May 25, 2014
Today I rode my first century (100 miles)!! It was planned to be 105, and I rode 101.34 according to my lie detector, which is probably a slight underestimate because I forgot to start my computer initially.
Let’s start with the data first for once! Here’s what we rode:
And the summary:
And the elevation map:
As you can see, not as hilly as the Ironman Wisconsin course. That, combined with riding in a group (which helps break the wind up) is probably why I was able to keep 18.1 mph for the ride!
It’s supposed to be a recovery week for me with only a 2.5 hour ride today…BUT…I wanted to take advantage of the long weekend to have lots of recovery time after my long workouts. And, I’m doing an olympic tri next weekend, so I thought I would swap my weeks. Next week I can do a mini-taper to the Olympic tri, and consider it a recovery week.
After Wednesday’s Newbie Ride, I was talking to my friend Jenny about wanting to do a century this weekend to build my confidence, but the one I had in mind was in Chippewa Valley and I wasn’t sure I wanted to drive that far. She was like “Why don’t you just ride with my friends and I, we’re doing 105 miles on Saturday.” You don’t say. I’m there! Thanks again Jenny!
Still, I was nervous to do such a long ride. So I did what I always do when I’m scared to do a workout… “Hey Greg, wanna do a bike ride this weekend?” Then I explained the ride to him. He thought it sounded great, and we agreed that if we got dropped we could do our own ride and then spend the rest of the day making fun of the “cool cyclists” until we make ourselves feel better.
The group met at the organizer’s house, but then rode less than a mile and stopped at theGear n’ Up bike shop in Neenah, WI. The group picked up Greg and I there, as well as one other rider. This isn’t everyone – we had about 30 people riding! This was great, for a number of reasons. I felt much safer in the towns, as we were obviously pretty visible. It’s also fun in towns and intersections and such. Car drivers might not stop for 1 or 2 riders…but when there’s 30, they have to stop! lol. And lastly, it gave me lots of people to talk to, duh! And they were all great, seriously.
Do you like my new Pearl Izumi sun sleeves? They worked great! Weren’t too warm at all, and totally blocked the sun. So did the suncreen on my face, ears, and neck. Now if I could remember to put sunscreen on my stupid knees, we’d be all set! *sigh*
We also stopped about 4 times I think for about 10-15 minutes give or take each time. Once at a park with a porta potty and 3 times at gas stations. Our group contributed much to the economy in exchange for a lot of Gatorade, water, coca-cola, and snacks! Also, a brat fry fundraiser across the street from one of the gas stations saw some sales too! Not from me, obviously, lol. I actually packed all the calories I thought I would need, and I was right on.
And here’s Jenny and I, also while waiting for the flat fix! Isn’t this an awesome photo? She rocks.
Part of why I was nervous was because this was a large group ride with road cyclists, not a couple of triathletes going out. I have done group rides before, but not in about two years since I rode with the Oshkosh Cycling Club. Triathlon is a solo sport – you can’t ride within a certain distance of another rider or you get penalized for drafting. When you draft, the rider ahead of you breaks some of the wind resistance, making it easier for you. That’s why it’s illegal in triathlon – in order to ensure no one has an unfair advantage, you gots to keep away! Thus, triathletes are not always the best at bike handling skills – staying super alert and ready to react to the movements of other riders only a few inches in front or on the side (or all around you), like these riders:
(Yes, I took a photo while riding. Yes, this made me nervous. Yes, it was worth it though!)
And the uncomfortable triathletes would include me! Greg and I spend much of the first part of the ride at the back – not to be lazy and let the other riders do the work, but to not cause a crash! That would not have helped us make friends, I am sure. I got more comfortable though as the ride went on, and my group riding skills slowly came back. I’m guessing Greg’s did too, or he was more confident to begin with, or he just picked it up quickly, because by the halfway point he and I were mixing in an out of the main pack with good fluidity.
OH! The coolest thing happened just before the end of the ride!! We past a guy and a woman on a tandem bike, and I shouted “nice bike!” in a complimentary tone. When he replied “Thanks!” I totally recognized the voice – it was swim coach Greg and his wife! Totally didn’t recognize him not in a speedo, lol! And I’ve never met his wife, so it was great to meet her. They met up with us at Gear n’ Up and we chatted for a bit. Such a small world sometimes.
Here’s everyone at the end of the ride at the Gear n’ Up bike shop: