An imperial century - 100 miles - is a serious milestone for every cyclist. When a Strava challenge asking me to ride one last weekend rolled around, how could I say no?
I was originally planning to ride with a couple of friends, but their route selection had me convinced that boredom would kick in long before the end. As such, I made my own 'more interesting' route and on Sunday morning off I set. Solo.
The weather certainly made things interesting. It was cold, there were sporadic snow showers... and it was windy. Gusty, strong winds. Several times I had to actually stop and wait out a gust, as it threatened to rip the bike out of my hands or throw me across the road into traffic. The ride was anything is not boring...
Doing it solo wasn't as bad as I expected. I had my iPod for company and motivation (listening only in one ear where applicable due to traffic, etc) and I picked an excellent, varied route with one especially wonderful climb - a 22km long, but quite gentle Category 3 through some gorgeous mountain scenery. Alas I was too cold and stressed (time-wise) to stop and take pictures, but I think I'll repeat that section next week so I'll take a few then.
I experimented with proper carbohydrate loading for 2 days prior, made sure to hydrate well beforehand and made good decisions regarding hydration and food on the bike - all of this made a difference and I found it easier than I was expecting. I made it back in good time, enjoyed a long, hot bath and was ready to get back on the bike by about Tuesday.
Solo century, job done. Should have laid some nice groundwork for longer rides and multi-day adventures to come.