Today’s wake up was at 5:30am, and after a quick peanut butter jelly bagel sandwich and cup of cereal, we were on the road to Missoula, MT for our third century ride. This 105 miler was one for the books.
When the first paceline left at 6:30am, it was 43 degrees outside. The first 10 miles or so were miserable in the freezing cold, and despite wearing four layers, I was still shivering. But once the sun rose high enough to peek over the mountains, it warmed me up for what has been my favorite ride yet.
The next 45 miles we were cruising with a slight tailwind along a mountainside lake. The views were absolutely breathtaking. The lake water had a clear blue-green color to it, and all kinds of animals were seen roaming the occasional open grass fields on the mountains. We slowed down a few times just to take in all the incredible scenery – pretty sure it was a mountain goat I saw overlooking the cliff side.
We had a crew chief lunch a little after the halfway point of the ride. Barton cooked up some mean ham and cheese sandwiches, chips, cookies, and apples.
Miles 70-85 were rough. Riding uphill in brutal headwinds was not fun and not easy. We all hit walls mentally, and wanted to quit. But we pushed through the pain and were rewarded with a gnarly descent into the city of Missoula. The final few miles were spent going through the city to our lodging.
We had a fantastic sponsored dinner at Famous Dave’s BBQ, and now have the rest of the night off! Hopefully we’ll all recover from our soreness wth this time off before we ride to Phillipsburg,MT!
Author: Alex Benson, Cyclist (Omega Chapter – Purdue University)