Sunday, June 3, 2012

Little Red

Oh, Little Red, what a big day you were. There were highs, lows, but most of all, a sense of "I can't believe I did this!"

Confession time: I did not do 80 miles. As we were training, my friends and I decided that we were not there yet, so we decided to ride the 50-mile course. Do I still feel a little sad of not making my initial goal of 80 miles? A little. Do I feel like 50 miles was the right choice? Absolutely.

My number

To avoid getting up at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning, Heidi, Haley and I decided to spend the night up in Logan on Friday night. So the three of us and our bikes got a hotel room. Betty slept at the foot of my bed.

Betty and I in the Hotel
And yes, my PJs are silky zebra. So?

The next morning, as we got dressed, Heidi was looking through her Little Red registration packet. Then she shouted, "Vicki?!" Apparently Little Red decided that Heidi should be more of a Vicki on this ride. We may have died laughing for a good 5 minutes.

Vicki or Heidi

The gang
The girls: Me, Heidi/Vicki, Haley

At that point, we loaded up the car and headed out. However, it looked like a storm was a brewin'.

All loaded up

Storm is brewing

Getting there, we met up with my friends Denise and Jessica and headed to the starting line. 

The Start

And then we were off! For five minutes. Cause we discovered that Jessica had a flat. 

Sad Jessica!

Looking on
Heidi and Haley looking on. Concerned.

Luckily a course marshall stopped and helped us out, and pretty soon we were on our way again. 

Betty and the mountains

Me and Betty

Haley is hauling

Water break

Cache Valley is gorgeous

Little Red is not a race (thank goodness) but a ride. So throughout, there are rest stops where you can refuel and take a breather. Let me tell you, at these rest stops, Betty Foy was such a flirt. There were so many people, coming up to her, checking her out, even feeling her up. Oh, the brooks saddle! Ooh, cork grips! Hearted lugs! She was belle of the bicycle ball. As much adoration as she got, people were kinda shocked that I was doing this ride on a heavy bike like her. And maybe that got into my head a little bit. Cause around mile 30, I hit the dreaded wall. 

Kara meet the wall

Betty and I just seemed to get slower and slower. In my mind, we were so heavy. Of course, this is when the ride got hot. So hot. And when the course started to get hilly. It was a hard combo for me. I may have even teared up a little bit, frustrated by my own limitations. Why does it seem so easy for everyone else? Yup, pity party on a bicycle. 

But through the last third of the ride, Heidi and Haley really pushed me. Although, they were keeping a good pace on their own, they stayed back with me and kept me moving my feet. I am so grateful for them. And after a series of killer hills, there was a mega downhill. It was delicious. At the same time, the clouds covered the sun again and cooled everything off. It was a perfect convergence of elements that brought on my second wind and kept me going until the end. 

Vicki just being Vicki!

Riding on the bridge

Cache Valley, where Little Red takes place, is beautiful. I could have just spent the whole ride taking pictures, but I can only imagine how many hours that would have added to our ride. The mountains are so green. The reservoirs and farmland are serene. And of course the animals just seemed happy-go-lucky. This little burro we saw, we instantly fell in love with. He is so cute! I could just squeeze him.

My little burro

Heading into the finish, the clouds that were so welcomed before started to look a little menacing. There were even lightening bolts that flashed down. But we were going to finish no matter what, so we pedaled into the storm. 

Riding into the storm

Eventually the home stretch was in sight. People were cheering and I even saw my friends, who took this shot. I forgot for a moment that my neck and shoulders were in agony, that I had a bit of a sunburn, and that I was overheated and tired. Instead I just had a feeling that I actually did it. I finished. 

Coming into the finish

So what we might have taken the same amount of time to do 50 that some (extremely good) riders take to do 100? I finished my longest, hardest ride so far. I accomplished something amazing. And I am determined to keep at it and just get better and better. 

So am I happy I did Little Red? Oh so very. Especially since I got to do it with some of my most favorite people. Bring on Little Red 2013! I will rock you.

Finish line


AnnaPrasad said...

Well done you! I love the pictures of you on your bike.

JujuBean said...

You did awesome Kara! P.S. This is Emma. Love You!

Anonymous said...

Your shoes are so cute ? What are they ?

Kara said...

Anon (3:01pm) - Thank you! I got them so many years ago. They are Pumas, who seem to make a lot of fun non-traditional athletic shoes. I love them cause they are not your typical lace-ups but still feel sporty enough for biking or walking. Perfect for travel too!

anniebikes said...

I am so proud of you! 50 miles is nothing to sneeze at... The views are spectacular and I think I've been through the Cache Valley on our cross country journey.

indigoeddy said...

Congratulations. You accomplished no small feat iand on a heavier bicycle.

Carolyn said...

You rock! I am incredibly impressed!!!

Jodi said...

Congratulations! Betty may have been a little bit heavier to ride, but she is stylish and gorgeous!

What a great way to spend a Saturday.

Sara said...

Looks like you had a great experience. Congrats on the victorious ride. Cute bike tops are a plus!

Better Living said...

You did it! Good for you and Betty! Hope the legs are ok by today. :)

Jacey said...

Go, Kara!! You are awesome! I am so proud of you that you finished a fifty mile ride. Incredible!

Erin said...

Good job recapping such an awesome experience. I am very proud of you!

Stacy said...

Congrats friend! Ride well done!

Windybrook Spinner said...

Congratulations! Sounds like an amazing experience.

Adam and Bri said...

i'm so ridiculously proud of you! you did it!

ali said...

you girls are amazing! Congrats ;)

Jill said...

You have just been having way too much hiking fun! What cool memories.

Lap Dog Knits said...

Well, I would LOVE to do that ride....!!!!!
and Vicki...she looks like fun!
I love the outfits and the location??? Well, could it be any better??????

I'd drive there from California to ride my bike!! okay, maybe a new bike...a cute new bike - sorry old bike..I'll save you for around town.

Sue said...

Great job Kara! The pictures are great. I think the Betty Foy handled the terrain well. You could always modify Betty for next years ride if you feel you need to make adjustments for a more comfortable zippy ride. Such as the handlebars or tires. I think a steal frame though slightly heavier helps absorb more of the shock and is probably more a benefit rather than a deterrent.

Nicola said...

Congratulations! 50 miles is not to be sneezed at. It's cool that you did it on Betty too.

Fully Lugged said...

Betty is a smooth and classy looking ride. It's more at home on an urban commute or store run than a 50 - 100 road ride. The rider position favors comfort and sightseeing over speed and distance efficiency. Glad you enjoyed the ride you did. You sure looked good doing it!

Tracy said...

Way to go Kara! What a distance! You should definitively be proud of 50 miles. You are quite the fashionable cyclist.

Heidelweiss said...

Such a fun day. I'm so proud of you! You hit that wall so very hard and at such a hard time and place on the course and STILL finished. I'm so happy we all did it together. 2013 is nothing, NOTHING! ;)

Laurel said...

I = so very very very proud of you.

Jessie K said...

Nicely done! There's a similar womens ride in my neck of the woods that I'm planning on doing in the fall. You've inspired me to do the longer route, rather than the 25 miles I did last year. I can do it!

Rachele Alpine said...

Wowsers! Well done! And I love that your bike was a flirt! Ba ha ha! :)

Anonymous said...

Kara, 50 miles is pretty awesome! And you absolutely were rockin' the side pony! Congrats!

knitseashore said...

Congratulations! You've accomplished an amazing achievement with fifty miles. So awesome!

Süsk said...

Wow- well done!

I stumbled across your blog while looking for bikes for tall women. I'm 6'2 and tired of riding what looks like a child's bike around town, so have been eyeing the Betty Foy up, but then saw the "more manly" Yves Gomez version, which I love (black and gold, ooooh!).

Would you recommend the Betty for us lanky gals? I live in Helsinki, so if I order something, it's by sight only, since there aren't many (translation: ANY) places to test ride different bikes. Risky! I'd love to hear your honest opinion about it- good and bad (if any), if you don't mind too much.

Thanks so much!