Just one week and a day after the Buckeye 50K I was signed up for my longest bike ride ever. My previous longest ride was at WIBA in 2006, about 70 miles. Since Steelhead Half Ironman in 2006 I haven't done a single tri and I haven't really been on my bike much. I still ride, I commute to work, and I throw in a few rides with friends, but nothing like I did in summer and fall of '06. Guess you could say I got a little tri'd out after the half ironman and realized I was having a lot more fun running, so my bike time hasn't been a priority. I feel like triathlons are getting to be a bit expensive and I can always go back to them once my running starts to slow down. I still enjoy getting out with my tri friends, but it just isn't my focus. (Guess I've changed quite a bit the last two years)
So despite all that I am in the CTC Beast series (in first place by the way ;)) this year which involves some tri or at least multisport events. My schedule actually wouldn't allow for a tri this year but I did end up doing a duathlon, the open water swim, and the century ride so I don't feel like such a poser. It's all running events from here on out though! So I showed up Sunday morning feeling extremely under prepared, having only done one day where I rode more than 24 miles, and that was two 15 mile rides separated by an hour or so at the pool. Not exactly ideal preparation. I was worried my back and butt were going to be a wreck after that much time in the saddle and I had given myself the option of dropping out if it got too bad.
For some strange reason at almost every cycling event I do I tend to attract random strangeness. This could be some crazy cyclist who cuts me off multiple times, or dudes that ride with you just for the view of your chest, or just people without great social skills. What can I say, it's great ;) This ride started out no different, I won't go into too many details as I wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings but lets just say I was extremely nervous that this cyclist was going to end up riding near me all day, and was very grateful that it ended up just being at the start and finish of the ride that I had to deal with the awkwardness. (We are talking farting extremely loud with no apologies, and getting well within personal space limitations to "chat" about scars, and that isn't even the half of it) I pumped my tires and sunscreened up as fast as humanly possible and rushed over to the registration table.
Found my posse who I was sure would be gone well within the first 20 miles and we got started. Unfortunately before the ride could even really begin we had an accident and Brian went down fracturing his wrist badly. Not how you want to start your day for sure. It is actually amazing no one else went down. Sending you speedy healing vibes Brian! Your luck has got to be heading for an upswing!
So with that fiasco the girls eased off the pace and were a lot more careful around turns, allowing my slow ass to actually keep up until we hit the hills. I didn't actually think they were too bad but it was obvious I wasn't trained for the ride and I dropped pretty far behind anytime we hit the inclines. But since the race had aid stations set up every 20 or so miles I was still able to ride with some company for many parts of the day.
My running fitness must be good because I never got tired. My lower back was sore but everything was fine as soon as I finished. I even thought about going for a run afterwards but opted for dinner and beer instead. I was pretty happy to have averaged 15 mph and I didn't have to walk my bike at all, although I did have to use my granny gear way more than is respectable. Oh well, I never had to get out of my saddle at least!
All in all riding 100 miles wasn't so bad. But I'd much rather be running :) (And Beth I didn't quite double my mileage on the bike for the year, but I think maybe I had done about 200 miles total before this, so pretty darn close!)
Photos in a previous post