One of the greatest aspects of cycling is the way it brings people together. This weekend cycling gave my family the chance to make a memory that will last the rest of our lives.
Less than 4 months ago, my dad didn't own a road bike and until two weeks ago we had never ridden our bikes together. My brother has had a road bike for about a year, but since we live in different cities, we've only been out together on a few short rides.
We'll this past weekend we changed all that, all three of us rode in the Tenth Annual Cap2Cap ride in Richmond, VA. Not only did we ride in it together, we completed a century together!
Prior to the ride, my dad, Warren had maxed out at 50 miles on a bike and my brother, David, somewhere around 30 miles. Needless to say they were intimidated by the 100 mile route; however, they both crushed it!
The Cap2Cap event is held each year to raise money for the Capital Trail, which is a multi-use trail that will eventually connect Richmond and Williamsburg, a distance of roughly 50 miles. This trail will be a great asset to our state.
Part of the century was on the trail and all I can say, is I want one just like it in Harrisonburg. The trail is offset from the road, has a nice wide paved surface and we'll designed and constructed bridges. It ran right along a major 45/55 mph road, but everyone on the trail was safe and smiling.
Dad, David, and I arrived at the starting point around 7am on Saturday. We were well hydrated and fueled for the big day ahead of us. None of us really knew what we were getting into, as we hadn't ridden any of the route prior to the event. The one thing I kept holding on to, was that we were only going to cover 2000 ft. of elevation the entire day. Coming from the Shenandoah Valley that was going to be a walk in the park! One thing I didn't think of though, was the impact the wind would play and the fact that there was little to no coasting during the 100 mile trip.
By noon, we were past the halfway point and rolling strong. The event had really well stocked aid stations, brimming with PB&Js, chips, bananas, water, Powerade, etc. We stopped at each of them, to make sure we were keeping up with our water intake and calorie consumption. With the high forecasted to 85 degrees and sunny, the last thing we wanted was someone to get dehydrated or cramp. Thankfully, we must have managed our food and water well because we all remained comfortable for the length of the ride.
As we pedaled we were able to joke about Dad not taking off his vest out of stubbornness, carry each other along during tough sections, encourage one another after successful climbs and all-in-all have a great time together. We will never forget the 100 miles pedaled between Richmond and WIlliamsburg and back. We'll remember the aid stations, meeting and making new friends from Richmond, Harrisonburg, Maryland, and Chesterfield, and what it felt like to do it as a family.
Cycling has made our family stronger. Not just physically, but on a personal level. We've shared an amazing exerince together and we will never forget it. All the ups-and-downs of the day, will carry on with a smile and a laugh and for that, I'm thankful.
Here's to many more rides, Dad and David!