Apple Century Ride

See Hitomi's entry.

Hitomi and I drove over to Wenatchee at around 8PM, and I tried to stay awake listening to the radio, while Hitomi was helpfully listening to her own music on her iPod. With all the passes you go over, reception is hit or miss. I need to get a new car with a decent stereo.

In the morning, I met Mike Pirie by chance at the local Starbucks. (I have no love for Starbucks, but not much else seemed open at the time.) He was in town for a weekend tennis tournament. I explained I had planned to ride 100 miles, and Hitomi 50.

Hitomi and I biked over to the Wenatchee river confluence park. It was 8:30 and the event was already underway. We pinned numbers to our jerseys, though what purpose the numbers were I had no idea: Perhaps it was to keep non-event riders from stealing food at the rest stops? Though, I did not see any non-event riders this day. It was overcast and looked about to rain.

The ride route winds up the Wenatchee river, past a dam. The ride goes by a TreeTop plant, which smells sweetly of apple juice. It's quite scenic, but the 60 mile-a-hour traffic passing by makes it a little less than relaxing. Fortunately, the route turns before Entiat on a road up the Entiat river. This is where it gets hilly, but it's quite pleasant without the cars.

Hitomi kept up decently on the hills. I wanted to push on faster, and I knew I would have a chance once she turned back at the 50 mile mark. Just past the 50 mile mark, it started to rain and Hitomi turned around, though she said she wanted to still continue on. I had a feeling there'd be showers: Indeed, as the road climbed, the rain got steadily harder. Water began to spray into my shoes. I zippered up my wind jacket and continued. I had my headphones on and with the help of music road faster and faster, passing riders, snapping gears, I got rained on.

I watched my odometer. Getting near the end, there was a final climb and I was incredibly hungry and wet. The final rest stop was a mile or so short of the turn around (marked by a sandwich board.) The food you get at the Rotary events is typically low-end (Jiffy Peanut Butter, NutraGrain Bars) but your body craves all the sugar and carbs you can get. I tried to eat as fast as I could, so I wouldn't get too cold.

The return back was almost all downhill, and I could go 20-25 miles per hour, and at times over 30. That's fast for a bicycle, well at least fast for me. It was wet and I had to be careful, especially around turns. Allegedly, someone took a fall and broke their collar bone. (This was something I thankfully missed.) Coming back, there wasn't much bicycle or car traffic. I took one stop (for three NutraGrain bars) and another stop where Hitomi and I had "lunch" at the hatchery.

Other groups caught up to me and on the relatively flat portion back (unfortunately there was a strong headwind) I was doing fine up until the last 5-10 miles when my legs started to give out. It was like I hit some sort of wear limit and my body did not want me to continue. Back in Wenatchee, I started going under 10 miles an hour and would actually coast on any downward slope. I spotted a burrito truck ("Authentic Mexican Food") driving along and I wished they'd stop for me. Luckily, there was food at the finish (Spaghetti) and though it might have been "cheap" hunger is the beast sauce.

Hitomi was back at the hotel resting after getting a massage and a beer. I had no money for either. We went out that night with Mike Pirie, his wife, and tennis partners. The next day, we stopped in Leavenworth and ate waffles and took in the Bavarian ambiance.

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About eliasross

Blogging before the word "blog" was invented.
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