a road bike since Dad and I enjoy cycling so much. I asked him if he was up for doing a long ride this summer and he said, "Sure." At the time, I'm not sure he knew what he was signing himself up for.

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Each June the Apple Century Bike Ride takes place in Wenatchee, Washington. The past few summers I have had hopes of being there for the ride but the timing hasn't worked out. This year I started planning a little earlier and enlisted Andy, Dad, and Jake to do the 50 mile route with me.

Things seems to be going well leading up to the ride until about a week and a half before. I found myself in the doctors office because of pain I have been battling in my foot and found myself walking out of the doctors office in a boot. I didn't tell the doctor about my upcoming ride and decided I would just take the boot off when it was time to hop on the bike. This may not have been one of the smarter moves I have made in my life.

Ride Day-

Let me start out by saying this ride was unlike any ride I have ever done before. Andy and I got about 4 hours the night before our ride. The weather was unusually hot, we're talking 100 degrees hot! The surface temperature of the road was 150 degrees. Clouds were few and far between and wind was nonexistent.

Andy getting ready to ride. Real men wear spandex!

The ride started out great. But before too long, I think we were all starting to feel the heat. I kept drinking the warm water in my pack and almost drank it dry. I was trying to ration what little water I had left before we reached the first pit stop. The first pit stop was at 25 miles.

The area were were riding though was absolutely beautiful! We rode through pear and cherry orchards on quiet country roads.
 

The hills were grueling. I could feel every muscle in my body. This was no easy ride, it was all hills. We're not talking rolling hills (I enjoy those), we are talking about hill climb, after hill climb, with next to no flat roads.

Me and Jake.

Andy, Jake & Me.

Andy & Jake.

Cresting another hill.

Me & Andy.

Just before we made it to the first pit stop my body felt like it was shutting down, this was a first for me. I found myself fighting to stay awake and to keep peddling up those long and arduous hills.


As we rolled into the first pit stop I knew I was done. After talking with my Dad and husband we decided  it would be best for me to call it a day--this was a hard thing for me to do, I had never not finished a ride before. I grabbed some much needed food and Gatorade and arrange to get a ride back to the finish line. 

The guys headed back out to finish the last 25 miles of the ride. Andy got 16 charlie horses in his legs going up a very large hill. My Dad stopped to wait for him and the tires on his bike popped because the road was so hot. And Jake was determined to make it up all those hills and across the finish line first (for our group) no matter what.

Jake finished first and immediately went to jump in the lake to cool off. I asked if he would do the ride again and he said no. He now plans on selling his bike. He said biking isn't his thing.

Jacob.

Dad came in shortly thereafter. I asked how he felt and he said he felt really hot. I asked if he would do the ride again and he said yes, he wasn't anticipating riding in temperatures quite that high.

Andy came in a few minutes later and he promptly laid down in the shade. Dad said he thought Andy had heat exhaustion and I think he was right. I brought him some food and water and it seemed to help quite a bit. He said he would never do that right again because of the heat but he would be up for doing the Newport Century again.

Andy.

I'm really glad that we were able to spend time together as a family and attempt to achieve a goal together. I'm sad that I didn't get to finish but I know stopping at 25 miles was the best decision for me at that time. I know there will be other rides I can do in the future.

The Crew: Me, Andy, Jake, & Dad.

Lessons Learned-

1. It's important to get a good nights sleep the night before a long ride.
2. Start riding early to avoid the heat-- you can start riding before the pit stops are open.
3. Bring extra water.
4. Listen to your body-- if it's telling you to stop, you probably should.
5. Wear more sunscreen than you deem necessary-- I put on extra sunscreen and still managed to get burnt.
6. Most importantly, have FUN!

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