I did it! While in Maine, I took my first Century, or 100 mile, bike ride. Up to that point my longest trip had been a 67 mile ride I did alone, from Midland to Pine Mountain and back.
In five hours and forty-five minutes I pedaled 103 miles and did over five thousand feet of climbing! The only stop was 5 minutes to refill water bottles at mile 60.
My riding partner was my nephew, Ron, a semi-professional cyclist. Ron and I are very good friends and I have looked forward to riding a Century with him since I started cycling a few months ago.
The toughest part of the Century was between miles 55 and 60. We had to do a series of 3 difficult climbs. Each climb got steeper and longer. On the steepest, longest climb I didn't think I could make it. I got dizzy, couldn't seem to gulp enough oxygen, and my legs were screaming in pain. Ron coached me through it, "Find a rhythm and just keep moving forward." I literally put my head down and began to pound out a one-two-count. I pedaled, inhaled, and exhaled, in harmony. Finally, my revolutions began to pick up speed and I was at the top. The last 40 miles were exhilarating and believe it or not -- easy!
Ron said it was a challenging course and that I earned my stripes.
As I rode into camp, I yelled at the top of my lungs -- "The Milestone of the Century -- I did it!"