Ok, let's start with the century day. I started nice and early, about 5:45. I stopped in all 10 towns we went through to eat, stretch and refill my water bottles. I lost count how many times I refilled them. I guess that's good, I was drinking a lot. And not the kind of drinking Coog is doing. Ha! True.
Anyway, the loop to do the century came at the 35 mile mark- I was so not happy that you had to decide so early in your day if you felt you had a century in you, but whatever, I already decided to do it. Traveling east in Iowa is pretty good, the winds are from the south mostly- at a good 15 mph. It's unbearable at times and really makes you kind of sick to death of the effort. But, you get through.
So, I'm riding east and then comes the turn to the south for the extra 23 mile loop to make the day 100. As soon as we made the turn, there were RAGBRAI people standing and handing out coupons for a patch- the century patch. I thought, "Hmmm, I've already got the patch, I can just go back!" But nah, not my style.
Straight into the headwind we went. I got into a phenominal paceline that worked like art- steady tempo, no swerving, no jerks. It was beautiful and very helpful. I love the working of a good paceline. So we stayed together for the south leg of the loop and then turned west where they significantly picked up the pace with the crosswind. I'm out. I rode along, stopping to mix some Gookinaid and reapply my sunblock...again. Probably did that 6 times yesterday. Got into a little town called Albert City and had the BEST homemade vanilla ice cream on earth. It was divine. Volunteers handed us water on the way out of town to my favorite part of the trip- I call it the Tailwind Ten. In this ridiculously windy state of Iowa we have had absolutely zero tailwinds. It's so noisy in your ears you can barely have a conversation!
So, we hit the tailwind ten and soared gloriously to the end of the loop. I maintained 25 with little effort and was grateful for the peace in my ears!
Skip ahead to a little town, I forget the name. I stopped for some free lemonade from some gorgeous little girls and they said they got a call that Lance was in the town behind us. So, I knew he'd pass me eventually.
Now there's a group of guys here riding with the Livestrong jerseys and shorts- so at one point I heard the buzz of their tires coming- I got so excited, I took out my camera all set for my brush with greatness. Nope- just a bunch of regular schlubs in Livestrong jerseys traveling kinda slow.
Rode a little more and then I just knew. Maybe it was the hum of a well-oiled peloton- some of you know that sound. I looked over my shoulder, and sure enough, it was him. I didn't have time to get out my camera, but in the a whiney, high-school-esque voice that I didn't know I possessed came, "HEY LAAAAANCE!!" He hesitates for a second and then gave me a peace sign- which as you know, means "I love you and only you Jenni."
My inner Labrador kicked in and shifted to stay with him. Sadly though I was at 91 miles for the day in 90+ heat and just didn't have it in me. I hung around him for maybe 1/2 mile before dropping off. Just about everyone else that I passed that day had no idea Lance just rode next to them- he's really low-key. Actually yesterday he was riding in a white sleeveless jersey and blue shorts on a mountain bike/hybrid! You'd NEVER know he was with you, especially since there are tons of good, very fit riders- you just naturally think it's one of them. So there, that's my story. I limped in at 102, got a massage and sat around the rest of the day.