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Muddy Waters 100 and the Making of a Road Rider

August 16, 2007 (Winnipeg, Manitoba) – I want to thank the organizers of the 14th annual Muddy Waters 100 for hosting a great century ride on August 12. I would also want to pass along a story of one rider who had to face two major challenges on this ride that started just north of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

My son Nick took up road riding last year, as a way of improving his mountain biking stamina. He picked up a new Cannondale last fall at a bike shop in the south end of town. He told me that he had a goal of completing a 100-mile ride this year. Nick read about the MW100 and registered to ride. What a great goal to encourage training!

On the day of the ride, I decided to take out my 25-year-old Trek road bike and ride the 55km leg of the ride. This was a good way to see my son on his adventure. My thanks go to Bikes and Beyond, for restoring my old bike earlier this year. I started the ride with the 55k group. I noticed the peloton of 100-mile riders coming up quickly from behind me. As they passed, I saw my son at the back of the pack.

I picked up my speed to 35 km/h and joined the peloton. After a few kilometers I caught up to my son and was planning to ride with him for a while, but the pace was too fast for me to maintain for a long period of time. After about 10 minutes my son said that his day was done and suddenly pulled out of the pack. His left pedal crank had fallen off and he could only pedal with one foot! I pulled over with him to assess the situation. Since his bike couldn’t be fixed quickly, I invited him to take my old Trek, and catch the lead pack of riders.

Nick was about 1 km behind when he took off to catch the group. What a chase – reaching 55km/hr he caught the lead group and rode with them for a large part of the ride. This was a huge accomplishment!

I ended up riding the one-crank bike 15 kms back to the parking lot. My day was done, but I did get to see my son participate with some of the best riders in our city. I looked forward to hearing the rest of his story when we linked up later.

Another challenge for Nick was hydration. I only had one water bottle on my bike, so that was the only water resource he had. The peloton was not stopping for breaks. Eventually thirst and dehydration caught up with Nick and he fell behind the group. Another group of 10 riders asked him to join him and gave him a couple of water bottles. Nick road the rest of the century with riders from this group and finished the 100-mile ride in just over five hours. He lost 10 pounds during the ride, but gained the experience of a road rider – a darned good one!

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