Never having really participated in a long ride like this before, I was thinking I would opt for the shorter route of 40 miles a day instead of the 75 miles. With about 4 months to train, my dad convinced me to attempt to get in shape for the 75 mile ride. It would have been easier if we lived in the same place to go on rides together, but we would call each other and update each other whenever we had a big ride and I used that as motivation for me to keep pushing. Before all of this started, we had decided that the order of cycling shape went the opposite between generations than what you would expect. My grandpa was in the best shape, my dad was in the middle, and I was at the end, in the worst shape. The best bike went the opposite direction though, so I had a slight advantage there. I am too competitive to let both my dad and my grandpa beat me on this ride. I wanted to be able to hang with both of them so I knew I had work to do.
By the time the weekend arrived, I had gone on a few long rides so I felt prepared for the 75 mile ride at least for day 1. I was excited that all 3 generations were going to be riding that route together. How many people can honestly say that they got to ride 75 miles with their almost 80 year old grandpa? So we went to Columbia, ate some pasta, and prepared ourselves for the ride the next day. That morning, we met up with the rest of team SLU Phycycle therapy, ate some delicious pancakes, and got ready for the start of our day.
The ride started out great, but the day got very hot with the street surface temperature reaching greater than 100 degrees. Throughout the day, I got to spend time talking with my dad and grandpa and occasionally riding ahead and waiting for them at the next rest stop. Towards the end it was hard to keep motivating myself to cross the finish line, but watching my grandpa just blow right by me while I was taking an unplanned rest stop gave me the inspiration to keep going. Because we were all at different levels of riding it became harder to stay together the later in the ride we got, so we didn't finish at the same time, but we all did finish.
The next day was rainy and all of the people on our team decided not to risk the potential injuries that could happen with slick roads so none of us rode. Overall though, the weekend was a great time to get to know some of my classmates, faculty, and even my dad and grandpa a little better. It is definitely a weekend I will never forget.