Fondo Complete!

MapMyRide Stats of Fun Fondo Course
I completed the 16 mile Fun Fondo course in 1:39:25 with an average speed of 9.8 mph, despite my bike chain issues.  A personal best!  

I rode the course several times before race day as part of my training.  As race day neared I focused on uphill endurance.  There was about a three mile stretch of the course that was particularly challenging for me.  With a total gain of approximately 713 ft for the full course; 440 ft of that total gain is achieved in three grueling miles! I felt good going into it and I rode strong.  I was comforted in seeing other riders stopping along this stretch of the course (quite cynical of me) as it validated the difficulty level, but mostly because I had great walking companions. I am an amateur cyclist and walking my bike up this hill is par for this course.     

With the most challenging stretch behind me I was geared up for the smooth gradual climbs ahead. My bike wasn’t as willing as I to conquer the remaining course.  As I made my way up those rolling hills switching into low gear my chain fell off. Feeling good I jump off my bike fixed the chain and pressed on.  A few peddles in and there goes the chain again.  This happened three more times as I attempted to switch through the gears.  A fellow rider witnessing my struggle with the chain stopped to help me get the chain aligned and offered some advice. “You’re going to have to stay out of those lower gears.” 
Fondo fun selfie of mom and me.

This made me laugh out loud. All I could think of was how once again those uphill endurance rides were paying off. I did not fear these rolling climbs in front of me as I was quite familiar with them and this was my favorite part of the course.  In high gear and high spirits I sped my way toward the finish line. 

As I neared the finish line I noticed a particular rider off in the distance that, prior to my chain difficulties, her and I had been alternating lead for a short distance.  I found new motivation to finish strong.  Peddling hard I was closing the gap.  As she made the final turn to the finish line I took it wide and swooped in for the lead.  Woohoo! I took it as a personal win. 

16 mile Fondo complete! Cool down in effect.
I realized later that she wasn’t even a competitor in the particular course I was riding. She actually rode one of the larger courses. Kudos to her; I should be so ambitious.  I just liked hearing my name announced with my stats over the loud speaker.  It was quite a rush flying through that finish line.  Being greeted with a medal for completing the ride and having my family there to celebrate this feat with me. 

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