Well, I did it! I made it through the ride. The LONGEST ride for me, to date. On Saturday, I decided to challenge myself with the century loop, so I pulled out a grand total of about 104 miles. Very worth it as it was a much flatter ride than the last 10 miles of the normal route (plus I got a cool pin and bragging rights). Got several comments on my beast, one notable is from a guy who was self-supporting running full front and back Arkel panniers. He made his comment as he blew by me in a pack of riders. Someday...
On Sunday, I sagged forward with most of Team MO-KAN-DO (the team I rode with) past the big hills to Warrensburg. Glad I did. The headwinds were brutal all day and I would have a hard time doing the full 80 miles. At lunch, I bumped into Randall from the Un-Lenexa Cave Ride. He was riding a fixie the whole way - quite a setup. This picture is not great, but it was a kind of time-trial looking bike with a Spinergy wheel on the front and a Zipp wheel on the back (the Zipp was not wind-friendly, he said - it acted like a sail). Gotta hand it to him, though.
Anyway, had a great time and know what to expect for next year. Definitely going to bring the iPOD and the pannier was nice to have, though it probably slowed me down a bit. Definitely going to ride with the team again.
The best part was crossing the finish line as I took my medal from a lady in a wheelchair who has MS, I heard her clearly say "Thank you!". All worth it. Thanks to those who donated. Still not too late if you want - here's my donation page.
Start Line on Saturday - Beautiful 54 degrees
At times, the roads seemed to go on forever...
Self-portrait after finishing