Sunday, August 21, 2005

Tour de Lentil

Yesterday I went on a 100k plus bike ride, and I didn't die.
I took part in the Tour de Lentil which took place in conjunction with the National Lentil Festival in Pullman, WA. We started at 9 am and took the long way from Pullman to Colfax. From Colfax we braved the rolling hills of the Palouse region to the city of Palouse and then back down to Pullman, 62 plus miles in all. At the start of the race, I was surrounded by a sea of spandex and fancy racing bikes. I stood out like a sore thumb with my baggy shorts, bulky skate shoes and backpack. There were only a few of us non-cycling team riders, which became especially obvious not too long after the ride had started and we were left in their dust. It wasn't a race or anything, but it appeared that way. It was my first time riding such a long distance in one day on my bike, and I definitely wasn't prepared for all of those murderous hills...but I tackled and conquered them anyway. Besides the handful of people who dropped out along the way, I came in dead last with a laughable time of about 7 hours. But I didn't care, I was a first timer and those hills really did a number on me. The last few miles were a bit scary. I was getting dehydrated, and the only water I had was still ice and melting very slowly. Colors started to fade and I was feeling like I was going to pass out. With four miles left to go, I layed down in someone's front yard under the shade of a big tree and took a 20 minute rest. As soon as I saw Pullman in the distance, my energy seemed to come flooding back as I cruised down the hill into the city. I had made it, my first 100k! Things to remember if I do the ride again: a) bring more fluids, b) wear sunscreen (my legs got fried to a crisp), and c) psych myself of for those monster hills.
After resting in Pullman for a few hours, I made the 7 mile trek back to Moscow. I don't have one of those fancy bicycle computers, but I figure that by the time the day was over I had ridden at least 85 miles or more when you add in the trip to Moscow and back along with the other biking around that I did. And honestly, my legs don't feel too incredibly tired. The only pain I'm in is due to the extreme sunburn on my pasty white legs. Like Sarah Contrary says: "It was just a bike ride."

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