Monday, August 24, 2009

Three Rivers Century-A Family Affair

Brenda and Mindy-getting riders registered. Thanks ladies!

This was the fifth consecutive year my club, The Gallatin Valley Bicycle Club, has put on the Three Rivers Century. I've ridden the 100 mile ride each and every year, and each and every year it has been one of my favorite cycling events.

For the past couple of editions I've helped out on the committee that puts the ride on-though my work load is much lighter than our main organizers Roberta, Rich, and Michelle-each of whom have sacrificed riding in the event so they could do the work. Me being a little greedy about wanting to ride figured out a way to ease my guilt in not doing more work for the committee...I recruited as many family members as I could to help out in some way. Last year I asked my wife Brenda, mother-in-law Mindy, and daughter Stephanie to help out at the rider sign-in at the start. This year I recruited Brenda and Mindy again to do the sign-in, and my parents, Jack and Bert, to be the SAG crew for the 32 mile ride option. Lucky for me-all agreed to help out-thus I was free to fly (so to speak).

Another exciting development was my nephews Brian (age 15) and Tyler (age 11) and their recent interest in road biking. I think they may have caught the bug while watching some of the Tour-de-Bozeman. I went with them on a couple of rides around the area and found they were pretty much naturals-so I told them about the Three River's Century's 32 mile ride option. Their mom (my sister Jody) signed them up and they were set to go! I'm sure it helped that Grandma and Grandpa were going to be on the route looking after them. Also, their road biking was greatly aided by the fact that their Uncle Tom and Aunt Deb had a couple of road bikes hanging in their garage going unused-that more or less fit the boys.

Brian and Tyler ready to go at the start of their 32 mile ride. That's my dad looking on in the background.

I got word at our lunch stop at the Missouri Headwaters that both Brian and Tyler finished the ride with ease and had a great time. I'm so proud of them-though I suppose it won't be too long and they'll be dropping me. In any case it was a neat deal-not only were my folks there to watch them ride, but their parents Rick and Jody, grand parents Richard and LaVerna, and Aunt Deb were all there to cheer them on. Considering the boys have only been riding on the road for about two weeks I find their progress amazing (it took me most of the summer to work up to a 30 mile ride when I started road riding in 2002) of course I didn't have a nice uncle who sort of knew what he was doing to help me out.

My ride was also a tremendous success. I felt great right off the bat, climbed well on the first hills on Norris Road, and pulled the peloton for a long ways before the first rest stop along the Madison. I got in a pace line with several other guys who were motivated to go fast, but not too fast for me, and work together. At the finish we had maintained a riding time average speed of just over 20 mph! A first for me on a century ride. The 20 mph average speed is sort like the four minute mile barrier for recreational cyclists. It was awesome.
Our pace line flying along the Madison. I stuck with most of these guys the entire ride.

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