On Saturday, I did my first 200k ride, using it as sort of a training ride for AoMM. There were probably at least 25 people there to do the ride and I didn't know anyone there except for one person, who I had ridden with some a couple of years ago. It was a tad chilly to start, but knowing that it was going to be in the mid 70's later today, I opted for warmers and shorty gloves. Stayed in the warmers till the control point then that stuff was gone.
It was a beautiful day for doing 200k! Sunny skies, warm temps, but just a tad too much wind. I think it got up to something like the mid 70's. Absolutely beautiful day sans the wind.
Lots of the riders had older (or older looking to me) bikes loaded with panniers and handlebar bags, fenders. One guy on fixed gear bike. Saw a Cervelo, Colnago, BMC, and another Fuji Team RC. Most of the people appeared to be older than me and a lot of the guys had beards... One guy riding in the lead group asked me where all my stuff was (he was one with lots of different bags on his bike). I told him everything was in my jersey pockets. What about spare parts??? Huh? Spare parts?? I had the normal stuff in the saddle bag (tube, co2, levers, mulitool, and cash). This guy said he hadn't figured out how to do that yet.
We started off close to 7am and I was right up there with the lead group, feeling great. My friend Todd told me to go on and that he would catch up to me since he wasn't quite ready when we headed out. I was having no problem staying with the group and probably could have stayed with them all the way to the control point. Todd finally caught up with me about 20min into the ride I guess. We chatted a bit, he'd done this ride last year and knew the route, so I was going to let him take a lot of the lead. We stayed with the group until we crossed Lake Jordan and began climbing out.
Damn hardest thing to do on this ride initially was to let the people just fly by me on little short upgrades. Very hard. But. I had made up mind to listen to what Andy told me to do, which was let the wheels go and do the ride as planned. Damn. Well, Todd and I kept the group insight until the climb to 15/501 and lost them. Then we missed our turn. Todd was leading and blew right by the turn. I thought the road name looked familiar but didn't speak up. We ended up adding 5miles total to the route and probably a good 20-25min to the ride. Meh, no big deal really. Happens.
So, the plan for the day was to try and keep the watts below 200 and try to hold above 150 or so. If that meant losing a wheel or passing people to keep it at that, then that's what I had to do. I did pretty good on keeping it under the 200 on climbs, but I sorta messed up on keeping it above 150 or so. Todd and I stayed together all the way to the control point and at times, I felt like I was just cruising along really easily, even the climbs weren't all that hard, especially when you keep your watts less than or equal to 200. And, I would drop down to the small ring and just spin up the climbs. Pretty easily too. All of this "just cruising" along was at way under the 150 I wanted to do, but, maybe it was for the best in the end. I guess I did do ok, though...Start Slow to Finish Fast.
After all the hills in the beginning of the ride, we finally hit some straight flat-ish sections and I let it rip. I was really tired of going slow, so I took the lead and pulled us the last hour or so, only dropping back when we hit the occasional hill. I was hoping Todd would be able to hold on and he did, but that blew him up by the time we got to the control point. He went inside for a sandwich and chips/drink and I refilled with Perpetuem. I was riding around the parking lot waiting on him so my legs wouldn't get cold - when he came out with all that food! He told me to go on cause he didn't feel like he could keep that pace up on the way back. With the headwinds all the way out and the extra mileage, the first half of the ride was 65mi/4:15. Probably could've knocked 30min off the ride time if I had ridden a little differently and we not missed the turn.
Solo on the way back with some tailwinds at time. A lot of the time, there were cross/head winds to still deal with too. I felt good and at this point, I was slightly disappointed because I had wanted to get this ride done in less than 8hrs and with a 4:15 on the first half, I was gonna have to work hard to come in under 8hr. Some of the hills, I kept the power at/under 200w, but others, as the day went on, I said F it. I was tired of sitting in that saddle, my butt hurt and I needed to do something different. That worked out ok, I would recover a bit once cresting and then hammer down again.
I had made up 5 bottles worth of Perpetuem (in baggies) to take along with me. This was all I was going to eat (plus a little bit of gel) on the ride. I also took enough Hammer drugs for the ride. The Perpetuem works great. I wasn't a bit hungry on the ride, tried to drink 1 bottle/hr and take a handful of pills every hour. Now, that was a trick! Need to figure out a better way to carry the pills. I did feel the need for a Coke towards the very end of the ride. Stopped at the store at Lake Jordan, used the bathroom (only time that day) and had that Coke. Drank 6 bottles and only used the bathroom 1x.
I also got a nice pull across the Lake from a couple of tri-girls. They had passed me at some point on the way back, stopped at store, I passed them and then they caught me at the Coke stop. Don't know if they liked me hooking on to them, but I didn't really care. Just wanted a pull across the Lake and for as far as I could hold on. They dropped me once we made the next turn and started a short upgrade.
Finished up the ride by going to the organizers home to get my card checked in, rode back to my car and thought "Holy Shit. I just rode 130mi." I was so tired. I didn't even change my clothes. Just took my shoes/socks off, loaded the bike and headed home. Good grief, I got so sleepy on the drive home. I don't know how in the hell I'm going to get home after AoMM. It's a good 3hr drive when I'm fresh; I might have to find a shade tree at the campground and have a nap before I head home.
Stopped off at the grocery store for some beer and at the high school to pick up the bbq chicken that the son had ordered for us. Had one beer, bottle of Recoverite, chicken breast, potatoes, green beans for supper. Afterwards, I just layed on the couch, took a couple of 5min naps, and eventually went to bed around 11pm. I knew I should've taken that Lunesta (someone said not too ) cause I just tossed/turned and didn't sleep really well.
I guess that's it...my legs feel "ok" this morning. A little bit sore, but otherwise I feel pretty good. I was supposed to go ride with my friend Dallas this morning, but I think I'm going to bail on that, considering he wanted to ride at 10am and it's now 10:20am. I'll get a short (2hr) ride in later this afternoon at a nice recovery pace.
So, that was actually a good ride yesterday. I suppose it was a good training ride for AoMM. It was a very good learning experience at pacing and fueling (especially the fueling). I'd like to ride it again and see if I can do any better. This coming weekend, I think I'm going to do a flat century (Clayton-Goldsboro-Clayton).
First 65mi = 4:14hr/15.3avg
Last 65mi = 3:38/16.5avg
Century = 6:22hr/15.7avg
Climbing = 7000'+ (cue sheet listed it as 7800'+ and I probably would've had this if the garmin hadn't kept on cutting off).