Today’s ride: The Amish Country Bike Tour starts in Dover DE, at the town square. The ride rolls out of town and through Delaware’s Amish country. This is a relatively flat ride along country roads, and because it is held the first weekend in September, it’s often hot. Since the country you’ll ride through is open, you have to cope with winds as you ride. Among the attractions are homemade pies served at the second rest stop. The riders get a barbecue meal after the ride.
The Experience: Once again, I rode with my friend Ron Tripp, and Rita Bell. Unlike our experience with the ShoreFire Century, we ride with three of Rita’s friends from Sussex County Cyclists in Southern Delaware, where the pace of life is slow, but the pace of riding is very fast. We rolled out well before the mass start that was scheduled for 8am, but we had quite a bit of company on the roads as we made the most of the cool morning. At the first rest stop Michelle, her friend Jay and her other friend Jay joined us, after which the pace increased. I can’t be too upset by that, despite the fact that Ron and I would ride another century the following day (more on that in another post) we all felt good that early in the ride before the heat built up. We all enjoyed a slice of homemade pie at the second stop (I had the peach pie – it was heavenly) and rode away as the heat of the day began to build. By this time pace became both friend and foe; the motion cooled us, but when the wind wasn’t with us, we were using a lot of energy. When we got to the third stop in Felton, DE the heat was getting oppressive. When there is little shade and the heat and humidity is high, the pavement is the sun’s anvil, and cooling off is important. We set off on a short loop that would take us back to Felton, and we were drinking often, but on that section, young Jay from Sussex fell prey to the heat, and his teammates looked after him while Ron, Rita and I rode back to Felton. Some of those at the stop had begun their ride with the mass start, and still had to ride the short loop back to Felton in the high heat. I poured water over myself to cool down while I silently praised our decision to leave earlier. I was drinking a lot, but it felt like I was barely staying cool enough to avoid a bonk myself. The ride back into Dover was a straight road with a tailwind, and despite the heat we managed to ride strong all the way back to the square in Dover. Our friends all made it back, after Jay recovered from his difficulties, and our Amish Tour was complete.
Selections from my mental iPod during the ride: “Just Play Music” by Big Audio Dynamite, “Til I Hear it From You” by The Gin Blossoms, and “I Have the Touch” by Peter Gabriel.
Stats: 100 Miles ridden. The heat and humidity made it impossible to drink enough, but we managed to stay cool enough to finish comfortably.
A Selection of homemade pies at the second rest stop.
Holding up a wall in Felton, DE.