Heavy Rain passing over Frankfort, IN My training is complete, I have my base, and after 35+ years of this I know how to ride back-to-back centuries.  If I can ride 70 miles, I can ride 100, get a good nights sleep, and wake up and do it again.  And yet there I was on a cold, wet, windy day, knocking off another century, to be sure I was ready.

 
There were so many reasons not to.  And they were all reasonable.  I was riding alone.  Dopler was showing a sea of green to the west.  (What did we do before Dopler?  We were crazier because de didn’t know? Or was ignorance bliss?).  Knock a fast 30, work at my desk, grab more miles during the week.  There was no reason to be out there.
 
But I had said on Facebook I was riding a century.  I had completed this ride 5 years in a row.  It was somewhere between habit and tradition.  My door-to-door century, rolling out of the garage, and rolling back in 100 miles later.  I had started it alone, then brought along a son, then friends for 3 years. Now, with first rain out, it was full circle; riding alone, working to get 50 miles out so it would be 50 mile home.
 
Mulberry, IN, about 52 miles from my garage.Of course, the weather got worse after half way.  It was never a hard rain, never a full headwind, never too cold.  I was dressed on the edge of hypothermia, not able to stop too long. The constant pedaling was balancing body temp on a knife against the wind and rain that found a new vent in my jacket with every turn.  When I finally stepped off the bike, at 105 miles, the act of stopping and stripping off wet clothing was enough to start a bout of shivering that didn’t stop until I had been under HOT water for 5 minutes.
 
It was a totally insane day to ride.  It will hopefully be my worst ride of the year. And it was a perfect.

(The last Sunday in April is my final "training ride" for the TOSRV,  the Tour of the Scioto River Valley, a 2 day, 210 mile ride in Columbus, OH held Mother’s Day weekend.  2009 will be the 49th year.)