2011 Maple Leaf - Mission: Century

Myself and Remus signed up for the Maple Leaf ride about 3 weeks ago. I asked him what loop he wanted to do, and he said, "why can't we do them all?" Okay, fine, let's do it!

The advertised milage was a 20 flat loop OR 30 rolling hills loop OR 30 hilly loop, plus the 14 miles riding from and to my house to the event start was going to make a 94 mile day. We changed OR to AND. It was also decided that if we were within 10 miles of a full Century, we would have to ride around extra to make 100. So we did. Mission completed.

The morning started off by waking up at 3:30 am to the sound of an impending storm. I fired up the iPad to check the radar. Ewww, not good. However, it never really started raining until around 6am and the outlook was bleak. We were originally to leave the house at 7am, but the lightning was preventing us from leaving on time. Just about when we were going to leave, we looked, I said "looks better, let's go", then Bam, right where we were looking was another bolt of lightning. I guess we should wait. A sign from God. Once we arrived, signed in, got our orange "Steak" wristband, we were off. After that, the ride was pretty uneventful.

Not many riders, I guess there were 27 registered pre-ride, I was expecting a few hundred. Oh well, we were there to ride and that's what we did. We had no plan going into this, but things turned out perfect. We decided to ride the hilly loop first, expecting we'd have the most energy right away. It was hilly! Then we thought we should ride the rolling hill loop and finally the flat loop. Surely, by the time we would get to the end, the road would be perfect for our dwindling capacity for pain. This worked out beautifully.

After the first two loops we had lunch (steak, potato and half a Coke for me). Not even sure what Remus had. He eats so fast, I saw food, looked away - next thing I saw was an empty plate with meat juice on it. We could hear rumbling in the distance, I text Patti to see what was going on. She said it would miss us, so we took off for the last loop. It was an out and back on my favorite area road (Red Pine Drive), and by the time we were half way back, (only 13 more miles to complete the mission) the skies opened up. I said "It's looks good!" (being funny) then CRACK, a bolt of lightning was (seemingly) right in the woods next to us. It about scared both of us right off the road. We thought we should hide under some leafy trees (trees aren't targets for lightning are they?!) and wait it out. We got pelted with some hail, were soaked and loved every minute of it.

From there it was time to head home. Rolling hills on the way back killed me, I was struggling at this point, but we had to pull this off. Hit the rail trail and rode around the neighborhood in order to put on the 4.5 miles we were short on the Garmin. Had a short sprint race at the end with Matt, I hit 30mph on the flat. Rode around area neighborhoods, and pulled in the driveway. We did it! And not a minute too soon. Ten minutes actually. More storms were in the near distance, lots of lightning and it POURED for a good 20-30 minutes. We had dodged a bullet this time.

All in all, it was a great ride. Glad to have a good buddy to ride with. Without that, it would have been super boring and I would have probably not even ridden more than one loop. Glad to be home to rest, shower and chill with the fam.

This ride puts me very close to 1,400 miles on the season. Have to keep chipping away at my 2,000 mile goal on the year. I ride in the winter too, so I can take this all the way into December 31!

Link to video of rain delay:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyO0u3HnPJk

Enzo happily cruising along.

Documentation of hail. Remus pictured.

This is the storm that came through 10 minutes after we got home. Danger!

click below on "view details" to see the details....

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