Yesterday I rode 100 miles in one day for the first time ever. Considering how many miles I rode “back in the day” when I raced in high school and college, this is a little hard to believe, but although I’d ridden a couple 90 milers climbing to the top of Mt. Lemmon in Tucson before, I had never topped the mythical 100 mile mark.
I’d been training for it for a while, gradually upping my milage every weekend for the last couple of months as well as scoping out roads. I didn’t just want to ride one 50 mile loop twice, I wanted one single, solid 100 mile loop that left from my house. That meant decent roads with low traffic–neither are easy to come by in Dallas.
On top of that it was rather windy on the scheduled day and I have two friends, Ean and Jeff, to thank for my successful trip around the loop. I drafted a lot. So much so I might need to set another goal of a solo century ride.
At one point, somewhere in the last 25 miles of the ride, I was by myself in the hills southeast of Mesquite, and I started singing Warriors of Love by my friend Salim Nourallah. It’s off a record he’s not released yet, except to those who pledged to it prior to its production.
As I sung the first line of the chorus – now is the time, to go the way of the warriors – I felt chills flow across my body and I knew they weren’t the “bonk chills”, despite my fatigue.*
It felt very much like her presence. It is a feeling I desire every day. And it was a tiny blessing that I am grateful for.
* ...those came about 5 miles later. They are distinct in that they actually feel cold, despite the heat.