Sometimes we ride just about anything that pops up on the radar, when it comes to the end of the cycling season. Fair on the Square takes place in Lumpkin, Georgia, and all of the proceeds go to the historical society in the area. It was my first time doing this particular rolling 100k, so I thought what the heck. Of course, there is always a story.
The event took place about 45 miles from where I live. I thought I’d get up about 7 AM to make my way there, get a bite to eat, relax while setting up my bike, talk to some friends, the usual stuff. When I open my eyes, the first thing that I thought was how rested I felt . . . then I noticed the daylight outside my bedroom window. My stomach sank. Moving to my phone, plugged up in the kitchen, I noticed that it was 7:41 AM. Power outage! Crap! Well, no time to hesitate! Then my phone rang. It was a friend of mine wanting to know if I was almost there. “No! I just got of bed!” He told me that he’d register me to save time.
I put a kit on so fast that I’m just glad it matched. No time for breakfast. No time to fill bottles. Load bike. Grab the rest of my gear. Go! It’s always so stressful to me not to be somewhere way ahead of time. I never have liked being right on time . . . I need a time cushion. I’m a very organized person (to put it mildly), and I need the extra time to do my routine. The way there was mainly highway and Interstate, but I needed a series of unbroken green lights. My prayer was granted, and I arrived about 12 minutes before the start. Another prayer goes up: please let my contacts be an easy task this morning. Granted. Now, it was a dump and go of shammy cream and a dash to a water cooler, near the start line. The whole time I’m moving I’m running through a mental checklist: bottles, food, helmet, vest and sleeves (start temp was 47 degrees with a bit of wind) . . . oh crap! my shoes.
By the time I made to the start line, the invocation had begun. My friend who had registered me was waiting, along with some other dudes with whom I ride a lot. With a few hand throws in the direction of people calling my name, we were off. Yeah, no warm-up and no stretching. Being a 100k ride, I knew that we would be hot coming out of the gate . . . we were. During my bottle fill up, I had also grabbed a few things at the start line: banana, granola bar, and a cookie . . . my breakfast. So the first 3-4 miles, I was eating breakfast and adjusting myself. All-in-all, it worked out. Our group was dead on the 3 hour mark at the finish, which I thought was decent because of the amount of rolling hills.
Fair on the Square is a small event, with a little over 100 riders, but Lumpkin does a nice job. The little town has great people who are friendly and welcoming. We had an after-ride barbecue and ice-cold Omaha beer (a local brewing company). I’m sure that I’ll do the ride again, but this time I’ll also set my phone alarm (which is strange because I always do . . . well, except for this time).