I've been doing a lot of rides this summer in the 30 to 40 mile range. This was starting to concern me because I didn't want my body to get used to that particular distance. Especially since I'm planning on riding 100 miles in Nashville in September. So I was looking to do a 50 mile ride this weekend. Today I got my chance.
My friend John Despres took up road cycling about a year ago. He has a friend in Chicago who was going to do her first half century today. John was going to give her virtual support by riding 50 miles in Michigan at the same time she was riding 50 miles in Illinois. John invited me to go along. Unfortunately it was raining at our start time. Ever since the JDRF Killington ride in 2009 I am very reticent to start a ride in the rain. Probably the memory of almost getting hypothermia has something to do with that. So John started without me and I caught up with him about an hour later on the White Pine Trail. I rode 10 miles before I saw John and then 20 miles with him. That left me 20 miles to ride on my own to get the half century. John finished his ride in Riverside Park and I continued on to downtown Grand Rapids. From there I rode out to see Mary at Connie's Cakes. She gave me a peanut butter sandwich for lunch. I then rode to East Grand Rapids and around Reeds Lake before heading for home. I pulled in with 50 miles. I made my goal and virtually supported a new rider in Illinois. And the best part is it never rained on us.