Snow and ice have covered the roads for all of February making me wonder if I would be able to get in a February century. I have ridden a century every month since November 2003, and this was the first time that I ever really worried about being able to get the ride in due to weather. Strength to complete it has worried me about my ability to complete a century in the past, but I don't remember such a long spell of days that were not safe to ride. I can deal with cold and I can deal with rain, wind is a challenge, but I have learned to adapt and not fight with it; however, I do not have the bicycling equipment to ride safely on ice. Early last week, the prediction was for more snow and/or ice today but God smiled on my endeavor and sent what turned out to be a wonderful day.
Last night I worried that Steve might cancel today. Of all the ride captains, he is least likely to do this but I also know he does not want to risk any significant injuries before Hell Week next month. I worried even more when I went out to the car this morning and found a thick layer of ice, but I kept telling myself that I was heading south and it would be warmer there. Fifty miles south did make a difference. While there was a thin layer of ice in the parking lot of the park, it was not enough to do more than cause a bit of worry. The ice was melted on the road exiting the park and other than the occasional patch, was not a problem. I was thrilled when the sun came out for a bit and I even got to see some blue sky. I have to admit that while I am tired to the bone of snow, it was beautiful seeing it covering the fields.
The course took us to Frankfort. There were no plans to eat at the expensive shack that serves such delicious garlic potatoes, and while I love the food there I am glad as the pocketbook grows thinner. Chris and Tim took off, but Steve and Dave stayed with me. It is a wonderful feeling being that comfortable with friends and we spent a good part of the ride sharing memories of PBP. We talked a bit about the link to the u tube video Steve had posted on the list: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmcui9ynsus. I told him how I didn't understand that the video made me more determined than ever to go back and that there is something definitely wrong with us for wanting to subject ourselves once again to the challenge. He laughs and agrees that they look miserable. I can't wait to return and I hope I am successful. Dave and Steve understand this. During the ride I think how much I treasure their friendship, and I mourn the day in the future when long distance cycling is no longer for me. Women like Bernice and Gay give me hope that the day can be postponed for many years. One reason I do the century challenge is that it gets me out the door. It is so easy to be seduced into sloth.
At the end of the course I still had to add six miles to get my century. I was a bit worried about the car that was parked in the park lot as I would be returning alone, but I wanted this century. I said nothing to the guys as I did not want them to feel like they had to ride the six miles or wait for me. It warmed my heart to find Dave waiting at the end to make sure I got into my car safely. Like me he had gotten a bad feeling about that car and told me that it had left and then returned. I am blessed to have such friends.