The first ever Midnight Century went off without a hitch. A total of 3 of us rolled out of Buckeye at 3 after 11PM. ( Steve, Rhino, and myself) The weather was PERFECT! It was in the low 80's with a slight breeze out of the east. The sky directly above us was gorgeous with stars shining bright. To the east was a GIANT thunder cloud for us to marvel at during our trip east on the RID canal. Nature put on a spectacular show for us with frequent burst of lightning. We made good time on the canal although we were in no particular hurry as we were soaking up the cool moist air and the spectacular views. We were about 15 min behind schedule when we caught up with Matt up in Estrella. Matt was all set to go and even had some welcome power bars for us all. We were getting some strange stares from the possibly intoxicated motorist that passed us by. they had to think we were crazy to be out at 0100 hrs on a bike. One fellow stuck his head out the window and screamed for the infamous Harvy. We waved and went about our ride. Next stop now 4 strong was FINS. This was Steve's first visit to FINS. We did almost everything there before heading out for S&M. By this time the light breeze we had enjoyed left us and things got a bit sticky. S&M was fun as always and the group had a good clip going, Rhino was crushing it on his loaded SS rigid and Steve was rocking it on his first trip in the WV. Next came the best part where we took the group on a trail they had never been on over boy-scout hill. The top of the hill offered spectacular view of the Phoenix skyline and the aforementioned storm. We took ourselves an extended break on the hill to soak in the view and the cool breeze that had picked up. We figured the sun would start to rise in about an hour so we got going. We decided to head out on trial 18 instead of the planned full monte around the TH and secret trails. When we hit Estrella Parkway we parted ways with Matt who also riding strong and is right on target for his tour of the White Mountains. The Horizon was just starting to change color and the stars were fast disappearing. The moon finally made it's first appearance of the night as a tiny sliver low in the eastern sky. We had a nice easy spin back to the circle K on Litchfield road where we topped up with Mountain Dew and Gatorade for the final few miles. The sun was out, time to turn off the lights and draft our shadows. I think we all started to feel the sleepless night and miles on the way back, it is funny how the morning sun somehow always makes me feel tired. A welcome distraction came on bullard avenue when we got passed by a couple of " Tri Geeks ". Just happy to see other folks on bikes we yelled out to them "hey, Hi, Hello, Good Morning, How you guys doing" ! Not even a shrug of the shoulder or a nod of the head back. This was after direct eye contact. At first we laughed about it, then we deiced it might be fun to chase them down and force a smile out of them. We spun up the cadence to bridge our gap, Rhino on his SS maxed out around 250rpm, Steve got a late jump, but I was able to bridge the gap. I pulled along side and said " how's it going?" Now all we got was a look of disgust. I guess they were afraid i may try to jack them or something cause they put the hammer down and got away from us. It was a welcome distraction from the tired eyes. We shadow drafted all the way back to Buckeye. We took a picture shook hands and took off for some well earned sleep. We got ourselves 75 miles for the night. It was a great ride for sure. Destined to be a yearly classic.
Thanks to Steve, Rhino, and Matt for making the trip!