Two years ago I tried to do bike the
limits but failed. The problem was that I got a flat tire about
mile 81 that I wasn't ready to fix. I had to drop out. Ever since
then I'd wanted to be able to say "I rode a 100 mile ride". San
Jose Bike Party has an annual Bike The Limits Ride so this was a
natural way to do it. This years route was 101 miles. I didn't
sleep well the night before the ride, but I got there in plenty of
time for the start.
Katie started things off by
explaining that probably we'd get stretched out over the route,
with everybody riding at their own pace. She acknowledged Mike for
putting the route together. She reminded us that it would be a hot
day so "drink water before you're thirsty and eat before you get
Maybe a few more people showed up
after I took these pictures, but not that many. It was just a
few minutes later that the ride started, right about 8:00 AM.
We started by going south and
west, headed in the general direction of Los Gatos. For the
first ten or twenty miles we rode as a group, but during that
time I was mostly struggling to keep up. Then we passed through
a town center where some people stopped. After that I was on my
own for a while. It wasn't that long before I was just following
the directions on bike trails and scenic rural roads.
By this time it was a treat to see
someone else on the ride. It was partly a relief that I was
still on the right road, but also nice to see friends.
John and I settled on about the
same pace somewhere in the Los Gatos area. We rode up Blossom
Hill for miles and miles. We stopped at a Togos that was
somewhere near mile 42. By this time my water bottles were empty
and I was hungry. Yeah, I'd had a big breakfast but that was
many miles ago already.
Anthony joined us not that long
after lunch. He to was planning to go the distance. We stopped
briefly on the Mary St. bicycle bridge.
By this time we were on Foothill
Expressway or Junipero Sierra. Didn't enjoy passing this
construction site. Felt mashed in with the cars. :-( It was the
nearest thing to something to complain about on the whole route,
which made it a very good route. There were no mistakes in the
The next place we took pictures
was the top of the Dumbarton Bridge. By this time my face was
feeling the sun.
We got to this stop just as the
Biker Chicks and their friends were leaving.
When I put a link to this page on
facebook Nat wrote: "It looks like
everyone saw the couple & their mother/mother-in-law at
the water stop in the refuge after the bridge. I wonder what
their version of the afternoon's events were. "First came some
tall riders in Rapha, then more in regular spandex but still
on road bikes, then the circus came with all sorts of bikes
and outfits and cameras on their heads.""
The guy in the black got to the
stop just as we were leaving...
More beautiful trails...
Somewhere on Piedmont Tony felt
the call of home. He was near there, his knee hurt, and that was
it. We found out later that if you include his preride to get to
the start he to had gone 100 plus miles that day. For us that
milestone was still in the future. John and I kept pedaling.
We stopped briefly to admire
IzBelle's artwork on this utility box.
By this time I was wondering if
we'd get done before dark.
This is our official "finishers"
picture. Thank you Jarek! It was about 7:35 PM.
That pizza tasted so good! Nice to
see other riders again to. There were quite a few other riders
there when we got there, but it took me a while to recover
enough that I wanted to take pictures. By then the crowd was a
lot thinner. Many had finished as much as two or three hours
before we did.
Meanwhile, Mario and Rob watched
bikes and kept a lookout for more finishers. After a while it
started to look like John and I were the last of the people who
completed the whole loop.