I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (K- Julie, you are a total rockstar!)
I rode 30.8 miles in the Farm to Fork Fondo, PA Dutch. In the interest of full disclosure, it was hard. It was a hilly course; more climbing than I’ve ever done before and some of the hills were quite steep. (K- I already apologized for not being quite as honest as I should have been about how hilly it is in Lancaster County, but I was afraid I would scare you away!) In two cases, I had to dismount about halfway up and walk my bike the rest of the way to the top. That said, to quote one of the signs posted along the course, “walking is still forward motion.” (K- I love whoever put that sign on the course!) It was a challenge for sure and I was tired by the end, but I made it all the way across the finish line under my own power.
In the last 3 miles, with the finish line practically in sight, I started being passed (ok, it was really more like smoked) by some of the faster riders who were finishing the 53 mile Medio course. That was a bit discouraging for about a minute. But, it didn’t diminish my feeling of accomplishment (dare I say even elation) when I reached the finish myself! I have to thank Kristen’s husband, Jason, who kept me company after Kristen split off for the Medio course. Jason typically rides much faster than me, but he’s a good sport and a good friend. (K- Thank you, Jason, for keeping an eye on Julie and being her personal guide on this adventure!) Maybe next year, I’ll be able to give him a real run for his money! (K- Next year, I hope you give both of us a run for our money!)
Average speed: 10.0 mph
Distance: 30.8 miles
Elevation gain: 1,885 feet
Aside from being difficult, it was also delicious! The aid stations offered fresh peaches, apple cider, cherry oatmeal cookies, ice cream, blackberries, stroopwafels (trust me, it’s worth Googling), caprese skewers, and so much more. The ingredients were local and fresh. Then, there was the post-ride BBQ. Wow!!
This journey into cycling has been very satisfying for me. I went from not riding at all, to riding 30.8 miles (and let’s not forget the hills!) in just 6 months. I feel good about that. (K - You should! That’s impressive!) Each time I rode a little further or a little harder was an accomplishment that made me feel good about myself. I’ve had 6 months’ worth of personal victories, not just one day. And, if I can do it, anyone can do it! You never know what you’re capable of until you get out there and try. I’m living proof.
Kristen here. I cannot begin to express my pride/delight/awe in Julie’s massive accomplishment. I know people who don’t venture into longer rides even after they’ve been riding bikes around town for years. Julie went couch to course (ok, yoga mat to course, but that doesn’t sound as catchy) in six months, and on a hilly course to boot! I had been commuting for a few years before I rode into double digit mileage. When I got to the end of the Medio, I asked Julie if she had fun. She said yes! As we were getting home from the event, she texted me to say she’d already started the sign up for next year. What is the blog equivalent of hopping up and down and clapping my hands?
With that, we close this chapter of our little blog adventure. See you on the course next year! Keep the rubber side down until then!