Last Saturday's Almanzo 100 was one of the hardest bike rides I've ever been on. Conditions were brutal. Temperatures peaked at ninety four degrees, and winds were variable from twenty to thirty miles per hour. The only saving graces were that it wasn't all that humid, and the roads were in wonderful shape.
Smiling faces and happy riders marked the first 40 miles. About 20 of these first miles were with the wind. It was deceivingly easy, and we all knew it. It was a great start to the ride.
This first section in particular rolled through some gorgeous farm country. The farms and valleys on the whole route were highlights of the ride for me. My grandparent's had a farm growing up. I love rolling through the country and dreaming of those times.
There were a ton of old farms with dilapidated or abandoned equipment as well. This "Motor" brand windmill was particularly appropriate I thought. It was hard to get the logo on the vane, but it's barely visible here.
As I said, lots of smiling faces on this part of the ride. It was quite pleasant. The wind was deceiving though. Riders who didn't start hydrating right away paid for it later.
There were tons of Salsa, Surly, and All City products on the ride. Kevin was rocking his Salsa Las Cruz with Salsa kit.
At about mile forty we took a turn into Preston to refill water and our stomachs. They were having a town celebration, so streets were closed in downtown, and a lot of people were about. We must have been quite the sight. Eight hundred lycra clad cyclists in a small rural town will turn a few heads. The bikes and us were covered in gravel dust by this point. My big black tires looked dead white.
That's all for now. Part two will come later this week. Have a great day folks!