Today was the MEC Fall Century Ride. Most of the MEC rides are “metric century” rides, i.e. 100 km. However, the fall ride heads south from Turner Valley and up into the mountains, so there are 60 km, 100 km and 160 km distances. Last year and the year before that, I signed up for 100 km. Last year, Peter, the guy I was carpooling with to the ride, was doing the 160, and I thought I might try it, but the headwind was horrible that day and I made it a grand total of 106 km. This year, way back in the winter when I signed up for the three MEC rides and the Tour de Victoria, I selected the 160 km distance. It was something that I knew would be a challenge. After the Tour de Victoria’s 140 km distance, I was a bit leery.
I drove out to Turner Valley, with the full moon still in the sky.
Quiet highway on a Saturday morning
There were a number of guys from the Bow Cyclists there, and Derek, Peter, Phil and myself agreed to ride together. We stuck together all day.
Me, Peter, Phil and Derek at the 50 km mark
The ride was hard, but I feel proud to have accomplished it. We started at 9:00 am, and rolled through the finish line at 3:28 pm. Six and a half hours to cover the distance, including climbing up into the Rocky Mountains.
View from just below the 70 km aid station
The guys resting at the lookout
We took our time, stopping at every station, and even along the way as well. Phil’s in his forties, Peter’s in his fifties, and Derek’s a twenty-something who was working too hard early in the day. So we all were in fine shape by the time we rolled back to the finish.
The weather was good, with a headwind out of the southwest that wasn’t nearly as bad as last year’s. If it had been, I think I would have turned around. It was warmer this year as well.
- I commented to the guys as we took a break at the 80 km turnaround before heading back down: “Now I’ve done the stupid part, let’s see if I can make it back.”
- As I sat in the bath at home with a couple of Advil and talking to Tammy: “I’ll be honest, I feel like someone’s been hitting me with a two by four.”
Us at the turnaround