100 miles of Payne
The century rides that made me fall in love with seeing the world on two wheels.
The trails are currently swimming in mud from the latest rains and the build of my latest road concoction has been finalized. The same great frame but now outfitted with Campagnolo Super Record 11. In a desperate flee to get in a century ride before the year-end I was reminded of the great summer of century rides today that my good friend Mark Payne and I shared a few seasons back.
The century ride is one hundred miles in length. For Mark and I we started with journeys from our homes in Richardson to the Northern city of McKinney. This was roughly a 35 mile bike ride. We started extending the rides to Anna which turned into 60 mile bike rides. I do not recall when we decided we were ready for the hundred mile distance but one day we did it.
Not only did we do it, we survived and had a great time while doing it. I remember feeling pretty blasted after the first ride. This was such a foreign place for Mark and I. With all things new came some funny things that were learned. We were convinced that massive caloric intake was needed to fuel the ride. I would estimate we ingested five thousand calories combined. We would arrive back in Richardson stuffed from the ride, almost like walking away from a thanksgiving dinner.
The ride would start early before 5 AM normally we would meet at Renner and Renner in front of my place. We had other friends that would ride with us on shorter rides, however the 100 mile rides were always just Payne and myself, and I kind of liked it that way.
Sometimes the sun would be subdued with overcast and blessings would be had for a strong day of riding with reasonable temperatures. If the sun was to establish how hot it would get it was the wind that would set the tone of the day. In Texas she howls and if memory serves me correctly we have ridden in gusts of 40+ MPH and sustained winds were regularly 20MPH.
All that meant was an easy North trip out and a horrifically painful route home taking the wind head on with no place to hide. When you ride with the wind to your back you never really are aware of how windy it is. I was always reminded of what to expect on the way back home. Payne would say we are soft pedaling and doing 26 MPH. What was fun and joyous would turn into very hard work once the turnaround was made at the K store in Sherman.
Payne and I rode to Dennison (115 mile total ride) once and the weather was not cooperating it started raining however we were foolishly committed to riding the extra miles that day. We ran into a group of cyclist at the K store on the return home. We shared some words and were curious to why they were standing around waiting. As it turns out they were waiting for their wives to pick them up, apparently they could not ride in the rain?
With great distances comes a certain amount of gloating when faced with this scenario. Payne and I explained where we had come from and where we were going. As the rains came down we left the K store with the biggest shit grins on our faces knowing a little bit of rain never stopped us from having a good time and getting our ride on.
I did a lot of product testing on these long rides. It was not uncommon to see my using my disc wheel on a century. Payne and I wore everything from Triathlon shorts and tops to bibs and jerseys, when Payne and I first met I did a training ride at White Rock in my Speedo and then we ran afterwards while I just wore the Speedo! How he has sustained me this long is still one of the wonders of the world.
Each time we would ride a century we shared only one tradition and that was Sour Gummy Worms. When Payne and I would reach Stacy Road in Allen about 80 miles into the ride I would always bust out the worms. There was never a 100 mile ride that went without these sour and sugary gems.
On our shorter rides I would get a look from Payne full of inquisitive zeal, almost like a kid at Christmas waiting anxiously to open up the presents. The worms were only meant for the century rides. The worms were the period at the end of the sentence, if you could roll 100 then you would get the greatest present of all, the worms. One thing to keep in mind is that temperatures are rising as each minute passes. Gatorade is beyond mundane at this point and there are few things that will sufficiently satisfy a riders hunger. In fact there are only three things:
1. Sour Gummy Worms.
2. Ice Cold Coke
3. Snickers ( the Fabian Cancellara diet)
Riding a 100 miles will make everything relating to food and pleasure much more incredible. I recall one ride that destroyed Payne and I . Upon completion I ran to the 7-11 and picked us up some Slurpee’s after that not only did we feel better but the world appeared to be a calmer better place.
When riding on the road whether abiding the local laws or not, a cyclists cannot help but encounter trouble on the road. Payne and I have faced confrontations of sorts but all went without incident. Some drivers simply dislike cyclists. I try to refrain from aggressive behavior on the road as I know it will make it that much harder for the next rider on the road.
I will end this tale on that note. Respect the road and your fellow man and woman. For each rider out there on the road there is a story. When you see two riders or a group realize that there is a lot more going on out there then just simply riding. This is a tradition and relationship building at its finest. I recommend every person to get out there on two wheels, see the sun rise as you spin out and embrace the world on a bicycle.
Cheers! to another summer of centuries.
See you out there Payne.