In cycling, a century is a 100-mile ride. It’s a bucket list item for most recreational riders, and I guess I’m no exception. I wanted to be able to say that I could ride a century, but I wasn’t motivated to actually do it. On March 26, 2011, I had the option during the Bike MS ride to go straight and complete the 75-mile route, or turn right and take the century loop. All day long, I had been unwilling to commit to which length I would ride. The previous year, headwinds had slowed me down enough that the century loop was closed by the time I got to the decision point. This time, the conditions were much better, and at the last possible moment, I decided to turn right.
I always like to push myself, but there’s a bit of a slacker in me that thinks the shorter route is long enough. On that particular day, I was trying to decide whether to register for RAGBRAI this and ride the entire seven-day route with my friend’s bike club. Previous years I’ve enjoyed RAGBRAI from the comfort of our camping trailer, knowing that my husband was available to drive part way if I didn’t feel like riding the full day. Well, we listed the trailer for sale, so RAGBRAI would be different this year — if I went. Knowing that I’d have to ride every mile of every day without my personal SAG driver, I made that right turn and pushed myself a little more than usual.
It was a beautiful day.