Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

No not monster trucks, the big event last weekend was the Wright Stuff Century.

Held every year on Labor Day Sunday for the past 31 years by the Bombay Bicycle Club the Wright Stuff offers fully supported rides of 100, 65, and 30 miles.

I was up before our alarm and headed out to the kitchen to make oatmeal for Jen and I while she got dressed. The temperature was in the low 50's but was forecasted to be in the upper 70's later, so it was hard to dress for that kind of swing. We both settled on just arm warmers beyond the standard jersey and shorts. At 7am my mom came over to watch the boys ( thanks mom) and we headed to the ride start at Tyrol Basin.

When the Subaru's outdoor temp showed 46 I knew the arm warmers would not be enough. Oh well, we got our registration packets, prepped the tandem and rolled out about 7:45am. It was cold, really cold and almost immediately foggy. For 45 minutes we froze and crawled through fog so dense it was condensing on the bike and us to the point we were dripping wet. Finally the sun appeared and the fog broke up within minutes just as we started the first long climb of the day.

It didn't take long once the fog cleared to warm up. We had covered about 8 of the 26 miles to the first rest area in the fog and I was ready for some real riding. Even with the now easier route we had some bigger climbs between us and the first rest stop. One descent saw us roll past 48mph.

The first rest stop was at the Unity Church south of Spring Green,WI. We refueled on fresh fruit, bagels with peanut butter and cookies. With full water bottles we headed back to the road for more climbing.

It was another 26 miles to the second rest stop. Three long climbs had to be tackled along the way. I had done them all in past years but it was all new for Jen. The first hill went by rather quickly with some ribbing (e.g. a tandem has two engines) from other riders as we passed. We lost those riders in the next couple of miles and rode alone right to the start of climb two. We passed a single rider who then followed us up the climb into Ridgeway. Jen was ready to be done with this climb before it was done with us but we made it without much trouble. Unfortunately before climb three Jen's knee started to hurt. We made some adjustments and took the climb slow so she could rest.

The second rest stop in Barneveld, WI offered the same snacks as the first and we had a bit more to eat before the last 13 mile ride back to the start.

The highlight of the last 13 miles was the 3.5 mile downhill run. We were ready to get to the dinner at Tyrol Basin and found our second wind to push for the last few miles.

Once back we loaded the gear in the car and wiped down before changing into clean shirts. The dinner was a taco buffet, by far my favorite meal offered by this ride in the past five years. Tacos and beer, or in my case rootbeer, followed by chocolate cake while chatting with fellow riders was a nice way to end a great ride.

Next year we will tackle the 100 mile route if all goes well and we stay injury free.