I forgot to put a Pic of the wife on her Bike! Oops!
So last Saturday the Wife and I went out to take a little ride. We only did 10 miles, but it was a great day and we truly enjoyed it. she worked on her cadence a lot and I could not have been more impressed. Her riding is progressing very quickly and she is getting stronger and stronger. She is even getting on the trainer a couple of nights a week. So motivating!
Afterwards we had a pretty chill rest of the day. Sunday was going to be a big day for me 🙂
Sunday was a training ride with the Energy Riders Series. It was a great day out at Hockley, Texas. I was able to ride with a few friends for a couple of miles, then really put the pace on.
The ride itself had planned routes for 36 Miles and 49 Miles. I opted for the 36 Mile route, as I had a planned Run later in the afternoon and I didn’t want to be too tired for it. Haha.
The morning was slightly chilly, in the 50’s, and very foggy- like you can’t see 200 yards in front of you foggy.
After arriving and getting the bike in order and double checking my pockets and gear I made a quick “head call” then hooked up with my buddies from Team RWB.
Something came to mind while I was getting the bike and gear in order. For only having 3 pockets it really seems like I carry a lot. Gels in right pocket- one packet open and one extra just in case, jacket in center pocket, knife(can’t leave home without it) clipped to left pocket and phone inside that pocket too. I know it isn’t really “a lot”, but it can feel that way lol.
I did wear some knee warmers and arm warmers. I also wore a thermal skull cap, as it was still a bit chilly, and I hate a cold and damp head(remember the fog- man I wish I had taken a pic of it). These could easily be pulled off and tossed in a pocket as well(see more gear in a pocket!!)
I carry all my flat gear in a saddle bag under the seat. Two tubes and two pop bottles. Couple of tyre levers. Multi-tool. Finished off the kit with a valve to screw onto the bottles. I also include my license and a 20$. In case of an emergency stop at a bar or gentlemen’s club.(just kidding lol)…. kinda.
After a few final checks. We took off!
This was an organized ride. The course was marked. Pretty well(with one exception that we will cover later).
The first few miles I rode in a 3 person group with my buddies. It was to be a slow, easy day for them, so I chilled and got a very good warm up in. Around mile 3 we came to an unknown fork in the road. No sign to tell us which way to go, but there was a sign showing the “wrong way” on one fork and no sign on the other fork. We took a vote and decided to go down the unmarked fork. This just happened to be the right decision, haha, as we soon saw another sign for the course. There were even a few riders behind us and apparently we had “set a trend” so everyone had a group to follow so they didn’t have to stop and consult maps, gps, or cue cards like we had.
About 5 miles in I took my leave of my friends and continued on my journey to my longest ride ever! I set a pretty decent pace. Always keeping my cadence above 85 and adjusting gearing to match this(I did spend a large portion of the time over 90- I’ve been working on it and it is starting to pay off). Speed, of course, adjusted with the gear, but the average after the ride was 17.3 mph. Not fast, but not too slow for me :).
My heart rate stayed pretty high throughout the ride, upwards of 175. However, I wasn’t dying for breath and I felt great the entire time.
Before the ride, I had setup a 10 minute alarm- so every ten minutes I could drink/eat. This allowed me to alternate taking a gel and water and drinking Heed. This worked pretty good, as I didn’t feel my energy strength flagging near the end of the ride.
At the first rest stop I refilled the water, got a couple of pretzels for the salt(I did not bring salt tabs) and chilled until my buddies showed up. This was at the 14 mile mark. there was a loop that would leave and bring you back to it within a few miles(can’t remember exactly how far now), then head back to the start. Since it was warming up a bit, I went ahead and took of the skullcap. I left on the knee and arm warmers, more for comfort and wicking than because it was cold. I chilled out till my friends got there. They decided they were going to turn around there and not do the loop, since they were taking it easy and their pace would be a bit slow to complete the course in time.
So I took off to set more world records on my trusty steed. I got set up, took off, and made my way down the “short route”. I got about 3-4 miles in and looked down to see how I was doing on time, since I hadn’t heard my beeper go off to drink. So there I am looking down, and low and behold- I didn’t start the damn thing after the rest stop. So I started it…. Yep anti-climactic much heh? At that point there was nothing else I could really do.
Well, I wasn’t going to let a little thing like not recording all the data ruin my day! I continued to push a high cadence. I felt strong. My heart rate was still high, but I didn’t let it bug me. I also did a few surges and sprints. I tried to go for about 1 minute then rest for 2, then repeat. I don’t know how many I did, but I was passing people left and right!(and yes, I only passed them on their left)
I swung back through the rest stop and decided not to stop. I felt too good to stop now!
I made sure I was always aware of my surroundings by really enjoying the countryside.
As the day progressed, the fog was driven away and revealed a sunny day and that was warm and very comfortable. The sun was out and shining. The road was smooth. Other riders were really enjoying the day as well.
After a few more “surges” I set a steady pace and kept it. I continued to pass people to the end of the course. It really did seem like they were starting to tire and slow down and not be able to keep up the pace. I don’t know their individual circumstances of course. So I can’t say that this was “planned” or if it was a nutrition issue, or if they had maybe set out at too fast a pace? I don’t know one way or the other, but man did I feel accomplished that I still felt strong as I came back into the parking lot to the finish.
I made a few laps around the lot and then stowed my gear. Drank and a recovery drink to help with that, and made sure to top off the water bottle for the drive home.
All in all. Great day for a great ride. I know others can do this distance like it is nothing. For me, this little 36 mile jaunt marked the furthest I have traveled in one day of riding. I really feel that I am progressing. Although I will never be a Crowie or a Wiggins, I think I am on a good path to be the best rider I Can Be!
My data was recorded on my phone using the Wahoo App and RFLKT. I have since become the owner of a 910xt. I have it mounted up and took a ride on it today. I’ll be posting that story tomorrow. Till then.
Thanks for reading folks! Let me know what you think!