I'm a big fan of the metric system - a few times per year I get to claim I bicycled in a "Century" ride, which usually means 100 miles but the "metric" version is only 64 miles or so. The Baltimore Bicycling Club Civil War Century ride has a full 100 mile ride, that the Kelly Kavanagh-esque riders do, but I always do the metric version. It is essentially a figured 8 shaped loop from Thurmont north to Gettysburg PA and back. The first and last 15 miles are usually pretty easy but this year's 95 degree temperatures with dewpoints in the 70s, combined with my lack of long rides with hills this year, made the last bit a real slog.
I usually skip the first rest stop at 15 miles, as I carry enough water to easily make it to the 2nd rest stop in Fairfield at the 34 mile mark, where they serve their famous tomato sandwiches along with the usual bike ride rest stop delicacies. Before I got there, a guy biking a bright orange three-wheeled bike/car passed me, as he would after every rest stop - he made great time, pedaling while reading the cue sheet and looking at his phone. For the first 25 miles or so, the sun mercifully stayed behind the clouds and temperatures were in the low 80s.
The middle 30 miles or so include climbing around the Liberty Ski hill and then (after the rest stop) climbing into and through the Gettysburg battlefield - a lot of steep short hills. The sun was in full force by then but there is a decent amount of shade along that portion. The last rest stop was at mile 48 and I was feeling great. As the old saying goes "man feels great, God laughs."
At about mile 52 you turn south into shadeless farmland, directly into the winds blowing the hot air up from some fetid swamp in Georgia. The last 12 miles was one of those stretches were you start thinking how nice it would be to get hit by a car and have an air conditioned ambulance take you the rest of the way. I slogged it out, going slower and slower - but I wasn't being passed, so I think everyone was feeling the heat.
At mile 64 I finally reached the start/finish, and had another tomato sandwich, a few gallons of water and some deelicious peaches while listening to a blue grass band. But all the cyclists were kind of grumbling - in the 95 degree heat it was very apparent that something was missing. Until, lo and behold, what to our wondering eyes finally appeared??
Yes - the Antietam Dairy truck finally showed up and a cup of salted caramel nut cooled down my core temperature enough to load the bike back on the Subaru and make the long drive.