Friday night we loaded all 5 bikes, with their 5 crazy women riders in the 'burb and headed to Logan for the Annual Little Red Riding Hood Century ride. I did it last year with The Shark. Remember? It was a very unique and special experience that I will never forget. I knew this year would be different, but I expected nothing less than another great time. I was not disappointed.
Of course it was rush hour on a Friday night through construction as we made our way north, but we found ways to amuse ourselves during the drive. And the kindest thing ever? LL (Guppy) made us these fantastic necklaces with a charm of this years logo for each of us.
If I wasn't in the backseat and she driving when she gave them to us - I would have grabbed her in a full body hug and kiss! I love it! I love it! I love it! She serio is the kindest person you have ever met. I could learn a whole lot by spending more time with her!
She even put up with all of our antics in the backseat
(no that is not MY bra - but it's awesome nonetheless. Did you know VS has sports bras?)
We were so hungry by the time we got to Logan that we didn't even check into our hotel room first. Instead we drove straight the Firehouse for dinner. I had called a couple of times and spoken with the assistant manager Tenille, a couple of times on the way up to make sure that we could get there and get seated. I warned her that there were 5 very hungry women who needed to carb load, and we wanted NOTHING standing in our way. She let me know it wouldn't be a problem and I put ourselves on the list under the name of Captain (thanks Tib)
(and hadn't had anything to hard to drink either)
The Firehouse is a regular haunt of mine in Logan, but I will say, I was a bit disappointed this go around. They were extremely busy and running out of food. The service was slow. I almost resorted to pouring chili peppers down my throat just to get something in my stomach. But, when our food finally arrived? It was DELISH! Other than our fh'zookies which were so small, they were more like fh'zizzles, everything was great!
Next it was time to get to the hotel, get unloaded and get to bed. Otha than a small hiccup in the stairwell - let's just say I got myself wedged with my bike, bags and cooler and laughed so hard that I couldn't move - we were able to get settled in pretty quick.
Lot's of texting home, a little of The Office. Some strip teases, giggles, giggles giggles, and finally lights out. There may or may not have been some snoring and/or some farting but since no one is copping to it, I guess we'll let that go.
I woke up before the alarm went off as did pretty much everyone else. We laid there trying to decide if we really wanted to ride or just go to breakfast. I was freezing and had to snuggle with the Shark for a sec before I get the courage to get out of the warm bed. Why do most women need to keep the temp at a freaking 62 degrees? SHEESH!
Loaded our bikes back up, some breakfast, my Monster and we were headed to Lewiston where the ride began.
(me, Shark, Guppy, Dirty Ana, and Les)
The course was similar to last year in that we passed the same landmarks and used mostly back roads, but a lot of it was reverse. Fine until we hit the monster hill into Preston. Last year, we had fresher legs even though it was raining and hailing, but this year it was like at mile 80 or so. But more on that later.
The ride started out a little chilly in the morning hours, but as time went on, we shedded our jackets or arm sleeves and were down to just our jersey's and bike shorts.
Again the support stations and sag volunteers were fantastic. Other than the one time, we were told we were going in the wrong direction, turned around, rode a bit and then was told we were really supposed to be going back the other way. Not a problem except that we demanded the volunteer make sure that we had chocolate and diet coke to make amends. And he may have been threatened to have his arse beat by a Shark. ALLEGEDLY.
The ride was beautiful. The friends were great. We all jockeyed around riding with different companions for periods of time, or even going it solo for awhile. It's nice to be with a group of girls that you can do that with. No hurt feelings, no judging, just comfortable enough to either ride and chat or crank out for a bit and get in your own head for a little while.
And of course we were screwing around every chance we could
(we could totally rock the tandem)
The lunch stop was a little too early for our liking and they clearly didn't anticipate all the riders coming in at one time, so the line for sandwiches was long. We spent more time at the lunch break that we needed to, but oh well. As soon as we could, we got back at it.
We knew we had a huge hill coming into Preston ID. I might have mentioned that before? Tib and I knew what to expect, although, I am not one who likes to think about it or even plan for stuff like that. I just want to ride and take what comes. I left LL at the beginning of the downhill portion of it, she was going to tackle it with Les, I wanted to go it solo.
It was as hard as I remembered. And, I have this sick thing in my head that won't allow me to get out of my big ring, so I made it harder on myself that I needed to. But that just adds to the feeling of accomplishment so while it is wicked hard, it made it that much more fantastic for me to have done it!
I waited for my friends at the top and of course got this picture for you know who! : )
We took a few minutes at the top of the hill to congratulate ourselves and bask in the our awesomeness. We chatted up Wonder Woman for a minute. She won the costume contest and I have to hand it to her, she is braver than I. I would NOT have had the gonads to ride 100 miles in her outfit. She really was a Wonder Woman!
With less than 20 miles left, we took off. Cranking as hard as we could. We kind of got separated out. I crossed and my odometer didn't show 100 miles yet! WTC?? I turned around and went back for Ana and Tib. Just as I was exited the chute, Ana was turning in. I kept heading out and just at the last corner I saw my Shark! I turned around and had to FLY to try and catch up with her. She was cranking harder than I have EVER seen her! Go Shark! Her foot was hurting, she was in major pain, but she was pushing all the way to the end!
Guppy's garmin finally gave us the official 100 miles.
(turn your head sideways - I swear I loaded it straight. And her saddle time was 6:47 - mine was 6:55)
We put our bikes to the side and wandered the tents looking for the chocolate dipping station and any other fun treat. Somewhere in the few steps from my bike to the tents, I dropped my debit card. I spent about 10 minutes frantically searching and having an inner freak out, before I checked the main tent and someone had turned it on. Thank you to anonymous honest person!
We were exhausted at this point and just wanted to go home. We loaded up the bikes. Loaded our stinky selves in the 'burb and headed south. A quick stop at the Texaco for gas and brown bubbles, some major slow downs between Willard and FarrWest, a "better find a gas station before I pee in your car", and then we FINALLY pulled in.
A last pic with the five of us - I love you girls.
(showing our sunburn/tan lines. I have a line - I swear it!)
Home to my Splenda and Jordan who were waiting for me on the porch.
A final pic of just me with my hard earned tiara.
A hot shower, a big mac and fries, some drugs, and my beloved bed.
I couldn't have asked for a more delightful time. I love these girls. You get to know a lot about people when you spend 8 or so hours with them. On a bike. Battling hills, injuries, and frustrations. We talked, we shared, my love for them grew. Shark and I spent a lot of time side by side, comparing last year to this. I was reminded why I love this bike tour. All women. All battling their hardest. All with an individual story that includes struggles, frustrations, demons and triumphs. Every one crossed the line a Wonder Woman. Because we are. Heavenly Father made us Wonder's. We just have to remind ourselves of that divine nature. Sometimes it takes 100 miles on a bike to remember.
And my last word on the matter? To all you cyclists who forgot the rules, or thought you were being rude by following them, or even thought they didn't apply to you........WHEN YOU PASS - CALL LEFT!!!! For the love of all that is holy and the Yankees - CALL LEFT!!!!!
To my besties - I love you! Thanks for making this a fantastic experience. Thanks for your laughs, your examples, and your strength!