I think I’ve had enough races for a while! Thankfully, this event wasn’t a race, just a bike ride and I needed a good long ride anyways and supported rides are kind of great. It was nice to get some new scenery too.
This ride benefits the Safe Harbor organization – a great non-profit that supports victims of domestic violence. It starts in the itty bitty town of Iva -not far from Anderson, SC and there is a 25, 42 and metric century ride to choose from. Since my last attempt at a 100k ended miserably at the top of a mountain in NC, I thought this would be a good opportunity to have another go at the distance, minus the mountains. I’m just going to say, this makes a big difference!
It was super humid on Saturday, but not overly hot and it was cloudy, which was kind of nice. I rode with a group of friends (mostly old dudes – they are great riding buddies), but I did try to not draft off them for most of the ride!
This was actually a pretty flat ride. The “official” map had 3200 ft of elevation gain (my garmin had ~2900 ft), but none of the hills were steep and there was a lot of nice flat road to go fast. The roads were mostly good, but there were a few with some really terrible surfaces that jostled the crap out of me. Overall, this is a great route, though! Nice country roads with very few stop signs or cars. There were four rest stops with bananas, fig newtons (why always with the fig newtons??), water, gatorade and all that, plus ACTUAL bathrooms. That was wonderful. One of the stops was at the super popular Grits and Groceries restaurant, which made me want to stop and eat bacon, but I didn’t.
I think we spent about 30 mins at the rest stops all total, which isn’t too bad since we had to make sure everyone in our group could hit the restroom if they wanted. We kept a great pace on the road, though! We averaged 17.7 mph for the ride – finished right around 3.5 hours! I’m pretty pleased with this since last September it look me this long to ride 56 miles on a race day. Definitely a confidence booster for my upcoming 70.3!