This last Saturday, I completed the Hotter N Hell 100 Bike ride which means I rode 100 miles in nearly 100 degree weather in one day. (Actually it was 101 miles–see my odometer below!) I completed the entire ride in about 8 hours, however, the actual bike riding took about six and a half hours (an hour and a half was spent at rest stops).

My parents and I before the race.
My parents and I before the race.

This experience was the first of its kind in my entire life. I am beyond proud and amazed at myself. First and foremost, I rode 100 miles in one day. Let’s take a moment to think about that… That’s insane! And awesome! Who knew a body could manage that? I’m beyond amazed. What is even more amazing is that I didn’t feel as tired as I thought I would be from the ride. I would like to thank my thighs, these beautiful big thick thighs, for helping me get through the ride. They didn’t cramp and they didn’t tire the entire time. I knew they were good for something!

See 101 miles!
See 101 miles!
My time, baby!
My time, baby!

During the 100-mile ride I got to see the beautiful countryside of the surrounding area of the city that I grew up in. I never knew it was so gorgeous around here. Many times I was caught looking (like an idiot) at my surroundings, and then would ride over a deep hole and be jarred from my day dreaming. Thankfully I didn’t get a flat tire or crash and burn!

My riding crew!

The worst part of the ride wasn’t the discomfort of being on a bike seat for almost seven hours or the slight discomfort in my arms and hands, it was certain parts of the ride that occurred in less than prime conditions. For instance there was about ten miles of newly paved road which the county had decided to use chips in. Chips are hell to a road biker. It kept making my bike shake which KILLED my ­hands. There was also a tough wind for the last thirty miles which definitely didn’t make the ride easier.

Hell's Gate. 60 Miles into the race.
Hell’s Gate. 60 Miles into the race.

What I loved about the Hotter N Hell is that it showed me that people “in shape” might not always look like what you think “in shape” should look like. There were seventy year olds and people that might be considered “overweight” or “obese” who completed the race. Many of them completed the ride before me! I loved learning that cycling is a great sport for anyone regardless of age or physical appearance.

As for the days following the race, I’m doing pretty well. Surprisingly, I wasn’t that sore. The worst effects of the race is that my last two fingers on my right hand are still tingly (somewhat numb?) and my right wrist hurts which sucks since I’m a freelancer and it makes writing a little more difficult. No worries! I’m icing it multiple times a day.

My parents finished the race too! My mom's first 100, my dad's second 100 ride.
My parents finished the race too! My mom’s first 100, my dad’s second 100 ride.

Will I ride the Hotter N Hell 100 next year? Perhaps… I’d love to see how quickly I could finish the race. This was probably one of the top five experiences that I’ve ever had in my entire life. It doesn’t feel like it really happened. I still can’t believe that I rode 100 miles in one day, and yet, I can. I’m a very determined woman and this race showed me (and anybody who thought otherwise) that I’m way more capable, physically and mentally, than some people might have been thought possible. Don’t you ever say never to me.

If you want to see my 100-mile bike ride journey, check out the video below which includes pictures and vlogs from the ride!

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