Rapha Womens 100k Challenge

aka Practice for Long Days on the Tandem

Yesterday, I completed the Rapha Womens 100km Challenge – I cycled for just over 100km.  The purpose of the challenge is to encourage women around the world to get out and ride.  We didn’t have a local ride, and I had trouble convincing any of the ladies I ride with in Greenville to do it the day after a tri (Washington Sprint Tri was Saturday).  Luckily, I talked Andrew into riding it with me on the tandem.  We figured it would be good practice for the thru-hike.  Well I’m glad to say I survived my first ever metric century, and the longest ride we’ve put in on the tandem.

It let us test out our new shoe and pedal setup – Pearl Izumi Project X MTB shoes and Shimano SPD M-424 pedals.  We chose MTB shoes because they have tread which allows us to walk around comfortably during breaks from riding.  These shoes also have a carbon sole, which provides a lot of support for long days.  The pedals we chose have a SPD binding in the middle of a plastic pedal, so the platform is large enough to be comfortable for long days.

As for the ride itself, it was a ton of fun!  The weather was perfect, and the miles went by quickly.  The route we chose took us north out of Greenville through Pitt and Martin counties into Parmele, NC.  Parmele was one of those towns that looked like it had a lot going on 50 years ago, but not since then.  The lack of cars on the road made for great riding!  The last 10 miles were rough, but I think a few adjustments to my gear setup and it’ll be perfect!

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