I rode 100 miles today — woo hoo! There’s a century route that leaves from my town with arrows pointing the way painted on the roads, so I followed it, for the most part. There’s a northern loop of 80 miles that I did first and that returns me to my town, and I figured that if I felt up to it once I returned home, I could head out again for the remaining 20 miles, a loop that heads south over roads I’m very familiar with. I’m rather proud of myself for heading out again after having ridden 80 miles — it’s not so easy when the comforts of food and a hot shower beckon.
I had a bit of a hard time on the first 40 miles, as it was quite windy, and I was heading straight into it. There’s little that’s worse on a bike than riding straight into the wind, especially for a distance as long as 40 miles. Things turned around completely, however, the minute I hit the halfway point of the northern 80 miles and started to ride with the wind at my back. My pace picked up considerably and so did my mood. I’d rather have it this way — a rough section early on and then ease after that.
It was on September 1st that I decided I’d try to do a century this fall. I was aiming for late October or early November — I had no idea at the time that by the end of the month I’d be able to complete one. I guess what this means is that my health is fully back to normal, and I can’t use it as an excuse to wimp out on anything I don’t want to do. This is the first time I’ve done a century all on my own, without the support you get from an organized century, and I like doing it this way — no driving to the start point, no crowds, no people passing me, just me and the road and a couple markets along the way. (Although organized centuries have their benefits too, not least of which is people to draft on. I’ll be doing one of these in two weeks.)
Here are my stats, for the curious:
- Distance: 101.2
- Time ridden: 6:29:27
- Total time, including breaks: approximately 7:00
- Average heart rate: 147
- Maximum heart rate: 170
- Calories burned: 3,355
- Average speed: 15.6
- Maximum speed: 36.5
You’ll see from the numbers that I didn’t rest for terribly long; if I remember correctly, I stopped 7 times (not counting traffic lights), and each time was quite short. I stopped twice at a market to resupply with food and water, three times to eat bites of Cliff bars (eating a whole one at once would be too much), once to find a water bottle I accidentally dropped, and once at home. I hate stopping for long because then my muscles get cold and it’s very hard to warm them up again. So I’ll stop, wolf down some food, and start pedaling again while I’m still chewing. Seven hours is plenty long to spend on a bike ride anyway, no need to make it longer.
And all those calories I burned? I’ve replaced them already. Emily, Hobgoblin (who did his own long ride today), and I just got back from dinner at an Italian restaurant, where I stuffed myself with pasta. I had a lovely time hanging out with Emily, and now I’m very sad because she’s moving this week and will no longer live up the road from me. I’ll miss you Emily!