Thursday, July 17, 2014

One Firecracker of a ride!

So I was chatting with a local friend about some activities over July 4th weekend when she mentioned doing the Firecracker 100k bike ride. It seemed worth a google search, and it turns out the course looked amazing and the weather would match! Here in Raleigh, we didn't see much from Hurricane Arther. But when the storm moved through, what came in behind it was dry and cool. So it seemed pretty perfect. I left it up to a game time decision since I wasn't registered yet.

Friday morning July 4th I woke up in time, checked outside and it was sunny and dry with temps in the high 60's. Perfect! Oh man that was really perfect. I threw the bike in the rack, cycling gear on, drove into Cary, paid my $30 and waited for the start.

It was a great crowd of about 700 riders total between the 50k and 100k rides. I needed to do the 100k, and I should have ridden my bike to and from the starting line - only 6 miles each way. The route came out to 65 miles, so that would have made my day 77 miles which is more like what my training plan called for.

The ride ended up being all that I hoped it would be. We started off going through downtown Cary, then got into some country roads where the hills opened up some. I rode with no Garmin, just a cue sheet.  The aide stations came and went, they were stocked by Whole Foods so there were lots of cookies.

Rolling selfie!

This guy had the setup going on. Multiple bottle filling stations with water and Skratch.

The last rest stop was at 52 miles, and I had a tough time getting my right foot unclipped! I mean, I didn't fall over like I've done in the past. Finally I did get out of the pedal, but when I clipped back in to finish the ride it felt strange.  Turns out, I broke a shoe! The hard plastic bottom of the shoe cracked right below the cleat. Gah! 8 weeks until ironman and now I have to spring for some new shoes! that uncomfortable feeling was the cleat being shoved up into the bottom of my foot. argh.

The finish line was quite a party.  It was at a local restaurant called the Hibernian Pub, and that's one of my favorites anyway. They also had free ice cream from the shop next door.

Outside of the Hibernian Pub

Giant tender cheeseburger, might be my first one this year?
 The finish line party was quite lively. I saw some friends and RAM teammates. Everyone had a good day on the roads it seems. I ran into my friend Andrea, she did 24 miles before hitting the 100k, so she got an English century in on the day! And she's got Ironman Canada coming up in a couple of weeks.

The rest of July 4th was wonderful. I spent most of the day resting and stuffing my face, then we headed out to the Lonnie Poole Golf Course for dinner and fireworks. Lonnie Poole is the golf course on NC State's campus, and the clubhouse enjoys this view of downtown Raleigh, where the fireworks were!

It made for very good viewing of the fireworks! Kelley's dad did some engineering work on this building, and it was really good to be able to spend that much time with him and the whole family.

Over my right shoulder Ella is just getting off of the bouncy castle, and over the other shoulder Evil Genius is making her way back to the table

She got her face painted!
Dinner was wonderful, and the fireworks were amazing.  Overall this was one of the better holidays we've had here! Such a blessing to be in this area with so many fun activities going on!


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Wow, that is a cheap race! Sounds like a fun one aside from your shoe issue which sounds uncomfortable to say the least. I am glad you guys had a great 4th!

Abby said...

Glad it was a good race, but so sorry you broke a shoe.