It's becoming some kind of tradition around here to start writing a post, only to finally get around to finishing in two or three weeks later. Cycle to Farm, held in early May, is a metric century-length bike tour of local and organic farms in Chapel Hill. After some debate about whether I'd "be ready," I signed up: it sounds idyllic, and I thought the fact that it was a big group ride on deserted country roads would be more comfortable for me (I'm still unreliable and panicky in traffic). I feel way safer with people behind me calling out traffic.
I thought that surely, by May, I would have gotten in some long rides and be more than ready to spend a long day on my bike. Sadly, this hadn't happened -- by May I was still avoiding my bike, and therefore a little worried about riding 62+ miles. Still, I believe that "just finishing" a long distance by bike is far easier than "just finishing" a long run -- in a long bike ride, it's possible to just eat your way to the finish and keep moving. So that was my plan: Eat a lot and enjoy the scenery.
- Missing my turn: I was leading our little pack for a while and missed one of the turns. James had to ride after me for about a mile until I heard him yelling my name. So I finished with around 64ish miles.
- Note to future cycling event organizers: There were lots of great sweets to graze on at each of the farm stops (plus special samples from each of the farms), but the salty pickles were the absolute best.
- I don't own a pair of cycling shoes, my preferred bike shoe of choice are Converse, 'cause they have thick soles and rubber-reinforced toes (great for putting a toe down at a stop). I'd never worn them for such a long ride before, but they ended up being great! No soreness on the bottom of my feet.
- Gratitude: Back in New York I used to dream about wide, smooth rural roads with no traffic, so it was a total treat to spend six hours on them, uninterrupted, no stoplights, no pedestrians, nothing!
- Exhausted: We finished at about two pm (about six hours after starting). I came home, took a shower, and was asleep within 30 minutes and had one of the best naps of my life.