Last Saturday, August 17th, the family and I rode the Anthem Moonlight Ride in Richmond. I get all the Sports Backers emails since I've done the half marathon a few times, and we thought the moonlight ride looked fun. The boy has really gotten into riding, and we even bought him a road bike.
There are two options for the race, 17 miler and 8 miler. We chose the 17 miler since we ride long most of the time. Seventeen miles on a bike is way easier than a 17 mile run!! The kiddo was on board, so we registered a few months back (before the increase of course!!) and then we started training.
The kiddo spent some time at my parents house this summer, so I was a little concerned with him being able to complete the ride. I had nothing to worry about! He did great (or so I hear...)
So the race!
For the race you are required to have a front and back light for your bike. We all had back lights, so I picked up some front lights, no biggie right? I assumed we'd be riding in the city, so just any light would work...yeah, not so much...
The race started around 8:00, and in waves. We put ourselves in the "casual rider" category, so we ended up being in the 3rd wave, which was fine, but next year we think we'll be able to move up at least one. People always seem to over estimate their abilities, which makes it difficult for others that are in that category. Kinda frustrating. I don't think it's as difficult when you're in a running race, but on a bike, it can be a challenge.
Another thing about the waves...
We couldn't really hear how to line up with our wave. We didn't know where to line up and how, we just kinda started following people. Not sure how they could change that, but it was hard to hear what to do! We figured it out obviously.
|About to get started!|
Soon after we started, the boy and hubby were ahead of me, I couldn't catch up to them with all the bikes in the way, it was kinda frustrating. The hubby's friend (M) was with us to, so we all tried to stay together. I figured I'd keep the hubby and kiddo in my sight, and maybe we'd catch up later when it thinned out a bit.
Although the ride never left Richmond, there were not always street lights (this is something I find so weird in VA, no street lights, in the city!!!), so it got dark. Fast. I lost the boys. I lost M. I was alone. I was only about 3 miles in. In a matter of minutes, M was beside me. I told him I'd like to stay together if we can, that way I have someone to talk to! He agreed he'd stay with me. Although I'd much rather have my son and hubby with me, I'd take M, at least I knew someone!
The course was awesome, so flat compared to what I ride here!! I was in heaven! A lot of the course was the half marathon course that I've ran twice, so at least it was kinda familiar, even if it was dark. We rode through a park and they had the first pit stop, I think it was around 7 miles. I don't know, I had to pee, so it didn't matter. M and I pulled off, peed, got a snack, took some water and headed out again.
|Seriously the BEST SNACK EVER!!!!!|
The weather was kinda crappy, it rained on us almost the entire time. I've never rode my bike in the rain, but it was kinda refreshing to have the rain. Cooled us off for sure, we just had to be careful not to slip!
The ride was fun, and I'd like to do it again next year. I wish I could've rode with my family, especially since it was J's first official organized bike ride. The hubby said he did great, he never complained and had a blast the whole time talking to everyone along the way, just wish I could've been there to witness it all. He was on cloud nine all night, and the next day. What a huge accomplishment to finish a 17 mile bike ride at 12 years old! I didn't even know about those things when I was 12!!
The after party was pretty awesome too! They gave all the riders two pieces of pizza, drinks, ice cream, and beer for the adults! We stayed and ate, chatted, then loaded up and came home. We didn't get back home until midnight, but it was all worth it, we had a blast! Thanks for putting on a great race Sport Backers!
Things I will do different next year?
A brighter front light. I didn't realize that it was going to be that dark in the city. I mean seriously, I needed a spotlight in some places!!
I'll probably ride my mountain bike next year, or take the clip ins off the road bike. I'm not an expert on clipping in and out, so it made me super nervous the whole time. Of course, maybe next year I'll be a little more confident so I won't have to worry about them.
Have you ever done a night ride?
It kinda freaked me out a bit! I'll be more prepared next year!