I thought I should report on the ride in case anyone is concerned that I went off course to my detriment. I stayed on the designated route and never once considered dropping out of the metric century even though it rained during most of the ride.
The course was even hillier than expected but I did not take my road bike so I had gears that would let me climb any hill. I would almost certainly have walked if I was on my road bike as I got in my "granny gear" a couple times.
The ride was not without incident. Biking down a fair sized hill on Marshall Avenue, I noticed I had little, if any, braking power from my rear brakes. My front brakes were somewhat loose which may have been a good thing because if they had gripped tightly when the rear brakes failed, I might have gone flying over the handlebars. At the bottom of the hill, I managed to stop and fiddled with the brakes with my fingers. I did not have tools because my tool kits is on my road bike. Did my fiddling help?
In about a mile, I was on a long downhill. As I began my descent, I tried the rear brakes. The brake lever hit the handlebar! No slowing at all, let alone stopping! My front brakes were even looser because I had been squeezing them so hard for so long and the wet rims were not helping. Usually one of the fastest downhill riders, I went down this hill braking all the way. I was going to start praying that I could stop at the bottom, or at least slow down enough to turn onto the road and not get hit by traffic, but then I remembered that I'm an atheist.
I managed to slow down enough to turn onto the road.
The next stop was maybe a mile away and I figured I could borrow a tool there and get my brakes in order. The steepest hill on the course was still ahead of me and there was no way I was going on that without good brakes. As luck would have it, the next rest stop was at a bike shop (Bicycle Heaven) and there was a mechanic there! He first wondered how I had made it down the last hill without getting killed and then put both brakes in perfect order. For free!
I was then able to suffer up Bellzhoover Avenue to see the sights of Mount Washington and complete the ride safely.
I thank my Spark friends for their encouragement as I needed the support at times.
are Emoticons I imagined from you along the ride.
Is one I imagined you'd give me when I finished.