Goldilocks Provo 2016 was a race/ride that I will never forget! What is Goldilocks…You ask? “Goldilocks is a women only, non competitive, fully supported, bike ride. Whether a seasoned athlete or a beginner, with 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 mile routes, there is a distance that is ‘just right’ for everyone.”
Goldilocks Provo boasts the best route in Utah! Start in friendly Provo at Utah Lake State Park and ride through the breathtaking orchards of Santaquin, on the shore of Utah Lake, through Goshen Canyon, and around Mona Lake. The route is rural and the views are diverse and gorgeous.
It was back in April when I knew I had to do this ride…It was then that Goldilocks announced and showcased the Jerseys for this year! I was in absolute love! They were black, pink, and white and made by Moxie Cycling!! I couldn’t have been happier! They were so dang cute! I wanted them all but knew I absolutely had to have the T-back Jersey and Bolero.
Fast forward a few months and I finally registered and ordered some gear. Originally 2016 was going to be an epic year of racing and fun rides. That changed a little in May of this year when I surprisingly found out I was pregnant. The first trimester was rough to say the least…Can we say morning, or rather ALL day sickness! Luckily, I still managed to ride some but it definitely was not the same. The second trimester has been better and I was able to increase my mileage and went on some fun and long rides but I really didn’t “train” for this ride. Before I knew it, it was September and the ride was here!
The Friday day before the ride I was able to volunteer at the Moxie Cycling Company booth. Originally, packet pickup was scheduled to be outdoors at the start line…but the weather was ugly! It was freezing and pouring rain most of the day. Mad Dog Cycles was the sponsoring bike shop and graciously let Goldilocks do the packet pickup there! I had a blast meeting some of the other Moxie Cycling Ambassadors and friends and it was so nice to be indoors out of the rain.
Throughout the evening we had the opportunity to talk and show many of the women riding Goldilocks the Moxie Cycling line. Everyone, myself included was wondering what to wear. Forecast were showing lows in the mid 40’s and highs in the mid 50’s with a chance of rain. Luckily, Goldilocks Events allows you to drop clothing at every aid station so it would be easy to shed clothing if necessary. A lot of women tried on and bought the wool bolero’s. (Myself included…one cannot have too many?! Right?!) Before I knew it, it was 7:30pm and packet pick up was over and it was time to head home and get my own gear ready.
At this point I was still undecided on which bike I was going to ride. I knew my friends would be riding their TT bikes. I love my TT bike, but lately because of my growing belly aero is not so comfy. My road bike had been getting most of my ride time, but the last couple of rides it wasn’t shifting as smoothly as I like. I had expressed my concern to my husband and being the amazing man he is took it to the bike shop while I was gone and had it re-cabled and my rear-derailleur adjusted. He had also taken it upon himself to adjust my bar height (to make it comfier for me…as it was originally set in a very aggressive position) and even put on his carbon race wheels for me! He is definitely a keeper!!
Now, I just had to decide what to wear!! I grabbed about every warm clothing item I had and threw it in a bag with of course my Moxie Jersey. I figured I would wake up in the morning and go from there.
When I woke up Saturday morning it was cold and rainy. I honestly thought about just getting back in bed! 100 miles on a bike is a lot on its own but in the rain…it can be downright miserable! Begrudgingly, I got up and got myself and my stuff loaded into my car and was off to the start line. When I arrived I quickly found my friends that were also planning on riding 100 miles and we layered up in what felt like a million layers! I was downright determined not to freeze!! Unfortunately, that meant no one was going to see my cute Moxie Jersey! (I can’t wait for the rain jackets that will be out in 2017!!)
We made our way to the porta-pottys and then to the start line. The ride was originally supposed to begin at 7:00am but was moved back a half an hour to give us more daylight. We were running a little late…we snapped a quick picture and then we were off! 7:45 am start time!
The first few miles were quite packed with riders. It was fun to see all the different people out there and you could feel the excitement and also nervousness that each and every one had. The course was marked exceptionally well and the beginning even had local police support which was awesome as we did not have to stop at stoplights or stop signs. It was raining lightly but luckily due to dressing appropriately I was actually quite warm.
We quickly made it to the second aid station about 21 miles into the ride and decided we were all doing well and would continue to the next one. By this time the rain was coming down a little harder and the roads were quite wet. I was trying to stay on the wheel of our “Papa Bear” (Goldilocks reserves 10% of ride registrations for Papa Bear riders. At packet pickup they are given the coveted Papa Bear jersey, tubes and CO2. They may ride along, enjoying the event with you, we only ask they help anyone in need they may come across as they ride) and was getting quite wet from the spray of his tire. I put my head down and just continued pedaling.
We reached the 60-mile turnaround and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t contemplate turning around. But, I actually was feeling pretty good…except needing to use the potty pretty badly! Honestly, that is the worst thing about cycling when pregnant I always feel like I am going to pee my pants and the pressure can get pretty bad. This section of the course is on the west side of Utah Lake and is quite stunning and peaceful. At this point we had passed a majority of the other riders and had the road to ourselves.
I was ecstatic when we pulled into the aid station around mile 42. I literally ran to the porta-potty! The volunteers there were great! They asked us if we needed anything and helped us fill up our water bottles. They told us that we were the second, third, and fourth to arrive at that aid station. No wonder there wasn’t many others around…apparently we had passed everyone else. We were clipping by at a pretty decent pace…I think to that point we had averaged just over 20mph. Not too shabby!!
A few minutes later, we were pedaling again. We made our way into Goshen Canyon. It sure is beautiful and in the middle of nowhere!! This section was probably the hardest for me. My legs were starting to feel it and I hadn’t eaten like I should have. Plus, this is where the majority of the hills were. I actually like hills…but hills and tired legs don’t always get along! I started pounding some chews and took a Gu and just tried to hold on. Luckily, I had great friends who helped pull me through. Actually, we all had times that we struggled. That is the great thing about endurance events, you get many highs and also lows. You have to learn just to hold on, keep going, and wait for the struggle to pass. Fortunately, we all did just that!!
We hit another aid station at mile 60. I again ran for the porta-potty…Then to the snack table, where I chowed down on pretzels and Swedish Fish! Seriously, how did they know that those are my favorite things and just what I needed!
After some much needed fueling we hopped back onto our bikes and started riding again. This was probably my favorite part of the ride. We rode through some orchards in the small town of Santaquin. The rain had let up a bit and it was beautiful and I was actually feeling pretty good. It was here, that I realized I was surely going to make it through the 100 miles. (Up until this point, I had planned on going as far as I could and calling my husband if I just wasn’t feeling it).
It started to rain again around mile 72 and the wind picked up too. We all put our heads down and got to work…each trying to take a mile or two to pull. We reached the aid station at mile 81 (yay for another quick potty stop) and all pounded some snacks. This aid station was one of the major ones and they were even feeding lunch to those who wanted it. Being so close to the finish, we decided just to grunt out the last 20 miles or so and get her done. We mounted our bikes again and were off. Miles 80-90 seemed to take forever! We were still pedaling at a decent pace but I think mentally I was just done. Luckily, at mile 90 I started feeling good again! (Thank you pretzels and Swedish Fish) I was so happy that we were so close to being done and that I had done it! We were back in Provo at this point and had to deal with stop lights and stop signs, which really weren’t a big deal but it was kind of hard to stop and start again.
My Garmin beeped at mile 100 and I was overjoyed! I had just finished my first century!! Yay!! We continued pedaling on as we had just about 3 miles left. We were surrounded by other ladies that had rode the other distances and it was refreshing to see how elated they were to be almost done and to accomplish their goals despite the weather and other difficulties of the day.
My friends and I crossed the finish line about 6 hours after we started with our moving time of 5:38:36 an average of 18.2mph! We were given a beautiful necklace with a bike and Goldilocks charm on it! Can you say best medal ever!! Seriously, I love it! In fact, I have yet to take it off!!
Once we finished we snapped a few pictures, hung our bikes on the rack, and downed some yummy sandwiches, wraps, chips and cookies! Yay for food!! After we refueled we quickly got our bikes and headed home. It would have been nice to be able to hang out at the finish line a little longer but we were all cold and wet and felt guilty for being away from our families a great deal of the day.
Overall, Goldilocks Provo was a blast! In fact, it is probably one of my most favorite rides I have ever done. It was so well organized and put together. It was well marked and the volunteers and food were great. The only thing that could have been better is having No RAIN!! But, obviously they have absolutely no control over that. I honestly can’t wait to do the ride next year…actually I’m seriously debating driving down to Las Vegas in the end of October to participate in the Goldilocks ride there! Anyone want to join me?!
Felicia is a Moxie Cycling Ambassador and blog contributor. Check out her bio here!