We chose to do the metric century, called that because it’s 100 kilometers in length, about 62 miles. Rolling hills, nothing too serious. The start point, at Bob Noble Park in Paducah, is about an hour from my house, so we had a little drive to get there. Picking up our registration packet was simple enough, and then we got the bikes ready to go. Aired up the tires, checked to be sure we had what we needed, and headed out.
I left my phone at home (grrr) but it turns out you don’t actually need a phone to ride. It would have been nice to get some photos during the ride, but oh well – we came to ride.
The riders in my group are from the midwest – Evansville (Rob), Florence (John), Cadiz (me), and Memphis (Bob). We all rode bikes that are 20+ years old, in the cycling vernacular they are Classic and Vintage (C&V), just like their riders. The carbon, plastic, go-fast bikes are certainly capable but we all enjoy the fun of maintaining and riding older bikes. They have a charm and quality that we all find enjoyable – and spending the day riding a classic steel bike is fun.
The rest stops were very well done. Ice cold water and Gatorade, good selection of snacks, and really nice folks manning the stops. Every one of the four rest stops was as good as the previous one, something that has not always been true at other rides. The route marking was good but there were some old marks that were plainly visible and that caused two of our group to follow a previous route. We met up with them later. Drivers were courteous too, most of them moving completely into the far lane when passing us. We rode side by side, but moved into a single file when we saw a car approaching.
The SAG vehicles (Support And Gear) were out and about, and even brought us a bottle of water when we were between stops. It was warm out and that was appreciated.
While cresting hills, drivers waited behind us and passed after they could see the oncoming lane was clear – and this happened several times. A sincere thank you to the drivers for their courtesy today. No one that passed us seemed irritated that we may have delayed them a few seconds, no angry car horns, no drivers yelling, just a nice ride on a Saturday. It really doesn’t get much better than that.
Chain Reaction Cycling Club in Paducah, Kentucky puts this ride together, and to my mind, this was the way a ride should be done. From the smiles at the end of the ride, they were more than successful. We’ll definitely be back next year.