Yesterday, I rode the 50 States! And finished!
That is, I rode the annual 50 States bike ride here in DC, which goes through every quadrant and Ward in the City, and touches every “state” avenue, as in Alabama, Alaska, . . . .Wisconsin, Wyoming! The ride is set up at a “metric” century, meaning it is designed to be over 100 kilometers. It was a challenging ride, different than country roads bike centuries I’ve done in the past. The ride is known for having a fairly high mid-ride “attrition rate.” Likely facilitated by passing a number of MetroRail stops, Lord knows how many bus stops, friends houses, bars, coffee shops, and even Home Sweet Home. There was actually about an hour in the middle of the ride that I spent circling my own place, have to say, it was tempting to slide home and call 35 miles good enough. But I didn’t.
While this ride was challenging, it was not impossible, as proved by the various folks who actually did finish—including myself, the three people I rode with for the last 15 miles or so, and many, many others. (The city permits WABA to register 500 riders, not sure how many people rode—officially or unofficially, not sure how many people finished.) It’s a lesson in what people can really do, even weekday sedentary deskworkers, weekend warriors, people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. It’s a lesson in how a lot of Americans sell themselves short. I wish Middle America had more confidence in itself and more belief in what they could accomplish as individuals.
Note on Nutrition: Having recently decided to exclude gluten from my diet, I skipped the provided lunch and supplied my own food. Yesterday I had Cheerios with whole milk for breakfast; a banana, a 8 oz low fat chocolate milk, and sesame/flax seed bar at the morning break; 20 oz white whole milk, trail mix and tea for lunch; a 12oz low fat chocolate milk and berry Shotbloks for afternoon break. Surprisingly, I never really got hungry, except in the morning before the first break. I wasn’t really even hungry afterwards and didn’t eat until hours later at home when I had a chicken/green chile tamale with tomatillo salsa and yogurt. I thought I would be starved this morning, but I wasn’t. I had a quarter cup of grits cooked with whole milk, shredded about an ounce of cheddar cheese and four strips of bacon. I crumbled some of the bacon into the cheese grits. 🙂
I actually went out last night with a few friends. They asked me about the ride and if I met any guys. I said, no, I never meet guys on these rides, because the young single guys always rush ahead to try and finish before their buddies. I always wind up riding in the back with other women, older people, and couples—the only guys in my cohort are either decades older than me or with someone. Which I guess is why it is good that I like biking for biking’s sake. It seems than most guys who bike view it as their “guy time” and aren’t really interested in sharing it with a girlfriend.
Oh, well, just gotta keep rolling along, ya never know what’s over the next hill . . . . 🙂