Harpeth River Ride 2012: Chris Horner, Peanut Butter and Bacon sandwiches, and Cone Heads

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

Last Saturday I did the Harpeth River Ride metric century with my buddy Daniel. It’s become a tradition, with this being our 4th ride.

The ride starts the Nissan North America headquarters now, so with a little corporate pull the ride is able to get Radio Shack pros to ride each year. Last year Lance Armstrong was main attraction, along with Ben King. This year it was Chris Horner and Ben King. That’s me and Chris Horner hanging out on the ride (do I look too happy to meet him?). He was a great guy. Super friendly and very humble. And he’s a dad too.

Just like last year my day started by volunteering to park cars. My cycling team, Harpeth Bicycles Racing, always volunteers to park. That meant a 4:00am alarm. I joked with mommy the night before by telling her that you “know you’re a triathlete when your alarm has presets for 3:45am, 4:00am, 4:15am, 4:30am, and 5:00am…but nothing after 6:00am.” Triathletes balancing training and family should wake up early after all.

I worked the first position on the road during parking, so it was my job to decide which vehicles should go to the parking garage and which vehicles should park across the street (roof racks). I looked very official with my orange flag. One lady said that I did my job “with flair”. So, maybe I was dancing a little. Just a little.

Looks exciting, huh?

Here’s Daniel with his serious cyclist face on before the ride – that’s Nissan headquarters in the background – all shiny and sparkly.

Eventually Daniel relaxed a little bit and we both smiled for the camera:

Now, that feels better, doesn’t it? We rode the first 20 miles pretty hard – averaging 24 or 25mph. At the first rest stop we agreed that we’d slow down and smell the roses the rest of the way. Daniel took that plan to heart:

Chillin’. I really only included this picture to drive our friend Bill crazy. He hates stopping and rest stops.

The day started off nice and cool in the low 60’s, but warmed up nicely into the low 80’s. I was glad I had packed these 82go waters along for the ride:

For short rides or race aid-stations, these really are perfect.

Here are a couple of the characters we met along the way:

This nice man made me a peanut butter and bacon sandwich at the Margaritaville rest stop. So good!

This, apparently, is a cone head wearing a cape and hiking boots. The cone head was assisting this gentlemen with a mechanical issue along the road.

This is Jonathan. He owns Harpeth Bikes and is an all around cool dude. Looks like he’s fixing someone’s bike here.

Thanks to the kind folks at Swiftwick who hooked me up with these Swiftwick Aspire 4s. EASILY the best cycling sock I’ve ever worn. No moisture and compression!? Great sock. And no, I didn’t wear my running shoes on the bike. This was after the ride.

Pretty sweet medal for a non-competitive century ride.

All in all, it was another great Harpeth River Ride, with perfect weather this year. This ride always makes me appreciate living in the middle of some of the beat cycling routes in the entire country; rolling roads, steep climbs, beautiful green pastures, and great people every mile of the way.

My highlights were meeting Chris Horner, hammering up Pulltight Hill – even though I didn’t bother wearing a timing chip (once a climber always a climber), and eating several peanut butter and bacon sandwiches.

I’ll be back again next year.

Love,

– Daddy

Training:

Saturday: Rode 64 miles

Sunday: Two hour brick: 1:10 bike + 50 minute run

Monday: rest

Tuesday: Swam 1100

Wednesday: Ran 25 minutes (I’m in the middle of a 60 hour work week, so training is scaled back a bit)