Last weekend, I did the Civil War Century metric distance. Yes, it took me a full week to get this report up. It’s been a busy week. Anne suggested it to me, so it seemed like a good idea. I needed to get in at least 60, and 60 miles on your own is decidedly no fun. Doing it on a supported training ride is much better, and while I didn’t need more than 60, being trained for a longer ride never hurt anyone.
Here’s the description of the ride:
On this ride you get to look at the mountains, not climb them, as you meander along pleasant country roads through the lush rolling farmland of the Monocacy and Carroll Valleys to Gettysburg and back. As a bonus, you’ll cross or pass 4 covered bridges on this route while doing 2,625 feet of climbing.
That was pretty much all I knew. Except that I didn’t really read any of the description except for the feet of climbing. And the covered bridges. Covered bridges are pretty fancy after all. So as the ride went along, I was pretty surprised we went into Pennsylvania.
Then I was surprised we were in Gettysburg. I guess I was thinking Gettysburg the town, not that we would be riding through the actual park. These advertisements are never right, after all. I thought “We might go near Gettysburg (yes, I know this is in PA), but not actually into the park, right?” Wrong.
This was my last long ride before Augusta and I had goals that I didn’t quite hit. I was slower than I wanted, but it was an exceptionally hot day, and I finished feeling pretty okay, which is the most important part. Also, there was ice cream at the finish, which made me feel even better.
However, I did see something that nightmares are made of and you should stop reading right here if you don’t want to hear about it and skip this paragraph by scrolling down to the bolded text.
So as I was riding along, minding my own business, I smelled something familiar. Road kill. One of the joys of growing up in the country, I guess. Anyway, I started looking down, not wanting to ride over it. And as I looked to my right, there it was. The Nightmare Deer. Apparently, a deer either drowned or died and then got caught up in the massive flooding we had recently. And somehow, it managed to get wedged between the edge of a bridge and the guardrail. With its head up, staring at the road. Except that its eyes were long gone thanks to scavengers and there was some sort of… something… hanging out of its mouth. NIGHTMARES. It was horrifying. Do not recommend.
Nightmare is over.
This was an exceptionally well organized ride and one super awesome thing was the sag wagons that could be called. And on a hot day, they were needed. The team manning the station was incredible. We watched them take calls, radio out to drivers, and move their little magnets representing the drivers all over the course map. Very cool.
I will definitely keep the Civil War Century on my list for future training. Given the hills on the century, I think that’s out for good, but the metric was an absolutely fantastic ride.
And ice cream.