Miles that is. I am not sure when the mad plan was hatched, but it sure was incubated as our road miles accrued and his fitness increased. The day we pedaled to 80 miles he said to me that this was the farthest that he had ridden on a bike...ever. Cool.
Let's go farther, yes?
So the 'century' ride, as in 100 miles in a day, was the next thing to shoot for. The route was determined...nothing wild, just reasonable and coastal to avoid the late in the year mid 80s temps that the inland areas were seeing...and the invites went out.
The attendees were his daughter, JenJo, who was a CAT2 road racer until not too long ago, a young man she knows named Andres, Ed the Tall, Stevie Ray and yours truly. I was not sure about the new guy, Andres, until I saw his bike. It was a Specialized Venge with carbon wheels and Di2 shifting. Oh. Ok. The team kit he wore (and races for) said the rest. I think he will make it. I knew JenJo would be fine and Ed the Tall is always strong. Stevie Ray is a CAT1 MTB racer, or was when he raced and he is still a grey hound even though there is more grey than there used to be.
So the only doubts were the two old guys...JeffJ and I. Even money bet for both of us.
But in the end, we rolled back to the car with 101.xx miles on the clock and most of our faculties intact. It was a fun day and once again showed me that cycling is a boundary crossing activity. We were wide spread in ages, fitness, backgrounds, education, gender, and abilities yet we all supported, encouraged and strengthened each other. In the process we became more as a whole than we were as individuals.
In short, it worked. We won.
The big guy came rolling in next to Ed the Tall with a big ol' grin on his face. He hit a milestone along the good old 'path of life' and did it on two wheels, 27 gears, and next to friends and family. We could have done much, much worse with our Saturday and I would not have wanted to be anywhere else.
Congrats, BMOC (Big Man On a Cannondale). Thanks for sharing your life with us.