Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sea Gull Century

I flew down to DC on Friday to spend the weekend with my parents; it was my father's birthday on Friday (I happen to know a lot of Libras - most of them men; except my friend, Alana, of course), and he'd just gotten back from Iraq. I also hadn't seen my mom in awhile, so it seemed like a good weekend to come down.

On Saturday my father and I rode in the Sea Gull Century, a ride he's done many times before.  (Big thanks to Freddie, my father's friend, who lent me a bike!)  He usually takes the Assateague route, but this year we did the Snow Hill route, which took us through some really beautiful farm country on low/no traffic backroads.  Of course, a ride with my father wouldn't be complete if we didn't miss a turn and do a few extra miles, so we ended up doing 106.9 miles instead of 100; however, we met a number of people who'd missed that turn (one of the few poorly marked turns) so it wasn't just us.
Dad at our first rest stop
So I mentioned that we were in farmland, but what I haven't said was that it was ruined by "poultry biospheres" aka factory farms where the stink of chicken shit and despair was overwhelming.  Early in the ride we saw a series of great signs fighting the influx of these operations (no one in their right mind can call them farms).
Apologies for photo quality; shot all photos with my cell phone.

The following sign was on one of the Perdue farms
I'm surprised that it doesn't say something like, "Trespassers will be shot and fed to the chickens."

Neither my father nor I trained much - he because he was in Iraq and I because I was not really thinking about it - however, we managed to do alright.  Between the third and fourth rest stops we met Lainey, who ended up riding the rest of the way with us (the fourth rest stop was the last before the finish).  It was great chatting with her, and she told us that she hooked up with us at just the right time, the time when her energy and will were flagging.  Quite honestly, it reinvigorated me as well because now I felt responsible for getting her to the finish.  We did our best pace of the century during the last 20 miles.
Lainey used to play roller derby - her name was Felonius Punk.  How awesome is that?
We were all excited to share a beer at the finish, but when we got there (5:30pm), we found out that they'd shut down the beer at 5!  If your ride is open until 6pm, don't you think you might want to serve beer until, I don't know - 7?  Or at least until 6?  If we'd known this, we might've made an effort to either start earlier (as it was I got up at 5am to go to this) or ridden faster (hmmm...).  I'd say that was a huge disappointment for me and a mistake on the Sea Gull Century's part.  Plus, I didn't really see any food.  Bummer!

Despite the lack of beer and the factory farms, we had a great day.  It's also pretty cool to know that I can ride over 100 miles in a day with little training and no negative repurcussions other than the expected sore crotch (TMI?).  My legs feel pretty good, but I can't say that I'm dying to hop on my bike today.


  1. "the stink of chicken shit and despair" is a great line. How is your daily writing practice coming along?

    1. Overall the daily writing practice is coming along although all the travel recently hasn't allowed me to settle into a groove. I'm trying to be flexible.