This trend of centuries continued for several weeks when a fellow rider suggested we do an “EPIC ride”. He was in the U.S. for work and was delayed going back to his home in Germany and threw the idea out as a final ride prior to his departure. Now his idea of an epic ride was 260 km (~162 miles). The 3 of us thought about it for a little while and decided to give it a try. The rest as they say is history. Challenge complete (162 miles). Thankfully, we had enlarged the group by then and several others rode 100 miles that day, which helped out a great deal. In the end, only 5 of us were crazy enough to complete the distance on a day with a heat index over 100 degrees. The trend of centuries continued until the restrictions began to lift and we needed to alter the standard Saturday 100 distance. In all, 22 centuries took place with a variety of riders and varying routes, paces, and temperatures. Interestingly enough, we were able to ride each of these in succession without any threat of extreme weather, which is very hard to believe, especially in Charleston.
Through it all, a number of individuals have joined our small group and have become consistent riders as we have continued to expand in size. While COVID often takes on a negative perspective, there are many positives for me that have come from this era of isolation. I have formed such great friendships with these people. Not only the 2 others that started in the initial group, but also those who have joined over the course of the year. I have taken the time as others have to really get to know one another and learn about careers, family, where they are from, etc. We have spent so much time together that our group rides have become more like a family gathering than just a bunch of folks riding together. For me, it has been more about these relationships and what I’ve learned from everyone else that has been the most enjoyable.