I woke up at 4:30 to take Zack to work. This day was different because I HAD to stay up so I could get ready to head to the Holland 100. I sat down to eat a bowl of cereal and as I finished there was a knock on the door. It was Dan S., Dan T. and Summer. I was not even close to being ready....but I knew where eveything was and just got moving faster. We left the house at 6:02 and we got to the Herman Miller building around 6:30. That gave us plenty of time to get registered and round everyone up by 7 am.
As we left the parking lot we had Dave, Dan S., Dan T., Eric, and then Ted came out of nowhere to join up with us. We started pretty fast to get in front of the people that were just cruising. There were a lot of people and our pace line was zipping past them. Around 12 miles in Ted peeled off to the left side of the road and Eric turned around. Dan S. and I stopped at the next intersection and I called Eric to see what happened. Ted's pedal had come out and twisted, but they got it back together and decided to keep going. We pressed onward and everyone regrouped at the Pancake Breakfast about 30 miles in. Dan S. and I took off fairly quickly and were on our way just cruising.
The weather was perfect. Sun shining and a few clouds. It never really got hot until towards the end. A group passed us and Dan said "wanna" and I nodded so we picked up the pace and dropped into a group so we could ride faster with less effort. We stayed with them for a while but they were flying up the hills...and I as I am getting faster....still not that fast...so we dropped back and settled back into our pace. The next rest area was approaching when we saw the huge group stopped in the road. It had grown to more people than the one that we were riding with...but it was clear there was a crash. We didn't know anybody in the group but there was a guy down and they were asking if he could feel his legs. Bad crash....glad we were not involved....and hopeful that the guy (and anyone involved) is okay. We pressed on and got the aid station. Dave rolled in right as we stopped. Eric and Ted were a few minutes later. We refueled and started off again.
Shortly after the rest area Dan T. broke a spoke and we had to slow down....his wheel was wobbling like crazy if we were over 15 mph. About 5 miles from the next aid station I got a flat. I borrowed a tube from Dan S. and the SAG vehicle was right there so I used their floor pump. Eric and Ted passed us right there too. Off we went again and made the aid station. As we got there Dan got his wheel fixed. Dan S. had to keep moving so he was WAY ahead. Poor guy gets cramps like crazy....so finishing was all that was on his mind.....and I don't blame him. Off we go again...about 30 miles left.
I started to run out of gas.....slowing down and just wanting to be done. Thankfully we reached the last aid station as Dan T. and I caught Eric and Ted. Summer was there too. We refueled and left as a group of 5. It didn't take long before I got shot out the back.....a long climb got me and my legs were refusing to pedal hard.....I pushed what I could and kept the group in sight about 1/2 mile ahead. A group of 4 came past me and I jumped on their wheel. We closed the gap pretty quick and I just stayed with them....until a hill....then they created a gap and that train was over. Summer was with me though....and Eric and Ted were right there. Dan T. was ready to be done...so he disappeared off the front.