Even though there was a monumental trail work day going on at the Center I was previously committed to a little road riding with a college buddy, Matt, and his brother Sean. These guys are both good athletes and very lean. Matt runs somewhere around 25-30 miles a week and bikes when he's not running. Sean is a former bodybuilder and current adventure sports junkie. I know he runs the 801 Power Climb for (get this) fun. Anyway, I knew I'd be up for a physical challenge with these two sinewy (oh, yeah vocab) greyhound dawgs.
Matt and I met Sean at the Waukee trailhead of the Raccoon River Valley Trail. Sean rode out from Norwalk. We proceeded to ride into a stiff wind all the way to Adel. Probably averaging somewhere around a modest 16-17 mph. Matt had told me to expect somewhere in the 18-19 mph because Sean was going to ride his touring bike, with fully loaded saddlebags. When he said fully loaded he wasn't kidding. At Adel Sean pulls out a full coffee thermos with a ceramic coffee mug. Later he pulled a little bag chair outta his bag o tricks. He was clearly very prepared. While in Adel a group of very serious looking riders, on nice bikes and sporting full Livestrong gear pulled up and asked us where the Pieathlon was. Hmmmmm pie you say? Yes, apparently there was a rather widespread pie event in and around Adel. It was amusing to see these race-ready looking people looking for an event that reportedly focused on going to bars, getting some kind of stamp and eating pie.
When we got to Redfield it was clear the Pieathlon was in full swing. There were people walking down the trail eating pie.
While stopped there we saw a gentleman, I believe I heard someone say he is 80, on a nice carbon fiber Trek road bike. We would later see him 12 miles down the road in Panora, and he wasn't stopping there either. I should've got a picture of him. I hope I'm still turning the peddles at that age.
In Panora we also met the rider of this beauty. He was very friendly, talking to us about all his bike travels and how he gets 'adopted' every year by groups on RAGRABI. His bike, which he dubs Captain America, is decked out with every bit of gear you will ever need on a ride. He said it weighs 88 pounds. Sweet.
On our way back from Panora Matt took off fast. Sean and I were chatting about something and didn't notice right away we were being left in the dust. After a bit we decided to try catching him. I took off first but Sean quickly pulled ahead, but I was able to keep hooked up with him pretty well. We caught Matt right before Redfield. When Sean and Matt looked back I think they were both suprised to see me. "Whoo Hooo, Good Job Sheesley!" Sean hooted. That was a pretty nice compliment. He said he was working hard "to keep it above 30 mph". So we were flying pretty good.
The Pieathlon was still in full swing. Matt and Sean both decided to partake, I reluctantly passed. About halfway through their treat they starting lifting up their shirts, slapping their stomachs and mildly complaining about their "bellies" or "ponches". I can only assume they were talking about the small thin little layer of "fat" right around their bellybuttons. Matt said he can't get rid of his even though he's only 8% body fat. Sean said something similar. They both commented on weighing 160. Yep, me too, 160 ---- when I was in 9th grade. I resisted the urge to crush them both and passed on their little bowl-full-of-jelly game.
When we got back to Waukee we had about 56 miles in, so we decided to go a little further to get at least 63 - I think that's the "metric century" or 100k. We rode in the playground area in Greenwood Park and actually ended up doing 70.7 miles. The ride back to Waukee up a steady incline into 25-30 mph wind was definitely not a treat, but all in all it was a really good day. I am quite pleased with how I rode. Sorta wished I'd had me some pie though.