Sunday, July 22, 2012

RAIN Ride 2012

Yesterday was the Annual Ride Across Indiana (RAIN). This ride was the highlight of the summer for me as far as riding goes. I'd put in almost 2300 miles so far this year getting ready and trained in the heat more than I wanted to be ready for what promised to be a very hot and challenging day. I enlisted the help of Joe Durand to ride with me at RAIN and we trained together on several occasions which really helped during the ride. I also had changed my bike to be more in comfort mode with the new moonsaddle and aerobars to help me stay on the bike as long as possible. After looking at the weather forecast for days in advance we really caught a break with more moderate temperatures than we anticipated. It was still in the upper 80s but we had no low to mid 90s.

Our strategy was to avoid all the SAG and lunch stops planned by the RAIN people because they were too crowded with over 1300 cyclists registered. To save time and congestion our wives did an excellent job providing our own personal SAG support with plenty of electrolyte drink, water, sandwiches, salt and cold wash rags to wipe the heat of the day away. We planned stops every 20 miles and had enough stamina to not have to stop more often. Our average pace while on the bikes was 17 mph for the entire 160 miles, which translated into 9 hours and 36 minutes of actual riding time. Our stops added up to a total of one hour and 4 minutes off the bike to give us a total elapsed time of 10 hours 40 minutes. That beat by more than one hour my previous best time so I was real pleased. Having Joe along for encouragement and a drafting partner helped make the time  possible. The girls did a splendid job of staying out in front of us and giving us the "coordinates" for each stop and were quick to change out water bottles and give us food.

This was my third time to ride the RAIN ride and it was my best by far. It will also be my last time since I've done about as well as I can expect and have nothing else to prove (not that I had anything to prove anyway). We also had the pleasure of staying with my sister-in-law and mother-in-law and were treated to comfortable showers, beds and great food. It doesn't get much better than this in the biking world!

Next up is the Amishland Bikes and Trail ride on August 4th in Howe Indiana and the Blueberry Festival Cruise on September 1st. I hope to ride centuries on both occasions and Nan will join me on the Blueberry ride. That's it for now. Enjoy!!