The ride begins with warmth in the air. After a couple hours of darkness, the sun rises and bounces down the road with us. It must sense that we’re in for a 190-mile day of play.
The sun and I get along so well. The temperatures rise, but there are no uncomfortable flare-ups.
I’m not sure how it happens, but Felkerino and I coalesce with others, forming a group that rides together through the first century.
We flow up and down the day’s rises. Everyone holds their space well and conversation is relaxed. We take photos. Of course.
As energy levels change, the group disburses. Felkerino and I ride alone, basking in the glorious day. I almost wish we were riding a 400K so we could make the ride last longer. Almost.
My legs show up and urge us on throughout. Pedal pedal pedal. Let’s go! Felkerino and I are completely in tune with each other, both present in each pedal stroke and aware of the other.
At some points my feet say, “Hold on, legs, I need a break,” so we stop under the sunny skies and I sit in stocking feet while the breeze attends to my toes. Ahhh, so nice.
After miles of riding solo, we come upon another group of rando-buddies. We ride peacefully to the next control. Company makes the miles pass quickly.
The cue sheet says 60 miles remain, and I have a moment of “Will we ever get to the end?” A helpful wind pushes us forward and says gently, “Of course you will.”
In the final miles, we reunite with Bill, who I was sure had already finished. We’ve spent many a good brevet mile with Bill over the years. We ride in as a group while the late afternoon sun continues to keep us company.
To bookend this blissful day, I make sure to take one last photo. What a day.
More photos where those came from. Full set here.