Above: Sunrise over Cocoa Beach, Florida.
20th Intracoastal Waterway Century Ride
My husband and I have been training the Palm Beach Team in Training cycle team since May to participate in the 20th Intracoastal Waterway Century Ride. The actual ride took place on Sunday, October 26th in Cocoa Beach. We left on Friday morning along with our daughter, her best friend, our son, and his girlfriend. We also gave a ride to 3 of our cycle team members and their bikes. No, we don't own a bus, we had to take two vehicles to get all the bodies, bikes and luggage up to Cocoa Beach.
Kennedy Space Center
After arriving in Cocoa Beach, we met up with other cycle team members at our hotel, so we could check-in before heading out to NASA. My husband and I first went to the Kennedy Space Center two years ago when we did the 18th Intracoastal Century Ride. Our son and daughter, along with most of our cycle team members, had never been to NASA. We got their late in the afternoon, but luckily a one day ticket was actually good for 2 days of admission, if used within 7 days. We did the more touristy stuff on Friday afternoon and returned Saturday morning to take the bus tour around the grounds of NASA.
The space shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to launch on November 16th so we got to see the shuttle, or at least the solid rocket boosters and fuel tank, on the platform. Prety dang cool. We also saw quite a few gators on the drive to NASA. We also saw a few bald eagles at NASA; interesting bit of trivia, Florida has the second largest bald eagle population in the USA. Alaska is number one - two extreme ends of the country and two extremes in weather.
Windy Bike Ride
We had been watching the Cocoa Beach weather report everyday during the week leading up to the century ride. We checked the latest report, prior to leaving for Cocoa Beach, on Friday morning. The temperature was scheduled to be a low of 58 degrees, with a high of 76, clear skies, little to no chance of rain and winds with a maximum speed of 6 MPH. We lucked out with the rain, it rained most of the day on Friday, and a little bit on Saturday, but it was clear skies the day of the ride. Temperatures in the early morning were around 56 degrees, but by the time the ride started at 8 AM, it was a bit warmer.
The forecast for the wind speed changed by Saturday to be 9-12 MPH. YIKES! It felt like we were riding into the wind for most of the day. The last 24 miles of the 102.5 mile bike ride, when we were the most tired, were directly into a nasty headwind. Except for the two hammerheads on our team, who finished hours before everyone else, we all took advantage of all 5 rest stops along the route. It was a beautiful bike ride. All up and down the water, through Spanish moss covered tree lined neighborhoods. Beautiful temperature made for perfect bike riding. The last few miles of the ride were in a beautiful neighborhood along the water. Unfortunately, we were all so freaking tired due to the high wind speeds, that we didn't really get to enjoy the view.
My head kept dropping down, and I was weaving all over the road like a drunken sailor, good thing there wasn't any traffic on this road. I was riding by myself at the very end, everyone else was dropping like flies, so I couldn't draft behind anyone when I needed it most. Oh well. I don't even think I crossed the official finish line, the parking lot where our truck was parked was a few feet before the finish line. I made a beeline to the truck so I could launch my bike and rip off my cycling shoes. Luckily this was a bike ride, not a race, so it didn't matter that I stopped a few feet short of the finish.
I grabbed my gym bag and headed towards the Civic Center so I could change into civilian clothes and collect my Team in Training medal and 100 mile pin. The 20th Intracoastal Century Ride marks the 3rd century ride I've done with TNT to help raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - cool beans!
Lynn Smythe AKA the Bike Diva