Most of the time, I think I’m ready.
Like, right now, sitting on my couch drinking an appropriate-for-the-night-before-an-athletic-endeavor amount of beer with my feet up watching basketball, I think I’m ready. Packing up what felt like a literal ton of food earlier today, I felt ready. Picturing myself coasting into my hotel parking lot in Santa Cruz tomorrow, I feel ready.
Sometimes I don’t feel ready. Wednesday afternoon, I managed to work myself into a frenzy about Devil’s Slide (the one serious climb and the sketchiest bit of road on the ride — at least, that’s what I’m told). I don’t want to admit how much time I spent looking at maps and watching YouTube videos of bikes riding through the new-ish tunnels and looking up every hill I’ve ever ridden to see if I’d done anything equivalent, but let’s just say I ended up finishing quite a bit of work from home later that night.
But that’s the exception.
I am not sure I have the right to feel ready, that I’ve done the work to ride a century-and-a-half, when I’ve never done a century, when I’ve never ridden in a group or a pack like this, when I don’t really have any idea what I’m getting myself into.
I’ve had some good rides, though. I’ve been consistently riding more weekly and monthly mileage than I was capable of conceptualizing back in January. Last week I accidentally rode 60 miles instead of 45 because I failed to read a ferry schedule properly, and it felt like a casual cruise. I rode over the Golden Gate Bridge and didn’t panic (much) for the only time ever. I’ve gone up Twin Peaks at the tail end of a weekend of tough rides, still climbing strong with a lot of miles on my legs.
Barely more than two years ago, I rode my bike clipped in with a group for the first time. It was sort of a fiasco and I could not really imagine it getting much better.
Tomorrow I’m going to ride to Santa Cruz. On Sunday I’m going to ride back.
I think I’m ready.
Most of the time.