Women's Corner - October 2017

Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Woman's View of the Back Roads Century

by Deborah Turton, Women's Ride Coordinator

Once again – it was great. I had loads of fun, ate some tasty food and listened to some good music. This year I started planning early in the spring and held training rides out of Georgetown to show women how to ride hills. All of the women who came with me were just wonderful to ride with. By doing these rides, I extended the fun of the BRC from April to September. We started with 16 miles and our last ride was 33 miles and included the hill in front of the Mormon Temple. All along I told the riders I’d ride whatever route they wanted to ride on the BRC.

Two of them, Sue and Sandy, took me up on the offer, and we rode the 52 mile route. Two of my friends, Janice and Brenda, joined us and another woman, Page, joined us that morning.

Brenda, Sue, Page, Deborah, Janice and Sandy

Brenda, Sue, Page, Deborah, Janice and Sandy

Brenda and I started our weekend with the 12 mile loop on Saturday.

Along the way we ran into Janice (figuratively speaking).She was riding loops around the battlefield. She found a Strava segment called “Charge!” Brenda and I were more into segments called “Laid back.” So we left Janice to here workout and headed on our casual way. Earlier in the week, we had planned on doing about 20 miles. Luckily, after the hills on Canal Rd and an ice cream stop, we decided to have a glass of wine at Antietam Creek Vineyards and then go shopping in Shepherdstown. It was a brilliant decision – simply because we found some great buys, ran in to more friends and the walking was a great post ride work out. Plus we had enough energy to enjoy the dinner at the Town Run Tap House.

On Sunday we met at the registration tent at 8 am. The tent was staffed by the first group of great volunteers we met along the ride. Page just happened to stop by and ask to join us. One plus of riding in the BRC – you can usually find someone to ride with, even when you don’t know anyone. We started out in the fog, which kept us cool. By the Jefferson rest stop (what - no peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! – had to settle for peanuts and bananas) we had started to get strung out, but we all headed back out together.

Then the hills started. Those hills have a way of slowing you down. In fact some of them slowed us down enough that we walked. No names here.

Brenda hit the hill on Pitzer’s Chapel Rd first. As we approached the hill, I heard someone up at the top cheering us on. There was Brenda waiting for us and cheering us up the hill. Friends and BRC go together so well. We all made it up that hill in some fashion. Though, that sign at the bottom that said “Start shifting down now!” distracted one of us, who then decided to ‘make friends with the ground.’ No worries, there was a full recovery. (Just a friendly reminder – if you’re not the first person to pass a cyclist bleeding and walking up a hill, pointing out the bleeding to the cyclist doesn’t do any good. They’re well aware of it already.)

By the time we reached the Henry arena rest stop (Yay tomato sandwiches – 1 or 2 really hit the spot.), it was obvious that Page was leaving us in the dust. No worries – another great thing about the BRC is it’s so well marked, you can do it on your own. So, goodbye, Page and have fun.

The rest of us hung out, watched the volunteers hand slice those tomatoes and cucumbers for the sandwiches, and listened to the music.

The next segment was a case of grinding up the hills, waiting for the slower riders and coasting (ahh) down the hills. I met lots of people I knew on those hills – some of them blew by me and some of them I passed.

I met a few of those women who came on the training rides. It was nice to see them out there. Yet another plus of riding the BRC - if you’ve gone on any of the regular club rides, you probably will meet friends along the way. Sometimes you can pedal together and talk, and sometimes you just wave as they go by on those hills.

At the last rest stop we split into two groups – Janice and Sandy headed out early, while Sue, Brenda and I enjoyed the beauty at the Yankauer Nature Preserve. Those boiled potatoes with salt really hit the spot.

Once again, the volunteers were a group of helpful and prepared people.

And the mini candy bars didn’t hurt. But the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were the best. (I eat a lot on the BRC.)

Finally we arrived at the party at the end. All 6 of us met up. We hit the taco bar – in case we hadn’t eaten enough on the ride. It was the longest ride yet for Sue and Sandy. And also the hilliest. We met up with lots of friends at the party we hadn’t seen on the ride. We hit the dessert table and washed the brownies down with chocolate milk. It was another great Back Roads Century with a great group of friends. See you all next year. And a special thanks to all the volunteers that make the ride possible.


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