Monthly Archives: September 2021

The Way Back

After nearly two years, I finally rode another century.

The Maine Lighthouse Ride, at a rest stop on the coast

I’ve reached an age where health discussions begin to sound like a long series of dire warnings and consequences. While I’ve never wanted to live forever, I want to have a good quality of life, and that means staying active. That activity has been my cycling for the most part. It’s been a social activity as well, and I’ve come to enjoy it and depend on it. With the pandemic and other changes, the last two years have left me doubting my fitness level, but I rode the Maine Lighthouse Ride, finished, and felt good, much to my relief.

2020 was a disaster, and 2021 had had a difficult start. My longest ride of 2020 was short, even though I rode often. There were no group rides that year. Group rides this year were complicated by social distancing and mask protocols (I despise face masks with a white-hot intensity, but I wear them. I hope one day soon they’ll be completely voluntary). The practical upshot of all this has been that I have not ridden a century in nearly 2 years and I have not been certain of my preparation. I signed up for 2 centuries this year, and the doubts had been thundering in my head. Have I trained enough? How would I feel? A lot could have changed.

As it turned out, I didn’t need to worry. I wasn’t particularly fast, but I rode strong, I finished, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Of course, the ride I did was the Maine Lighthouse Ride, and that ride is beautiful. The day was cool to start, but the temperature got up to the low/mid 70’s – perfect weather. It was a joy riding it. Next I have the Seagull Century to ride, and it should be another joy. One of the good things will be riding it without any doubts!

Portland Head Lighthouse