Okay, enough headache talk. I think I'm a bit distracted by Dancing With the Stars. Sorry. Oh dang, Cristian just pulled a muscle. Ouch.
Yesterday I rode the Wildflower.
Up until the event, my longest ride was 21 miles. That ride took me 130 minutes. The version of the Wildflower that I rode Sunday was called The Flatflower and it ran 30 miles. I figured I could finish it, but that it would take me about 3 hours, at least. I finished the 30 miles in 140 minutes. Either my practice rides were longer than I thought or I got faster all of a sudden.
This event was very different from any of the running events I'd taken part in. A big example of the difference was the way in which you could start whenever you wanted. No one kept track - no bibs, no timing chips, just fun. They suggested you start by 8am, because of the heat and so that you wouldn't miss out on the (awesome) lunch, but it was only a suggestion. I started at 7:55, following the road through the orchards to the town of Durham. The one and only rest stop was located there - only 6 miles into the ride. I got off my bike and grabbed a pastry. Yum.
I hopped back on my bike and moved along. A lot of people passed me on the way - one group of 3 ladies would pass me, then I'd pass them, then they'd pass me again. I rode most of the way by myself. When we turned onto the River Rd, the trees thinned out a bit and saw a lot of birds and wildflowers. The yellow flowers to the right where taller than my head.
Here's a closer picture of them. Luckily, my allergies were absent. Phew...... big relief.......
It started to get warm right around 10am. I wanted to stop and take a drink, but I felt good about my progress and wanted to just keep going. Near the end of the River Rd, I started passing lots of people, which was pretty exciting. I asked one guy if he knew how much farther and he said, "A little less than 9 miles. Are you ready for the second loop?" Ha ha, funny man. He did have a very friendly smile, though.
After I passed him, I could see him over my shoulder, less than a tenth of a mile behind me. I don't know why this sped me up, but as we entered into town, I was so excited, I almost started crying. I almost made it! So darn close!!
We came down 5th, through the college town part of Chico. It was so quiet, zipping down the empty street, almost all the lights I hit where green. I felt this burst of energy as I got closer to the fair grounds, so I dug in and caught up to the group ahead of me.
When I reached my car, I started crying. It felt so good to finish something that I wasn't sure I could do and to finish so much faster than I estimated......it was wonderful. But I was alone, there was no one waiting for me. My mom was busy watching my kids and I couldn't talk any of my friends into riding with me. My boyfriend didn't call or answer his phone when I tried him. I don't know if it sounds a bit selfish of me, but I'm tired of doing everything on my own. I've done it that way for so many years. I want to share my life with someone who wants to be there.
Still a wonderful experience and I can't wait to do it again next year. I'm going to get to work on a group of gals to ride with me next time. And no tears at the end.