Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The First Century Ride—A Two-Day Recipe


1 -2 nicely built road bikes

1-2 inexperienced riders

3-4 Months Training

3-4 Additional Supportive Riders (Husbands and Friends are suitable)

2 Cycling outfits

1 Tube of butt paste

1 Camera

1 Live turtle

1 Dead turtle

5-7 Baby possums

Sunscreen-SPF 1000 (20-100 ounces)

Heaping spoons of adventure


Take the inexperienced novice riders and place them on their shiny new bikes nearly every afternoon for three to four months, regardless of weather conditions (sun, rain, wind). Riders should be seasoned to large hills (lots of hills), rollers, cracks in the road, shifting their buttocks, sitting for long periods, standing, avoiding cars, saving marsupials, and learning to converse while their heart rate is spiking. Add additional training partners for deep flavor to each ride including those that insult, coach, and encourage. Amish farms may be added for additional richness and culture (cinnamon rolls optional).

After 3.5 months of “seasoning”, place riders on a course for their virgin century ride. Choose a course that is recognized all across the country and completed by hundreds. Pack snacks in their jerseys, insurance cards, a camera, and lots of chamois butter. Set a slow pace by singing Flashdance and parading yourself around the state for seven hours in the direct sun. Curse a lot to make the hills disappear and when riders start to get bored (mile 85), save an animal, preferably a turtle with a head that is still alive (although stopping to remove the dead turtle is a nice gesture as well). Laugh at yourself and other riders as your grunt up a hill with a 14% grade. Utilize walking riders when you lose the momentum to clip yourself out.

Once riders are cooked (around 112 miles), place riders in folding chairs surrounded by delicious carb loaded foods and an ice cream cake that will make your toes curl. Ice packs, candy corn, beer and chamois butter may be necessary to keep the riders comfortable. Next, place riders in bed before 10PM or until they slump over in their chairs from exhaustion.

The following morning, remove riders from bed, slowly and nurse their sunburned lips and noses. Apply liberal amounts of emollients, hot tea, and coffee to their bodies. Insert monkey bread, fresh fruit, and more ice cream cake. Place riders back on bike noting the multiple sore spots. Riders will be much slower on day two, so please allow time for additional “cooking.” Riders will need additional rest, possible rides from SAG vans, liquids, and encouragement. Riders are fully “cooked” when they cry at the last mile due to over-excitement of recognizing where they are. THEN….and ONLY THEN, remove bikers from their devices, place in a car, and take home to place them in the shower.

This two day recipe yields, (2) fully cooked first-time century riders, loads of laughter, sunburn, tan lines, tons of memories, and multiple slices of accomplishment. Best served fresh for days and days of stories.

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