Peer pressure is a powerful thing. My friends are all gung-ho and signed up to ride the Solvang Century so that means I am too. I don’t want to miss out on a girls’ weekend, even if that means 100 miles in the saddle.
Not that I’m a stranger to riding centuries. I don’t know how many I’ve completed since my first, the Tierra Bella Century in 2003. (I’m guessing close to a dozen) Tierra Bella included a bitchy two mile, 10% grade climb up Metcalf Road, a harsh initiation into the often painful, butt-numbing world of century road rides.
At Solvang I’ll be riding with Jill and Cindy C, two hardcore mountain bike friends who are going over to the lycra-clad roadie dark side with brand-spanking-new bikes of the skinny-tired variety. Solvang will be their first century and they’re leading the charge with a weekly training plan. So there I was on Saturday morning, braving the cold to meet the gang for our ride. I wasn’t nearly as excited as Jill. It must have been the new bike.
Not that I’m complaining. I love riding with my girlfriends and road trips and girls’ weekends out. And Solvang is not the hardest century around. Compared to centuries like the Sequoia Century (2007) and Shasta Century (2006), which climbed around 10,000 feet, Solvang’s 4,000 feet should be a walk in the park. Still, I haven’t ridden a century since the Holstein Hundred in 2008, so I’ll need to get my ride-all-day groove back on.
What are your training goals for the spring? What motivates you to get up early and ride in the cold and the wet?