Riding a century is a pretty awesome feat. They could have called it a 100 mile bike ride and it would still be bad ass, but calling it a century adds an epicness to it. Sort of as if you are transcending space and time, or making the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs.
I completed my first century at the beginning of the month. I rode from my house in Redding to my in-law's house in Paradise. It was raining the entire time and there was a headwind of ten miles per hour that increased to about forty miles an hour. The last five miles of the ride gained nearly half a mile of altitude. If it had been a ten mile bike ride it would have sucked. This ride was straight stupid.
Don Quixote helped me keep going. I listened to the king's portion of the book on that ride. It is wonderfully cyclical to be listening to the exploits of a crazy person doing absurd things while attempting to complete an absurd task yourself.
Lauren also helped me keep pedaling. In January I was speaking with my sister about some of the feats and challenges I was to attempt and she added another: she challenged me to ride one thousand miles on my bicycle before she gave birth to her baby. I had a little over three months to complete this challenge and in that time I started training to ride a century, eventually coming up with a plan to have the completion of my first century coincide with my thousand mile challenge.
I believe, however, that the main thing that kept me from stopping is my amazing stubbornness. I used to think that I was a pretty patient guy. It has taken me a long time to realize that biding one's time may look very much like waiting patiently though in reality it is an entirely different sort of beast. You may have faith that moves mountains but I have the stubbornness to wait for the rocks to melt and the dust to drift away on the breeze.
It may have taken me almost thirteen hours but I completed my first century, and in doing so, reached one thousand miles. I was surprised at how sore one's entire body can feel after a bike ride of this nature. Football never made me feel this sore, and I sucked at football so I got smashed around a lot. I felt the way Bruce Willis looks by the end of every Die Hard movie. But I didn't fight terrorist or avert any disasters; I defeated my unborn nephew. That little sucker was so embarrassed, he didn't even show his face for another couple of weeks. You may call him Titus Ransom Soini, but I will always refer to him as that kid I already beat. Not that I beat kids on a regular basis, but I probably could if I wanted to. It would be totally easy actually: They are small and lazy and I'm pretty sure they're illegal immigrants because most of them can't even speak English.
Anyway, this weekend's century was a little bit different. This is already kind of long so I will start out by telling you the ending: I only rode ninety-three miles. And by start I mean end. . . for now. My drink wants ice and my brain wants drink. Three more days till my third century: one success, one failure there's no third option so it's all repeats from here on out.