19 September 2015

Day 3 - Jefferson to Ocean Park

Yup, we're still in Maine. In fact, we only end up riding through New Hampshire tomorrow on our way to Amesbury, MA for our last stop before heading into Boston. Today was much more the Maine I was expecting.

Ok, so as you may recall, today was century day. For those riders that felt up to the challenge, there was an option to ride 100 miles today - actually, just over 100 miles. I had wanted to do this leading up to the ride. I was stoked to try for my first century. I was a little bummed it meant spending less time at my favorite store - the LL Bean flagship store in Freeport - but it was something I wanted to challenge myself to do. That was all before those first 5 minutes of the ride on Thursday.

Once I hit the ground, my plans all went out the window. As I mentioned yesterday, my goal is just to be safe, to be smart, and to have fun. So last night in camp while Blake was giving the ride notes, and going over the options, I decided I was going to do the 54 mile option. And remembering my advice from Mainer Joan Benoit-Samuelson, I omitted the "just" - sure, there were people that went out and rode harder and longer than I did today, but I still rode 54 monster miles, with a (possible) cracked rib! I am hard core!!

Ok, so for real, here's how the day went. I swear, ladies in my cabin last night were up multiple times in the night, making me keep thinking it was 5am and almost time to get up. And then they'd go back to sleep and so would I. I had a rough night sleeping between all of that and the pain in my ribs. I forgot to mention it, but that first night I managed a room all to myself which was great for getting sleep. When it finally was time to get up, the majority of my cabin were planning on 100 miles, so they were told to be at breakfast at 5:30... which meant the lights went on at 5:08... yes, I remember exactly what time. It was EARLY for those of us that weren't doing the century and didn't have to be up until a little later. Hey - sleep is sleep, and on a ride like this sleep is IMPORTANT!

I was moving pretty slow this morning because of the pain and lack of sleep. I got all packed up and down to breakfast, and it was still about an hour before we managed to load up the truck with our bikes and the various vans to head out for the day. There was also a 76 mile option for the day, so we all headed out to the first water stop where we dropped off the first load. This was a really awesome organic farm (Goranson Organic Farm) that I really wish I could go to every day! Absolutely beautiful produce! I got mom some maple syrup and myself a mini pumpkin. Then it was back into the vans and on to stop two.

We didn't waste any time at this stop once the truck showed up and dropped off our bikes. Pam and I were on the road... after a quick photo stop with the totem poles of course! We rocked those 13 miles to lunch... to LL Bean! Seriously - I think the people in my van this morning thought I was crazy with how much I talked about going to LL Bean. I was pumped to have 2 hours to spend wandering through the maze of the campus. I grabbed a few goodies, and sadly then it was time to hit the road. I missed out on the local recommendation for lobster... still haven't had my fix. But it was time to go in order to make it to the next stop.

Once we were heading out of Freeport, the weather really changed. It was foggy on and off those last few hours, and the temps really dropped, which was nice after two sweltering days. The afternoon included navigating the busy, Saturday afternoon traffic in Portland and riding on a cool bike path... up until we had to cross a major bridge. Man, I was sweating that! Our next water stop was at the Portland Head Light, a quaint little light house. As I rode in, just ahead of the sweeper, I really debating hitching a ride to camp. By ribs were really hurting and the pain had shifted just a little bit to the center of my chest. I put some ice on it, took some ibuprofen, and decided to hit it for the last 20 miles to camp.

It was tough, especially with a 4.3 miles section on a gravel bike path. But as we turned on to that beautiful stretch of paved road, and knew it was just 3 more miles to camp, I put my head down, powered through the last hill, and coasted into camp just behind a couple amazing women that were finishing their century ride. It was epic to be out there with those riders, and especially to see them in camp. At dinner, we recognized the century riders - and there were quite a few of them.

Dinner was a great spread of Mexican goodness, including (I'm pretty sure) homemade chips! We had our evening talk from some great speakers and then a huge bonfire before it was time to head in for the night. It was a long day - for all of the riders - and we still have TWO MORE DAYS OF RIDING ahead of us!! Crazy to think for sure!

So, that's what I did today - interested in supporting the ride? Visit my fundraising page and help me get to $5000 total support for Interfaith Power & Light. 

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