Today was my first "event" type ride since R2R. It was in Morrilton and called the Tour de Oink. It was part of the Great American Pig Out. This was my third year to ride it. Always a fun little ride (40 miles) because you get to see a lot of the Conway crowd and always make a new friend or two. The ride didn't start until 8:30 which makes it really nice. Set the clock for 6:30 so I could take my time and have some breakfast. And like all event rides I toss and turn the night before and for the life of me I don't know why. Even if I over slept and missed the ride it would have been fine.
I drove solo breaking the tradition of Keith M and I riding up together. I knew he would be riding a lot faster than me and I didn't want him waiting an hour for me to roll in. I pulled in and they had a big crowd. I turned in my paperwork and check and walked back down the alley to the parking place we've parked in the past couple years. HA! Got everything and rolled over toward the start and spotted Keith M, Dr. Paul from the hospital and Brandon, fresh in from New Orleans from FloMax school! HA! He has been in school getting ready for his new position as an RX Rep. He'll be a great one. Then I spotted a fella I've not seen in a year or so... Brandon's dad. Larry is one of the most awesome guys I've ever met. Serious, not making this up. He was sporting a "Life is Good" t-shirt and that pretty much sums it up. We got to catch up a little bit.
The ride started and rolling hills begin. I remember that there would be some climbs so I rode very conservative. After the first climb we rolled out across the farmland and the rider in front of me a bit was pointing really big to something white in the road. Then I realized it was a puppy. A really little fella. It was running down the middle of the road as fast as his thumb sized legs would take him and screaming his head off. Oh man, it was tough to not stop, toss the ride and take the little pup home. There were no houses anywhere around. Whoever dumped the pup, well, I'm not going to say it... make up you own ending.
Some of the riders who flew out of the gate were alread starting to slow. The heat would eat them alive soon. Been there, done that, got the $800 ER bill for it. I didn't have the computer turned on so I had no idea how fast I was going, no idea how many miles I had been. I knew the ride was 40 miles and I would get there when I got there. I looked at the crops and farms and just enjoyed the ride. I planned well and had frozen my polar bottles so I had cold water and GU-2-O for the whole ride as well as gels. I drank often and shot a gel after I passed the rest stops. Sure folks passed me and some played pass/catch for miles and miles. There is one place before you reenter the town that I have noticed for 3 years now that someone dumps toilets. It's the weirdest thing. Just a pile of toilets going down an embankment to a creek.
I rolled in with some guys from The Ride bike shop in Conway. Like I said I had no idea my speed so I rounded the corner and there was Brandon. He was going to knock out the ride in 2 hours (20mph average). I rolled in at 2:15. I had no problem with that at all! This puts my average at 18.6mph??!! I was expecting maybe 15mph. We laughed!
Like Larry's shirt said... "Life is good!"