Saturday, April 17, 2010


I crossed one goal for the year off the list yesterday when I rode a century ride on the bicycle. I ended up doing 100 miles in 6 hours 9 min in conditions that were less than perfect. The next time I go for it the conditions are going to have to be optimal because my goal is to get under 6 hours. When I finished riding yesterday I looked on the computer to see exactly how strong a wind I had been fighting and found out it was running at 18 to 22 miles an hour.
When I started the conditions were fine, a little bit of a breeze but nothing too extreme. It stayed that way for the next 60 miles and then I noticed that things were changing rapidly and a front was moving in. By that time I had made up my mind that I was going to finish, high wind or not. One of the benefits of this was that I got lots of practice in riding in the most aerodynamic position that I could. I could watch the display on the computer and see if the speed was picking up as I changed position.
Things to consider if you want to ride long distances are, get your bike in optimal condition because even a little extra drag in an out of adjustment component goes a long way, ride in a REALLY GOOD set of bike shorts, pay close attention to eating and drinking enough while you are riding or you will pay for it later on. A friend of mine who is an endurance racer told me that at 75 or 80 miles drink a regular Coke and he was right. The combination of the sugar and the caffeine really hit the spot. Be aware that at the +70 mile mark you have to be even more careful on the road than usual due to fatigue.
I learned some valuable things yesterday and I am looking forward to the next time I give it a go. But you can be sure that next time the wind will be calm. See you out on the road!


Weaseldog said...


Be careful, endurance riding can become addictive. :)

Next thing you know, you'll be doing twins and then wondering, "Why not 200 miles in under 12 hours?"

ExRanger said...

Thanks Weaseldog! And your right, I have already been thinking along those lines. Sounds like you are speaking with the voice of experience, am I right?

Weaseldog said...

Yes, I used to do quite a bit of riding like that. One of my favorite rides was down to Joe Pool Lake, around the small towns there and back. A round trip of about 100 miles. On morning brisk and cold morning I got there just before dawn. As I was setting out over the levee for a sprint, a wolf came down the opposite slope, coming right for me. When he caught me, he ran along beside me for the five mile ride to the other gates. He kept pulling ahead and looking back, but I couldn't sustain the speed he wanted to go. 25mph for five miles was all I could manage that morning. When i got to the gate, I had to stop to lift my bike over. He flew over the gate without slowing and disappeared into the distance.

I dropped it during one particularly hot summer when motorists were giving me too many close calls. Some drivers looked right at me me before trying to run me off the road.

That summer, three cyclists I knew in passing, were killed or hospitalized with very serious injuries.

It hadn't always been that way. It may have just been the heat. It may have been post 9/11 anger. But it got me spooked when I started having a close call with every ride.

I'd like to get back into riding. Maybe this fall I'll give it a go for short hops and see if folks here have mellowed any.