May 28th...Ride 10,000. 124 mile ride over the gravel roads of the "Driftless" region throughout northwestern Illinois. If any one every tells you Illinois is flat, slap them. And then slap them again for me. The Ride 10,000 is a 120+ gravel road ride that has, you guessed it, 10,000 feet of elevation. That's it. No big deal. So I got a friend (side not, he is no longer my friend) to saddle up with me and away we went.
Shout out to Stu Garwick, owner of the Freeport Bicycle Company (you should all go there and buy bikes and stuff from this guy), stepped up to keep the Ride 10,000 going. What took place over the next 11 hours was the hardest bike ride of my life. It was hot. It was hilly. It was long. And it was early. Other than that...I wanted to smash my head into a wall.
I had a lot of time in the saddle on the Sunday to contemplate why we do hard things. After 11 hours I came the conclusion that it's "the hard" that makes us do it. I thought my realization was brilliant until around mile 95 when it occurred to me that I had heard the whole "it's the hard" that makes us want to do it. Around mile 105 I come to the conclusion that it was Tom Hanks. I was right. So was Tom. It's the "hard" that makes it great.
That same day, my good friend was knocking out The Murph in roughly :50 mins...with 25 pound weighted vest. Equally challenging, if not more. So how does :50 mins of hell compare to 11 hours? They don't. They are different. But it's the "hard" that draws us to do these things.
I slept in on Monday. That was easy. And great.