Today was our last day of BRAN - we pedaled 75 miles from Butte to Creighton. It was an amazing accomplishment for me as it was the longest ride that I've ever made. The day started out pretty slow and I felt like I struggled at least the first 10-15 miles. The temp at 6:00 am were 75 degrees, sunny & humid with some slight head wind/crosswind. Mentally, I did not have my "A" game with me. But somewhere on the road, Mother Nature decided to befriend us with some cooler temps, clouds and a tail wind. Luckily, it didn't rain. But the change in weather definitely increased my motivation and made it possible for me to increase my speed on some of the flat stretches. It ended up being my strongest ride of the week averaging 14.1 MPH for the entire ride. And my max speed coming down the hill into the Niobrara Valley of 35.1MPH. I had to put on the hand brakes coming down as the road was a little bumpy. I was very proud when we finished. My hiney and quads will be sore for the next few days reminding me of my journey.
I truly have a new appreciation for those who ride in BRAN. I applaud those that ride the entire week and those that keep coming back year after year. We spoke with one woman who said "It's kind of an addicition." I can kind of see it, but then I was very thankful to be sleeping in my own bed last night. Thanks to Stan for picking us up in Creighton and bringing us home. Thanks to Regina & Mark for watching Toby. Thanks to Mom for checking in on Simon and the house. Thanks to Rich & Stacey for your friendship along the ride. Enjoy the rest of your week. Thanks to all of the SAG volunteers who make the BRAN week possible as well as all of the towns that we stayed in or passed through along the way. Thanks to all of those that were sending my positive vibes and cheering me on from the sidelines. It was an amazing experience of pushing oneself physically & mentally while getting to experience the beauty of Nebraska.
My biggest THANKS goes out to Drew -- thanks for being a loving, supporting and encouraging husband. For inviting me along on this journey, for believing in me that I could make it each day, for the high fives on the top of each hill, for waiting for me because I "pedal so slow." I couldn't have done it without you! You might just make a biker out of me yet.
Here are some BRAN 28 stats:
33% are 1st time BRAN Riders
with 16% of the 1st time riders 60 or older
of all the BRAN Riders - the youngest rider is 9,
6% are 19 and under
with 55% are 50 or older.
The oldest rider is 84!
One rider will be riding for the 28th time!
BRAN 28 Riders hail from 28 states and Canada.
Now it's time to take a vacation from my vacation and head back to work