We started bright and early at 6:30 AM (I was a little late though - sleep is just too precious sometimes) meeting at a gas station about a mile away from the starting line. We knew early on that it was going to be a b-e-a-utiful day, and it was. Fortunately, we got most of the hill climbing out of the way about 12 miles in, which is good because I'm not sure I could have climbed any hills by the end of the ride. The event organizers set up rest stops about every 12-15 miles stocked with everything a rider could want - water, gels, bananas, cookies, peanut butter?, and uh, pickles.
Some pedaling and sweating ensued and eventually (after about six hours of riding time) I could smell the ocean air. It was an awesome sight coming around a bend and seeing Haystack Rock out in the distance.
Once I crossed the finish line I searched out the family. We celebrated by going to McDonald's and ordering everything on the menu (almost).
I completed my first century ride (100 miler), and I had a blast. I rode with a great group of guys and would do it again in a heartbeat ... or maybe in a couple months.