Yesterday I did a long ride for my training. It’s been a bit of a struggle to find the time for the ride. Since it’s the end of the semester and so there is a lot going on. I finally could get away for an afternoon to get this one in.
The plan called for a 5 hour ride. It specifically called for a light/moderate mtb ride, but I don’t really have access to something like that at home. So rather than burn out my mtb tires on pavement I took the road bike out for a spin.
Last week I did a 3.5 hour ride, but this was a good bit longer. When I rode my 3.5 hour ride I really tried to push it. Hard on the up’s, tempo on the flats and rest on the downs. It was a good ride and I ended up doing 63 miles with a 18.3 mph average.
Since the ride this week was longer I wasn’t sure what I would have for legs for the entire ride. I didn’t want to crash and burn the last part of the ride. So I really rode more RPE (rider perceived exertion) and tried to keep it in the more conservative “going a long way” effort range.
My course was something of a Tour of St. Lawrence County. Not totally since we have a huge county. But it was a good chunk. The profile look like this:
Up into the mountains, then some rolling riding, then back down to my area.
I did the ride. I rode smart and I felt pretty strong. But truthfully the ride didn’t feel particularly fast. I was a little bit higher than my “forever pace”, but well measured for the length I was riding.
It was a fabulous spring day BTW. There was a moderate wind, but all in all it was a nice day to be out biking. I got back to my house and was at 96 miles. All I was thinking was “should I go 4 more miles just to make it an even 100? You knew you wouldn’t get 100 miles in 5 hours (which would have required a 20 mph average). No, it was a good ride, be happy with it. ” And so I ended when I got to my house.
Then I did what any good biker does these days, I loaded the ride up on Strava and then linked it to my Book of Face account. Then the comments came in……
“Don’t I feel like a turtle. …“
“Nice – big day on the bike!“
“Holy crap, dude!“
A closer look at the record shows that I finished with a 18.6 mph average over the 96 miles. I guess it WAS a pretty good effort after all, faster and longer than the ride that I felt like I went “hard” on. (Ha I just got to write “hard on” 😉 )
Authors Note: I have never done a 5 hour (20 mph) century. It’s one of my bucket list goals. I am going to need some friends for that one. Well that or a good long one way, tail wind, course.