Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My First Century Ride

It's taken me longer than expected to get this post up. A combination of Motionbased.com not working properly over the weekend and an exceptionally busy Monday kept me from sharing this with you until today.

My first century was a lot of fun. First off, let me address the distance issue. Observant readers will notice my GPS logged 97.91 miles, 2.09 miles short of my claimed distance. There was actually a portion of the ride in St. Paul where I forgot to turn the watch on after stopping for a break. I guess that distance was about 3-5 miles so technically I covered more than 100.

Overall you almost couldn't have asked for a better day. The air temp was a little too cold for me but it's better to be too chilly than too hot. Plus, it was dry the whole time. For me there's almost nothing worse than riding in the rain.

I started the ride at 6:00 AM and met up with my Team in Training group in Maplewood at the intersection of 694 and 36. We rode from there up the northwest corridor of the Gateway Trail to where it ends north of Stillwater. We turned around and backtracked a bit until we got to 75th Ave. We took that right into downtown Stillwater for a lovely brake on the St. Croix River. It was also on this road I reached my max speed of 41 MPH.

After hanging out in Stillwater we turned around to go back to the Gateway trail. The way back was much harder than the way out. We not only had the wind in our face but we now had to ride up all the hills we rode down. If you've ever been to Stillwater you know this is no trivial task.

Once we managed to get out of Stillwater we then headed back to where the group met up. That's all they had in mind for the day but I still needed to go back home. Once we parted ways I jumped back up on the Gateway trail and headed back the way I came until I got to Rice St. From there I turned south to go into downtown St. Paul.

I got some lovely pictures of the Capitol building, the Cathedral and, once down on the river, the route along Shepard Rd.

Finally, I took the river road to Minnehaha Parkway and that back to the Greenway and finally back home. Got all that? The map is below and you're more than welcome to check out the route.

But that was my first century ride. It was an amazing experience and I would do it again in a heart beat.

Here is a link to the pictures.


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