Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Yesterday I got to ride my first century of the season. A few years ago I got over the "century" thing. I still ride one once in awhile, I even races a 100 mile mountain bike race last summer, but normally I stay away from 100 mile rides. I could go into all the reasons but it really comes down to one thing - I have done hundreds of them and they make me tired.
So, I was a little apprehensive when my friend Whit Bazemore invited me to participate in a pilot TV show that will be about travel and cycling. I didn't mind the interview we did on Monday morning it was the 100 mile ride with Ryan Trebon and Adam Craig that was a little intimidating. The weather looked dicey, and the company I was with fast. There were a couple of other quite strong riders who showed up, Carl Decker for the first hour, Bart Bowen, former winner of the Cascade Cycling Classic now owner of Rebound Sports Performance Lab, Karsten Hagen, one of the stronger master racers in the state (sales Representative for Garmin), and Teri Sheasby, probably the strongest woman racer in Bend. There were a few other mere mortals like me, Lizzy English, Adam's girlfriend, she was on her first road ride, she rocks on a mountain bike, Doug LaPlaca a strong amateur road racer, Chet, an employee of Nike who was the only other man with some grey hair. Jeff, Whit and his wife Michelle rounded out our group.
Well lets just say it went great. One of the best Centuries I have ever done in fact. The strong lads were polite, the rest of us were smart enough to stay out of the wind, I actually felt strong and could punch a little when needed. The added luxury of having a follow car with extra wheels (we needed two), food, water etc was a real bonus.
We did the Prineville Reservoir Loop. It was close to 110 miles, and it took a little over 5 hours riding time.
Riding with polite pros, especially tall ones like Ryan, is a real pleasure. They don't want to go hard as they will have real training some time later in the week, and dropping ones girlfriend or grey haired friend isn't really what they want or need to do. This was a group whose purpose was to start together and finish together. The kind of long group ride that I love.
I have ridden for years with friends and have been the "strong one " on many a ride. As I get older and my friends younger I have become less of the stronger and more of the follower. When a weaker person rides with a much stronger rider he/she is at the mercy of that person.
It was nice to be in such good hands.
Later that evening after all of us took our obligatory nap we had a group dinner. We went to Staccato, a great restaurant in Bend. The last time I went to a meal with a group of Pro bike racers was in the mid 80s. I will not mention any names but I will say it was the best of the best in US cycling. It was embarrassing to me how they acted to the promoter of the race who was buying them dinner. This time was 180 degrees opposite. Adam, Ryan and retired pro Bart were relaxed and entertaining. I could tell they were having as good as time as the rest of us.
Kathy, who came along for the dinner, was equally impressed with how nice everyone was. She is a piano teacher not an athlete and she felt just a comfortable as me. Thanks to everyone for a great day, now I am excited to see the TV show.

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