This year, the events started to return to a semblance of normalcy. Not completely back to normal, but at least moving in that direction.
I only rode two events this year, a repeat of a previous event and also a new event for me.
The first one was the new event for me, the Big Dam Bridge Century in Little Rock, Arkansas. I rode with my good friend Bob, and his friend Diane. It is the largest event I’ve ridden, and was very well organized. Well, the event was well organized – me, on the other hand, not so much. I left my handlebar bag in the back of Bob’s car and didn’t go back to get it – a decision I would come to regret.
I got a flat 4 1/2 miles from the finish, but with no tools, no spare tube, and no way to inflate it anyway, my riding day was done. Completely my fault, and as it turned out I would have had time to go back and get it. By just retrieving the bag I may have prevented the flat in the first place.was out in force. Like carrying an umbrella can prevent rain, having everything you need to repair a flat can sometimes prevent the flat. Live and learn I reckon…
Still, it was a great ride and a lot of fun. Some good climbs and descents, and lots of people out on bikes. What’s not to like?
The second event was the Hilly Hundred in Ellettsville, Indiana near Bloomington. I rode this event in 2019, in the all-day deluge on Saturday, and the much, much better weather on Sunday. This year, I rode with friends from the Columbus area and it was a good time. We had good riding weather both days this year. This might be my favorite ride that I’ve done, as you might guess since I’ve done it more than once.
Saturday’s ride was a cool start but the hills warmed you up pretty quickly. This seemed like an easier day than I was expecting, but I have been doing a lot of hill work so maybe that helped. Sunday, on the other hand, was a hard day on the bike. The hills were harder on this route, and just when you think you might make it back, you turn onto Mt Tabor road and you know what’s coming – the climb up Mt Tabor. It’s a bugger of a climb, and you don’t have a lot left in the tank after that one. Then you descend into Stinesville and the last rest stop, and you think you’re going to finish just fine. But no, you have to climb out of Stinesville and those aren’t easy climbs after the miles you’ve already done. But you persevere because that’s the way you roll, and you finish. A great feeling of accomplishment. It doesn’t matter whether you’re first or last or somewhere in between, it matters that you challenged yourself. I’ll be back in 2022.
I’m hoping that more events come back on the calendar in 2022. Good luck to all that rode these events and I hope to see more folks out riding next year.