On Sunday, I awoke early to head to the TRI Smart 101 ride in New Lenox. The ride was a supported event which featured routes for 38, 61, 77 and 101 miles. The event was reasonably priced at $40 ($50 for last minute registrations) which included a nice hooded sweatshirt, SAG support and aid stations loaded with volunteers who had great personalities, PB&J, soft chewy cookies, bananas, water & Gatorade.
Hoodie – Navy in color (the version below in black from the TRI Smart Facebook page)
I initially signed up to tackle the 101 mile ride but revamped that
and my 2014 plan goal after my 70.3 in Mattoon didn’t go as I had hoped. So I showed up on Sunday planning to ride whatever distance Suzanne did the 61 or 77 mile option. As soon as I pulled in the parking lot, I realized that my partner was sick and we would be going the 38 mile route. I can’t say that I was happy that she was sick but I had no qualms about cutting the distance even further. My September calendar is FULL between running races, marathon training and Aby’s Cross Country schedule so I really just wanted to be at home with the family.
Packet pick up was smooth. They gave us our bib, hoodie and a map of our desired distance. There were also muffins, coffee, etc. for snacking. Then everyone left when they were ready without any production, “official” start or hoopla. It was nice but I must admit I was a bit concerned about getting lost; however, the route was marked VERY well. There was never a question as to if we were going the right way cuz about the time I was wondering, I would see an arrow on the road for direction. Then as we approached a turn, the road was marked twice, once as we approached the intersection, at the intersection and as a third source of direction, there was a sign with an arrow. I can’t imagine anyone having gotten lost unless they were just not paying attention
The ride was on my home turf so I was very familiar with the roads, the wind, and the hills. Traffic was light but for the most part we still stayed single file and just rode, taking turns at the front to break the wind for the other person. It was good. Fun. And since we were riding short, we didn’t have to worry about going too fast so we pretty much pounded the entire way, short of the 20 minutes we camped at the rest stop. Then the way back was super fast because the wind was at our back and the rain in our face. That sped things up a lot!
38 miles done! Next year, I would definitely like to try one of the longer distances
and I even have hopes of riding a bit of the other routes this year before the weather turns too bad since the route will stay marked for quite some time.
A few of my F’N Runner friends who also did the 38 mile route, from left: me, Julie B, Susan D, Lynn & Suzanne (my ride buddy). Thanks for coming even though you weren’t feeling good, Suzanne! It would have been lonely without you!!
I highly recommend the TRI Smart 101 ride! Low cost, amazing cause, great support, multiple distance options, low traffic roads which are very well marked and aid stations stocked with lots of yummies! See you next year on September 14 for the 2014 installment!
** Riding For A Cause ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **