I actually did it. I completed a century, a 100-mile bike ride. I feel a little bit like the guy in the commercial..."I can't believe I [rode] the whole thing!"
It all started in April 2008, when my mom and brothers gave me a new bike. The first time I took it out on the bike trails, I got lost and ended up riding almost 20 miles. I decided that, if I could accidentally ride 20 miles, I could do it on purpose, too. That summer, I just rode locally on our wonderful bike trail system.
This year, I was excited to get out on my bike as soon as possible. I think my first ride was in February. I have an aunt who's an avid cyclist and runner, and we started talking (emailing) about bikes and riding. She suggested I come and ride a leg of the Katy Trail bike ride sponsored by Missouri State Parks, one of the shorter days, you know, "only" 50 miles. I thought she was delusional, but the more I looked at the website, the more I thought about doing the whole ride. So, eventually, I did.
The exciting thing about the Katy ride was that I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it. Then I started wondering what the next big thing would be. Around that time, I got a flyer from Team in Training, and one of the events was a century ride in Arizona. I started thinking about that, and while I never got around to going to the Team in Training meeting, the century idea stuck. After coming back from the Katy Trail, I started looking on the internet for bike rides and found the Ride the Rivers Century...right in my area!