help_outline Skip to main content
New header with picture from PS training 

RWBTC is a recreational bicycling club devoted to the promotion of friendly cycling in the Redlands, CA area.

We cater to riders of all levels and abilities.

25 Years of RWBTC

My First Century on a Bicycle
Author Last Post
The year was 1997. I had been a member of our club for about 2 years (?) at the time. I heard about this great century ride, everyone in our club was talking about it. I started asking some of my riding buddies if they thought that I could do something like this. Everyone that rode with me assured me that I could. So, on a whim, I signed up for the Mojave by Moonlight century ride.

I remember all the training; something like what some of you are going through for the Tour De Palm Springs century ride right now. I remember all of the planning too. Because this century was at night, I had to get lights. And GOOD ONES TOO (!) because I was told that there were stretches that we'd be going downhill, in a pace line, and makin' good time! And, to do that with any margin of safety, you HAD to be able to see.

I remember having my doubts and some second thoughts, but mainly I had a lot of anticipation for what lay ahead, and for many days leading up to the ride I could only imagine what the ride would be like. I showed up early on the evening of the ride and checked-in to the motel in whatever town it was (I forget now). I also remember someone teasing me about "not having a life". It was his way of trying to explain why someone would show up 2-3 hours ahead of the crowd. Then one of my riding buddies spoke up to the heckler and said: Siegfried "has a life". Because he owns his own business, he can set aside time for special occasions like this one. You, on the other hand, just have a "job".

I didn't respond. Not wanting to spoil the evening, I busied myself with the preparation for this momentous occasion, letting them settle it amongst themselves as they saw fit.

I had arrangements to ride with Mike Verner (spelling?) and others in the level 4 group. I had just recently reached the level 4s and sometimes it was all I could do to just hang-on to someones wheel! Other times I was leading the pack, although very briefly. I was getting stronger every week though, and on that day, I was feeling really good. So, I was hopeful.

Darkness fell upon the desert floor so thick, you couldn't see very far at all. Now I knew why they had stressed to bring good lighting! Everyone got ready, and we were off!

After a good warmup, the hills came. And the hardest part about riding uphill in the dark is that you can't see the top of the hill. I remember thinking to my self "this hill must go on forever!" Then I remembered being warned about this as well, so I hunkered down and peddled, finding my own rhythm, and trusting my mentors (my fellow riders) that were around me. When we reached the top, I was so amazed! Sure, it was a challenge, but because I had taken the advise freely given to me by my friends (go RWBTC!) I had enough left in my gas tank to charge down the hill and to the halfway mark where we'd be stopping for a lite snack, refill our bottles, and charge again, to the finish line and beyond!

OK, maybe not "beyond" LOL. However, I remember the sensation we all felt as we were nearing the city lights once again. It was an eerie feeling, after being on back roads with no streetlights for so long. Such emotions were flooding my mind and body. The sense of accomplishment, achievement, and again those lights. Plus, the fact that I not only finished my first century, but finishing with the 4s! I was so stoked! And I knew then that I could NEVER have done it without such a great club as MY club. The RWBTC. Thank you all for such a great time, for such great support, and for being such a great group of cyclists!
 
Return to Forum