Here I dumped my jacket and long gloves and switched to my fingerless gloves as it had warmed up a bit. I still needed my arm warmers and was glad I had on long pants though. I made this a quick stop as I'd just stopped already and headed out for the lunch spot.
I was a bit worried they'd pack up before I got there, but apparently there were people running SAG in unmarked vehicles and they told the lunch crew to stay until a blue Gios showed up. So they did. I was making much better time again on this part of the route and I think my problems at the end of the 34 mile loop were due to wind. It made me realize I had fallen into "the way it is now is the way it will always be" thinking. It was a good lesson.
I had done some calculations on the way and decided that, if I could get to the lunch stop by 2:00 pm, I'd be able to make it home before dark and I would keep going even after I reached 100 miles. (I had told Mr. Mac that I'd call him to pick me up at 100 miles or nightfall, whichever came first, when we met up at the first rest stop.)
I rolled into the park where lunch was served at 1:59 pm. Success!
At the lunch stop, I downed some food and talked to the volunteers and a creepy guy who wasn't with the ride but was drooling over my bike. Now, my bike is worth drooling over. That wasn't what made him creepy. He just was. I was afraid he was going to ride with me for a bit but he stayed at the park.
My legs were totally shot at this point. I had been doing the pedal a few turns, rest a few turns thing ever since mile 30, but at this point my quads were totally burning. I was thinking that, rather than Smucker's Uncrustables (which taste pretty good considering they are total processed garbage), I wish they'd had some of those "The Sticks" at the lunch stop. I would have rolled the crap out of my thighs, if one had been available.
So I set out on the last 30 miles of the trip. I continued to make decent time for most of it, even over the rollers that marked the pass between two buttes. (The rollers were fun, in fact.) I found, also, that even though your quads are killing you and burning like crazy, they can still be made to work. I just kept peddling and wasn't even slowing down for most of the way back. Another good lesson.
At one point, a lady in a mini-van came by to check on me. I told her I was okay and was trying to make it back before the sunset. She said they would hang out at the end for a while longer and should still be there when I got back.
I was very tired at this point and doing a lot of coasting. I had slowed down from the 14.5-17 mph that I had accomplished for most of the route and was down in the 11-12 mph range for a lot of the last 10 miles. But I knew I could keep going, if I had to, as long as I didn't stop. (Which meant coasting through a few stop signs, but I was honestly afraid I'd fall over if I unclipped.)
I got to within sight of the fairgrounds and had to stop for a red light. I saw one guy with a bike driving out and Mr. Mac standing by our car waiting for me. I almost walked the rest of the way once the light turned green but I was able to get back on the bike and clip in (though it was touch and go for a moment there) and so end the ride triumphantly riding in instead of limping in pushing my bike.