Monday round-up: The accidental century

Keeping it covered: Rolling through the covered bridge in Hancock, Jeff seems too happy. Hills were about to ensue.

If you’re going to hurt, make it worth the pain

Somewhere around New Boston, NH, it occurred to Meenakshi that she was approaching a Century Ride. To explain, a century ride is when you cycle 100 miles or more in one ride, usually over the course of a day. Century rides tend to be held on flat roads, like by the ocean. They’re usually planned out in detail; water breaks, mileage posts, pick-up spots, etc.

On Sunday, Meena had done none of this. In fact, when we set off with our friend Jeff on Sunday morning, she wasn’t even much in the mood to make it out to Harrisville Pond, our ultimate destination.

Here was the original plan. Jeff and Meena would ride out from Manchester to Francestown, about 22 miles and the half way point of the trip. I would drive out there and wait for them to arrive and join them for the rest of the trip. Then, once we had hit the pond, we’d double back via Peterborough and loop back around to Francestown where I’d drive us home. Mileage for them would be about 60-80. Mileage for me would be about 40.

And did I mention that next time our buddy Jeff uses the phrase “a few rolling hills” what that actually means in New Hampshire is enormous, brutal, steep climbs.

Anyway, the day was clear, the company was excellent and after stopping at the Harrisville General Store for a blintz and ice cream, and Jeff took a dip in the pond, we were refreshed enough to get back to Francestown without much effort.

Well, they were. I was beat. But not wanting to be the wimp to drive the sag wagon, I decided to ride all the way back to Manchester myself and pick the car up later. That’s about when we realized that Meena had a shot at 100.

Back road riding: Cycling in New Hampshire can be difficult, but pretty. Here, Meena enters Harrisville.

So, after Jeff took off for home because next to him I might as well have been riding a broken down tricycle, Meena decided to go for it. That meant, from New Boston to Manchester, she took every detour, long block, and extra ride down a cul-de-sac she could find to make up those extra 15 or so miles.

I dragged my literally sore butt home and waited for her to arrive. It turns out, she finished the last couple miles riding up and down a neighborhood street. When she finally showed up at home, barely able to walk up the stairs, her odometer read 100.1!

Here’s the thing: 80 is going to hurt. When she woke up the next morning, an extra 20 wasn’t going to hurt more. So, why not hit the century mark as well! If you’re going to hurt, make the pain worth it! Congrats Meena!


Nice place for a break: We stop at the Harrisville General Store for a break. The new “old” Schwinn rests against the third post from the left.

The new “old” bike holds up

A couple of weeks ago, Meena came home with a beat up hunk of junk Schwinn; rusting, tubes missing, break-lines rotted through. A friend at work used the bike years ago, but no longer. I’ve never thought much of Schwinn beyond having one when I was 14, but what intrigued me about this one was the peeling remains of a triathlon sticker on the cross-bar. If that bike competed in a triathlon, I reasoned, then perhaps I needed to re-evaluate Schwinn.

So, I took it to the local bike shop, got it cleaned, oiled, fixed and rehabbed. On Sunday, that antique proved itself on some of New Hampshire’s most demanding roads! In all, 65 miles!

Nice going Schwinn! You’ve earned a spot next to my 30 year-old Peugeot!

Follow this link for a complete album of pictures from our ride: Harrisville Pond Ride

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4 Responses to Monday round-up: The accidental century

  1. Jack Daley says:

    Nice job!!! I have stopped at the Harrisville “Mall” before too!!! We’ll plan a loop out there later in the Summer! As my friend once said about that ride, “There are some wicked downhills but unfortunately, we’ll be going the other way!”

    • Great quote Jack, we’ll have to use that! I’d love to go back. They had a sign for maple donuts but were out when we were there. That’s as good a reason as any to go back!

  2. SDR106 says:

    I really enjoy the diversity in the activities you blog about. You also keep it real and show how attainable it can be for everyone. Ex. I don’t need a $5000.00 bike to ride 65 miles, lol. Congrats to Meena on the century.

    • Thanks Scott! We trying to keep our strange little adventures as interesting as we can! And yes that’s our whole point to doing these things. Anybody can and should just get out there and test themselves. The body itself is an amazing thing, even if it’s on a junky old bike!

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