The First Century Day

Date: March 2nd 2017

From/To: Tallahassee FL/Panama City Beach FL

Daily Mileage: 115 miles

Total Mileage: 315 miles

Conditions: Overnight rain and storms, sunny throughout the day with predominant wind from the north

It was 2:50AM, I woke up on the hard ground in my tent, wrapped in my sleeping bag. I heard the light sound of small raindrops on my tent cover. I was hoping this would pass by and I would be right off to sleep again, however the rain intensified until it was torrential down pour. The rain didn’t stop for about two hours, keeping me up until 5:00AM. At that point in time I was laying on my back, eyes looking up at the top of my tent, only to see a flash of light through the tent cover. BOOOOOM. Thunder. What was I going to do? This was a question I pondered for a solid thirty minutes, hoping the storm would pass by. I counted the seconds between the lighting and thunder, and soon noticed that the storm was moving away from me because more time was passing per consecutive lighting thunder timeframes. By this point the perimeter of my tent was soaked, but what was I supposed to do at 6:00AM? I slept for another hour and a half, and soon packed up all my gear and got on the road.

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In the center of this picture is the spot where my tent was set up. As you can see, everywhere else is soaked from the storm.

Some night I had… the day before my most challenging ride thus far. All my gear was soaked minus what I had in the waterproof bags on my bike, or items in the tent with me overnight. I shipped off with no water, and little power reserved for my phone to navigate. I stopped at the nearest gas station and bought waters and a Gatorade. I was already fearing the ride I had to endure today, and a lack of sleep with poor planning only added stress. I guess I found my inner strength today. It took a lot out of me but I knew I had somewhere to be, and I couldn’t just pack up and call it a day. Besides where else would I go? I like not having a Plan B, it helps me to focus on Plan A. By this point I had gotten used to riding every day, and my soars and pains were few and far between what they used to be. On MapMyRun all I heard was “Distance, 10 miles… Distance, 20 miles… Distance 30, miles… etc. I kept myself focused and didn’t allow myself to ease back.

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A road I had to take off of State Route 20 to get to PCB.
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At certain points of this 3 mile road, I had to walk my bike because the tires sank into the sand and it was too deep to ride.
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Im not entirely sure why these dirt roads had such a reddish brown color, but it reminded me a lot of Australias dirt.

Matt’s Guide to Your First Century Day on a Bike!

  • Don’t freak out, it’s a long distance but it can be done if it’s done the right way.
  • Take it step by step. Stop when you need, it’s not a race (or at least it shouldn’t be if its your first one). I stopped after my first 20 miles, then every 10 miles from there, taking a lunch break in Blountstown after 45 miles of riding.
  • Have a decent lunch. The great thing about biking is that its sustainable even after a meal. You shouldn’t cramp up, and you can continue to fuel yourself as you go. Four days into the trek I’m starting to learn what my body needs to remain top notch for long term endurance rides like this.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I can’t say it enough; your body doesn’t alert you right away when you need water. When you begin to feel thirsty your already behind. The key is to stay ahead; I drink at least 12 oz. of water every 10 miles to keep up.

I ended up making it down to Panama City Beach around 4:30. I passed through a time zone which gave me an additional hour to work with. I’ll be taking off two days in PCB to relax and rest up for the next week of riding. Now that I have acquainted myself with this lifestyle, I can focus more efforts on getting my story out there and promoting my cause!

Speaking of that, here is the clip that was televised in Tallahassee yesterday

Please come back and check out more updates on Sunday.

Enjoy The Ride,

-Matt Barbaccia

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