Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I didn't have time to post anything over the last weekend because of a busy weekend. My daughter had her wedding shower on Sunday and our whole family was in for the weekend, which was delightful. I did manage to get in some good mileage, which I was eager to do in order to test out my new saddle and to see where I was in my conditioning.

I put in close to 31 miles on Friday because I was uncertain whether my Saturday riding plans for a longer ride would happen or not. Usually I would not ride that far the day before a big ride but the weather was so uncertain I wanted to make sure I got some miles in. It was a good ride and I felt strong after it.

As Saturday began, I planned a ride to Plymouth and back which is about 50 miles. I wanted to start about 8:00 am but the weather was threatening rain and the temp was in the high 50s, not conducive for a wet day. So I waited another hour and kept an eye on the radar and felt that I would be safe to ride south, away from the rain. I also decided that I wanted to extend the ride to 60-80 miles. That meant riding to Culver and going around Lake Maxinkuckee. I reserved the lap around the lake as optional depending on how I felt at the time.

My ride began - no rain. The temp climbed to just above 60 at the beginning and the morning was overcast. I wanted to stay on the bike as long as I could without stopping to emulate the long ride (155 miles) that the Ride Across Indiana will bring in July. I wore a light riding vest over my riding jersey and carried my own water and energy drinks/gel. Any stops I did make would be 3-5 minute stops as much as possible.

To cut to the chase, my total mileage for the day (including going around the lake) was 87 miles. My total ride time including stops was 5 hours and 45 minutes. That averaged out to be 15.2 mph for the ride. If you took out the 3 stops I made for a total of 25 minutes my actual on-bike average jumped to 16.4 mph. That is more like the average I want to carry for RAIN (Ride Across INdiana).

My odometer quit working less than 3 miles into the ride because my battery died but MapMyRide helped with the mileage calculations. I was very pleased about the average pace because I had no speedometer to help me with my pace. I finished the ride fairly strong and felt like I had enough left to do extra mileage that RAIN will demand. I extrapolated the mileage, time and pace out for 155 miles to get an estimate of ride time for RAIN and it came out to about 10 hours and 12 minutes. That is substantially faster than my best time of 11 hours 42 minutes. So, I am hopeful that with a good riding day,continued conditioning, and improved gear from the last time that I can set a personal best come July 21.

Most notably and pleasurably, it was probably my longest and most comfortable ride I have ever taken. If I had had the moonsaddle on my coast to coast trip I am sure I would not have complained as much about being uncomfortable! Not only was my behind not sore, my shoulders, neck and arms were not as sore as usual. I experienced no numbness to speak of, which was a first for such a long ride. It makes me look that much more forward to RAIN and hopefully I can learn from my training how to make this year's ride the best yet.

Next up, the Fat and Skinny Tire Festival in Winona Lake on May 19th. Joe and I will be riding that one together and will look to get at least 65 miles in, if not more.