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Hoppy 100

August 15, 2012


I’m a big fan of endurance events.  It’s not about a physical sprint to the finish.  It’s about building up the mental will to press on and overcoming everything in your head that tells you to stop.  I’ve done an ultramarthon, 24-hour adventure race, and now proudly, a 100-mile century bike ride.  When I tell folks what I’ve done over the weekend I usually receive that look that let’s me know that they know I’m not quite right in the head.  The response of “I don’t know, because it’s fun and I can,” to their “why” does nothing to sway the not-quite-right mindset.  My response for this weekend’s adventure seems to have pushed not-quite-right into full-blown looney tune.

“100 miles?!  Why on earth would you do that.”

“We wanted to get a beer.”

First, yes, a beer (3 actually).  Second, that’s right, we.  I wasn’t the only one who thought this journey sounded like a great idea.  In fact, I wasn’t even the one who thought of it.  That distinction goes to Lisa.  But what’s a crazy idea without actual planning?  Good thing we had John to work out all of the logistics.  Rootchopper John rounded out the group doing the full 100-mile ride.   More crazies (and I mean that in the nicest way possible), including Crystal, Chris and mega-crazies (again, nicest way possible), Ed and Mary even joined us for parts of the ride.

Riding with bloggers meant one thing was guaranteed.  We would all end up writing about our adventure.  Lisa wrote up a great play-by-play of the day (and it’s pretty much the way I saw it) at the Rambling Rider.  She also included her personal Lessons Learned from the day.  Lisa mentions that she did not bonk during the ride.  I’ve bonked twice during two years of bike commutes (skipped lunch both times) and it sucks.  What if this happened 50 miles from home just as we entered some industrial hell park?  Luckily, none of us experienced this and I think it’s realistic to thank the beer (liquid bread) for this!

In addition, Rootchopper John’s always entertaining blog A Few Spokes Shy of a Wheel has a nice write-up and a link to his Flickr pool at the end.  Judging by the post’s comment section it looks like his account has inspired a whole new group of riders for next time!  As mentioned early, we spent a bit of time riding with Ed and Mary as they made their way to Strasburg on an overnight bike trip.  As a result, the Hoppy team is  featured in a few photos of Mary’s collection (I really need to figure out how to ride and take pictures at the same time).

Finally, our ride leader John of PortaJohn put together a few pros and cons for the ride.  While I agree with his list of “What Went Right” (rain at mile 83 – awesome!), the “What Went Wrong” portion is just a nitpicky list that was so trivial and didn’t affect the enjoyment of the ride at all (except maybe #4 – lets shoot for free beer next time).  He did a great job getting us to a nice range of breweries including Lost Rhino, Mad Fox, and Port City.

Team Hoppy

There, how can we all be crazy?  Pedaling for 12 hours is more than just getting to your destination.  Country air, soy fields, bumps, hills, descents, ferry crossings, lemonade stands, downpours, and camaraderie were only a taste of what made the day so much fun and one to remember.  And besides, it wasn’t like I drove 125 miles for ice cream (that happened the next day).

12 Comments leave one →
  1. portajohn permalink
    August 15, 2012 4:27 pm

    I’m glad you had fun! I love telling people about my weekend rides and having them look at me like something is wrong in my head. Not only does it tell me that I’m doing something right – but it inspires me to push even harder to see what I can accomplish that will blow their minds even more.

    PS: I’m already thinking of what to do for next year.

    • August 16, 2012 7:55 am

      Much fun, thanks so much again. I’ll mark my calendar for every weekend next summer now to be sure I don’t miss out. 😉

  2. August 15, 2012 7:48 pm

    I admit I’m exactly the same way- I do it because I can! And I find it funny when people look at me like I’m off my rocker.

    I would drive 125 miles for ice cream, too!

    Wow– you did an ultramarathon? Now that’s crazy talk. 🙂 Congrats again on your first century– you rode strong all the way until the end.

    • August 16, 2012 8:02 am

      Thanks Lisa, it was great riding with you.

      Until DC starts producing farm fresh ice cream where you can pet the Holstein cow your milk came from – we really don’t have any other option 🙂

  3. August 15, 2012 8:43 pm

    Twenty-four hour adventure race? Do tell. And I get some of the same reactions to weekend plans that you do. I think it’s partly that others don’t understand why you would force yourself to do something so physically taxing on what’s supposed to be your time of relaxation. 🙂

    Congrats on the full century! I’ve still yet to do my first century, but I’m thinking Seagull in September ( – I hear it’s well organized, well attended, and quite beautiful).

    • August 16, 2012 7:52 am

      Crystal, if you do Seagull, let’s meet up! John’s riding it as well.

      • August 16, 2012 1:32 pm

        Great! I haven’t registered yet but I’m sure I’ll do it (assuming nothing gets in the way)!

    • August 16, 2012 7:58 am

      Hm, seagull century. I’ll have to check it out. I guess the next test is to see if I can ride without stopping for beer. Good luck if I don’t see you before the ride!

      • August 16, 2012 1:33 pm

        I don’t think there will be any beer until after the ride, but I hear one of the rest stops has pie.

  4. September 7, 2012 2:56 pm

    See, I find the thought of a 24-hour adventure race or an ultramarathon (or really, any running marathon at all) in a different galaxy than a century bike ride. I’ve done century rides and a multi-day long ride, and while I wouldn’t do either on a whim, they’re certainly within the scope of what I see as possible for me. I see a good century as hard, but with fun stops for food and not feeling like you want to die at the end. The others – not so much.

    In terms of the Seagull Century, I thought it was a fairly good ride, although it isn’t as geographically pretty as I expected. I did the metric century last year and the wind was brutal:

  5. kipp Williams permalink
    September 13, 2012 4:45 am

    Do you have an extra bike and time to hit a brewery 15 miles away?


  1. When the miles matter « Bicycle Bug's Blog

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