The Sea Gull Century in Salisbury, MD, was successfully completed Saturday, October 5, 2013! Woo hoo!
It was a great event, and nowhere near as hard as I thought it would be. In fact, it was so not hard that I almost feel like I didn’t ride 101.84 miles in one day, because I should hurt more! But I did, and I have a few pictures to prove it.
I am pretty impressed with my average speed (but I can’t explain the max. speed). We really cranked it out in the first 40 miles, and were thrilled to see our computers reading 17 and 18 mph – that’s the difference in flat roads! We eased up a bit after the Assateague Island pit stop at mile 63, mostly because one of my riding buddies suffered a nasty asthma attack going up the bridge onto the island. Even easing up a bit still meant a fairly steady 14-15mph average at that point. The wind during miles 85-95 made us all crabby and slowed us down, but we were thankful that we only had a few miles with strong winds.
I know that over 7,000 cyclists registered for this event, and the pit stops were appropriately crowded.
And with that many bicycles on the road, there were bound to be problems – we passed two crashes and heard about a few others. And naturally there were the hoards of badly behaved roadies who zoomed past a bit too close without any sort of warning. But there were plenty who were well-behaved, chatty, and clearly having a good time. It was rarely so tightly packed that I got nervous about crashing, and some of the times we were part of a large pack made me sort of proud – I was part of something like this, something I’d never in a million years thought I could do.
Because I snacked through the entire ride on Shot Bloks, pretzels, Wheat Thins, Luna Bars, and Honey Stinger Wafers , I was never starving, but that didn’t stop me from having a piece of apple pie at the 84 mile pit stop! I opted against the ice cream though – the artificial sweetener from the Gatorade, Shot Bloks, Nuun tablets in my water, Luna bars, and so on started to upset my stomach! I’m glad I also packed an apple and my own peanut butter sandwich! And whoever thought to bring pickles to the first pit stop at mile 23 was brilliant – wish we’d had more of those elsewhere! I never thought I’d say I had eaten too much sweet stuff!
All along the route were people cheering us on, some for specific riders, and many for Team in Training riders, but some were just supporters cheering on the cyclists as a whole. I wish I’d stopped at the free lemonade stand, but I know someone who did stop at the free beer stand around mile 90!
Will I do it again? I doubt it. I’m ready to have my weekends back. But I’m so, so glad that I did this!
I’d like to make sure I thank all of the people who donated to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society‘s Team in Training fundraising efforts, to support me, and more importantly, aid the work that LLS does. I met, and rode with, survivors and family of victims, and I was amazed every mile at their determination. Although I might have done the Sea Gull Century without Team in Training, I would not have been so prepared physically, and more importantly, it would not have been as special a victory as it was, knowing what I was working for.