Foxy's Diary

An account of riding Foxy's Fall Century, by Lindsay Whitelaw

Lindsay Whitelaw and her Dad
Lindsay Whitelaw and her Dad

Hello Davis Bike Club!

You don’t know me, but I know you.  In October of 2008, I rode the Foxy Fall Century with my dad as my first century ride  (and yes I got a symbolic blue water bottle to prove it).  This year, I rode the century again.  Anyway, after the dust has settled, I thought I’d send you the wrap up emails I sent to family and friends on what it was like for me to ride your century.  You don’t have to read it, but I thought I’d send it anyway.  Here are the two emails I sent out (one was FF 2008, one was FF 2010)!  Big change between the two rides.  Until I ride again~

Lindsay Whitelaw


Date: Saturday, October 18, 2008, 6:07 PM

This is the true story of the events that took place Saturday October 18, 2008 in a little town known as Davis, California.  On this day, at around 6:30 am, 1,500 bicycle riders showed up at a neighborhood school with helmets decked out, colorful jerseys galore, and ready to hit the road.  Why you may ask?  Because today was the day for the Foxy Fall Century and they were ready to ride.  One of those riders was me.

Now I know I hadn't ridden much lately...once in the past 6 weeks...but i said id do that’s what i set out to do. Surrounded by seasoned riders, I stepped out into the dark morning determined to finish....And here's just how I completed my first century ride:

Mile 1: It's chilly, I'm geared...and fully energized for the ride.  I look around and notice I am not seeing many women riders.  This probably should have been the first sign that I am way too excited for this ride.

Mile 15: I have solidified myself between my dad and three of his coworkers.  This will do.  They can pull me.  My own little quad pod of power. We draft up behind a group of 15 that must have been part of some riding group.  They all have blue jerseys on.  My dad says, we are going 25 mph.  Now this may seem slow in any residential area.  But we are hauling.  My blue angels can pull me as far as they want.....but they go faster....and they are off just as quickly as they came.

Mile 25: First rest stop. It's a party of multicolored jerseys and happy faces.  First thought: I wonder how happy they are going to be towards the last stop.  I check out the food...grapes will do.  Oh wait what? time to go? boo...I was just starting to enjoy the party.

Mile 30: End of the quad pod.  Entrance hills.  Um, there is no way I am going to keep an 18 mph pace going up these hills....wait a second, i thought this ride only had one hill....starting to be upset at whoever decided these didn't classify as hills

Mile 40: Hills Hills Hills.  My dad called them moguls or molehills.  I am ready to soccer kick the next mole I see. Stupid moles creating hills.

Mile 59: After hearing "this is the last hill" for about 4 of the last hills...I'm beginning to think I am being lied to...I now want to soccer kick my dad.  At this point my censoring is slowly going...I turn to dad..."I want to face kick you right now"....laughter on his part...not so much on mine

Mile 61: Second rest stop.  Between the food and water I'm happy again.  I start to hear riders talking about the infamous "Cardiac Hill". I go into little engine mode...I think I can.. I think I can...I think I can.

Mile 65: We get a hill. Ok so this is hills?  Im inching my way up at about 6 mph....this is where I no longer am censoring myself...I begin to mumble a series of phrases consisting of "fricken no way" "bye dad" and "seriously no" the top...I learn this is not cardiac hill.....mumbling continues

Mile 68: Weeeee there is a god...and he created downhills

Mile 75ish: I look goes "thats the hill we have to go over"...I contemplate if it's possible to hitchhike up the hill....the next 4 miles are the pits....i turn to my dad  "i am sooooo done with hills"

Mile 83: the last rest stop....i am told " dont worry you have just one more hill"...i hear myself mumbling "web of lies"....and i turn the corner to see this hilll...."no seriously i am soo done with hills"

Mile 90: now the muscles in my back shoulders are really starting to strain....I learn the ride is actually 106 miles...umm hellooo, century = 100...not 106....that means 16 miles left and I'm spent.

Mile 95: ok break, 2 minutes...I've mentally checked out...I am now a drone...a cycling drone

Mile 106: done!! i have never been so happy to see davis in my life...good old flat davis...good old face is caked with salt...but I'm smiling...

And so at the end of the day, i did it just like that little engine that could.  And I'm now on a month boycott from any hilly bike rides.  But I gotta start training....for next years Foxy Fall.


On Oct 18, 2010, at 12:26 PM wrote:

It's now become an annual event...for me at least.  The Davis Bike Club's Annual Foxy Fall Century.  It's where I found myself Saturday morning  buried in a sea of colorful jerseys and clicking bike enthusiasts.  And once again I found myself saying, " oh man I should have trained."

Because riding 30-some miles every 2 weeks doesn't count as training.  And running on the tredmil in the evening is not exactly "biking".  But who could deny the crisp fall air begging me to jump on my bicycle and ride forward with my new 2,000 friends?  Apparently, I''m not one to say no.

So what goes through my head as I ride the Foxy Fall? Let's see:

Mile 1: Ok.  I can do this.   I get behind Jeff and Beth on their tandem.  They cut the wind and Beth's happy chatter will make this ride easier.  Time to wake up.

Mile 14: Buried in a line of about 10 riders, we are going about 24 mph.  If only they can just pull me to the first rest stop.  Three people from the front is a lady...and I start noticing she has the BEST IDEA EVER.  Every time the first biker pulls out of the line, she "kindly" lets them get in before her.  Basically causing a rotation of the first three riders and giving her a little tripod of amazing pulls.  Works for me.  Let's be honest, I can't pull 24 mph...but I can ride behind while they do :).  I just hope the next rest stop comes before we fall out of this group.

Mile 20: Ugh. Wind.  Come on, this is supposed to be the easy part of the ride.  Oh no...  Must save my energy.   Don't panic, don't panic.

Mile 25: First rest stop.  I have to use the rest room..ASAP.  And the best part about being one of maybe 3 women on the ride at this point: no line at the restroom.   I grab a couple grapes but the rest stop is short.  Back on the bike and we're off!

Mile 30: The beginning of the hills.  Only...these aren't as hard as I remembered them.  Maybe I am in better shape than I thought...or...the hills shrank.  Yeah...definitely shrinking hills...

Mile 35: I look behind me at my dad.  This is huge.  My dad had to pull me the entire time on my first century.  My adrenaline spikes a'll help power me to the second rest stop.

Mile 55: ok there is a second rest stop right?

Mile 58: where the heck is the second rest stop?!!?

Mile 61: Finally we get a break.  Mentally I check know what comes hate this next part.  I don't want to lose the adrenaline so I tell my dad I'm ready to go...he agrees.  Let's do this.

Mile 65: The hill.  I sound like my dad.  This is the hill that killed me the first year.  The one that made me hate my life just a little bit.  The one that I just about started crying on.  But this year:  I was going to make the hill cry.  I. Will. Crush. You.  with every peddle.  Better luck next time stupid hill.

Mile 68: weeeeeeeeee. for every uphill, there is a downhill...

Mile 70: I start scanning the view for Cardiac Hill.  Just don't panic.

Mile 75: My dad proposes the "chunk" method of conquering Cardiac Hill.  Basically taking the uphill in chunks thereby making it easier to set short attainable goals and making the hill a handful of small steep hills.  I scratch that idea. I'm using the "jump" method.  You know, the kid at the pool who doesn’t test the water.  The kid who just jumps in without a second thought if it's a good idea or not?  Yeah, the jump method.

Mile 77ish: I can't believe I am at the top.  Waiting for my dad, I start asking riders as they pass me.  Hey, is this the top?  No one seems to know but they say "well the sign says downhill from here".  I don't believe it.  Did I really just dominate Cardiac hill? 

Mile 78ish: weeeeeee...yessss....i.....diiiidddddd!!!!!

Mile 83: The last rest stop.  I feel like I'm being stared at as I grab a handful of grapes.  Maybe it's cause I'm the only woman rider around?  Maybe they don't believe I have conquered as much as them?  My smile grows.  See ya boys, I have the rest of the course to conquer.  Let's go dad.

Mile 87: We come across a tandem.  If a bike is a greyhound bus, a tandem is a monorail.  We grab on the back for the next 3 miles and take a break from pulling ourselves.

Mile 99: My back hurts.  And I hate that this century is not 100 miles.  WHO ADDS 6 MILES TO A CENTURY?!

Mile 105: My dad tells me we are super close to making this ride our personal best.  You can't do that to me.  I start hauling.  I'm just about the only person I know who would be disappointed with riding the last 106 miles if it wasn't my personal best.  If I am going to do this, I'm going to do this right.  I pull 19 mph  the last mile of the ride.

Mile 106: DONE!!!   Hello new personal best, goodbye self doubt.

This year's Foxy Fall brought out the best in me.  A new personal best.  A story of triumph.  A story of "I am so glad I have a year til I have to do this again".

"Fathers be good to your daughters.  Daughters will live like you do.."-John Mayer :)


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