A few months had gone by after the marathon and I was itching for some more suffering. My buddy Tyler who I ran the marathon with suggested we do a century. Unfortunately he left town to climb in Colorado for a couple weeks leaving me to find a new partner for this new adventure.
On Thursday, August 27th, I decided I was going to bike to Rumney, NH from Somerville, MA on Friday. A couple reasons why, first off Friday’s weather was supposed to be gorgeous, in the 70s and sunny. Also, my sister was headed to Rumney to climb on Saturday so my bike and I could get a ride back with her after a day of climbing.
My good friend Kristen was a sucker who I sold this idea to and agreed to join me on the 123 mile journey from my house to the campground in Rumney.
I had also emailed the MIT Outing Club mailing list in case Kristen and Kyle had both said no.
I was a little surprised at the number of negative emails I received. Like this one.
I am known to every now in then come up with some bad ideas and make some bad decisions, but was biking 123 miles to Rumney really that bad of an idea? I did a lot of thinking ahead of time. I knew my longest bike ride was 40 miles, a year ago. But I also knew that there were these things called hotels and cabs. Worst case scenario, we give up and cab it to a hotel. Why not give it a freaking try Brian from MIT.
Anyways, Kristen and I leave at 7am on Friday morning and dude it was one of the best experiences of my life. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and all we had to do was keep pedaling. We ate well and stayed hydrated. We were on the road for 12 hours and don’t remember getting honked at once. Nice wide shoulders. Unlike the marathon, no crying involved. That’s not true, there was a little crying around mile 70, or wherever that restaurant was. But after I got some fries in me, I was back in business.
Side note, I did get some tips and tricks from other cyclists. Here is how it went down.
David: Have an awesome ride, James! As somebody who once made a similarly large jump in longest rides, I have only one bit of advice- use chamois cream. Without it, your ass will give out long before your legs do.
James: Haha thanks man, don’t know what that is but will look into it pronto.
David: It’s essentially lube for your butt. Vaseline does fine in a pinch. In my experience, I always get crazy chaffing around 80 miles if I don’t use any. Your mileage may vary, but once it’s bad, it’s too late.
I did happen to have a small travel size container of vaseline and we both put it on at the start of the trip. Not having any more specific instructions, I applied it liberally up, in, and around my butt. We also took turns reapplying it at the restaurant in the bushes along the side of the building. In the end I didn’t really notice any chafing but better safe than sorry. Or maybe it was a genius prank by David to get me to smear vaseline all over my ass for no reason. Oh one thing that I think helped a lot was padded bike shorts. I would get a pair, and maybe the vaseline for good measure.
Anyways, 12 hours later we made it 123 miles to the campground in Rumney. I felt like throwing up for about 2 hours. Kristen had no signs of having biked for 12 hours, she just wanted dinner. More specifically, she wanted to bike 3 more miles to go to a specific restaurant. So yeah I had to bike 3 more miles and then 3 miles back to the campground which brought our total to 129 which I’m rounding to 130.
Here we are jumping in the air for some reason at mile 100.