Another Inland Empire Century Ride is in the books. This is always a great event. The RIDE has various length options (25, 50, 75, and 100), and I opted for the 75-mile route. During the race, I met new cyclists and made great memories. I actually missed the past two long distances due to a wrist and cervical fracture almost two years ago after a cycling accident, so it was wonderful being with good friends, GREAT VOLUNTEERS, and wonderful GOOD SAMARITANS.
My morning started off with weighing myself so I could check how well I hydrated during the ride. Weather forecast was calling for today to be the hottest day of the year so far.
– 75 miles of road
– Surviving a swarm of bees coming away with only ½ a dozen stings
– Fluids consumed: 2+ gallons of water, 1 gallons of Gatorade during the ride
– Food & snacks on the road: BPJ, banana, fig bars, oranges all from the excellent supported aide stations
– Post ride
When we crossed the finish line, we were greeted by great music performed by the group “Bent on Blues.” Post race activities were organized and supported by Bike Tri-Cities, the cycling advocate for our community that promotes cycling as a safe, healthy and fun form of transportation and recreation.
Check out their page and become a member to help support local cycling efforts: www.biketricities.org
So, the BEES! At around mile 54, we found ourselves in a cloud of hundreds of swarming bees. That was definitely a first for me. Once the bees started stinging, there was nothing we could do. Fortunate for me, I was able to keep riding and got out of the swarm with only half a dozen stings. Unfortunately for my riding partner for the day, John wasn’t as lucky. He went down hard onto the road, and the bees did NOT have mercy. Here is where the GOOD SAMARITANS come in. While John was on the ground with more bees stinging and swarming, a driver stopped and let him jump into their SUV to get away from the bees. They waited for a few minutes then went back for his bike, but no luck. The bees swarmed again, blocking his way. Another GOOD SAMARITAN with a truck this time let John jump in with her. After a few minutes, she drove back around to the bike that was laying on the side of the road. John jumped out, grabbed the bike, and put it into the truck bed, with bees swarming all around. She drove away until they were a safe distance and he was able to get back on his bike with road rash, bleeding and bent handle bars we pushed on towards the finish line. Our GOOD SAMARITANS did not stop there; she also drove back to the west side of the route to warn other cyclist about the swarm of bees., helping them prepare for what was in store for them at mile 54. I’m definitely grateful for good people who stop to help a cyclist in torn and bloody spandex. John ended up with almost 2 dozen bee stings.
We rode with lots of great people, many wearing their “Greenies” gear. I had been thinking about tacking on another 25 miles to get a full century ride in, but mile 65 was not kind to John—that’s where he blew a tire. Darin of Greenies (and others rode up to us, stopped, and helped get us back onto the road. Thanks, Darin, for the ride support. While finishing out the last few miles of the ride, I noticed a younger rider that was out and had no rear brakes, as they were completely detached. Again, Darin stopped his ride, did his thing, and got the young man back on the road. This is a great shop to support outdoor adventures, check out their Greenies website.
Post ride weight: I was only one pound lighter than pre-ride, not bad for drinking almost 25-30 lbs of fluid. Check out some more articles on tips for keeping hydrated all summer long: Heat Stroke 101, Hydration & Exercise, How to properly hydrate.
Overall a great ride, great people, beautiful day here in the PNW. Be safe, keep moving, and know your body.