And so it begins… I had seven rides in 2011 before this one. Several ~25 mile rides (these are my typical training ride length), but nothing this far. Temp was about 66°, humidity up at 52%, and I was feeling good. Quite a few bikes on the path, and unfortunately more than a few stupid cyclists (weavers into oncoming bikes, parents who let their children ride off – without a helmet, etc.). Held a solid pace all the way to Turkey Mountain Park, where I scarfed a granola bar and rested for five minutes before rolling out.
When I was about 35 miles into the ride was when I felt the wall approaching. I’d shift up and lay in some power / increase speed, but I’d start to flag. Or I’d down-shift to increase my cadence and couldn’t hold the faster pace. Yeah, it was the wall – or the “bonk” as most call it. But that was ok. I’d done well so far, and I had a break coming in a mile at NSU. So, I got there, unclipped, munched another bar, and rested another 5 minutes. Recovery tried to elude me, but I found my wind, and rode out again. About 2 miles from home though, I encountered one last problem: I ran out of water. Now, usually I take extra, but the day wasn’t very hot, and I had the CamelBak mostly full, so I figured it’d be enough. Fortunately I wasn’t that far from home, and was able to just ride it out. Had I topped off the CamelBak, I’d have been fine. Oh well, live and learn.
Right before I got home I ran into Tom from Team Superior finishing up mowing his front lawn. I stopped to chat for about 10 minutes, and then headed home. I was tired – I had ridden 41.5 miles. I figure any riding distance that would take a car a decent amount of time to travel is a pretty good distance. I slammed down some PB&Js (thanks, Cam!), a couple bottles of water, showered, and chilled. Now, I remember from last year that it’s at this point I would usually want to lay down and fall asleep. And climbing the stairs up or down sucked beyond all reason. But though I did feel that initial “You need to lay down now” feeling, it faded. IT FADED! I couldn’t believe it! In a few hours, though I still felt tired, I didn’t feel exhausted. And walking up/down the stairs, I could feel the strain on my legs, but I didn’t feel like they were going to buckle. So it seems that my many, many, many sets of anaerobic and aerobic intervals are seriously paying off. Who’da thunk it? 🙂