Saturday, October 02, 2004

met my goal

It wasn't long after I got back to bike riding in June that I set as a goal riding 100 km in an organized ride called Ride for the Raptors. Training for a particular goal is actually something I had never done before, but I took it fairly seriously because I didn't really know how my body would react. Two weeks ago I rode 7 hours testing my blood sugar every half hour, and found I didn't have problems with going too low or too high.

Today was the big day. I was a bit disorganized--had to drive 10 minutes home again because I got there and realized I had forgotten my water bottle. I started the route a few minutes after the mass start. In the first 5 miles I passed several people, which was encouraging. It was a little misty and while riding through some open farmland I couldn't figure out what I was seeing way ahead of me on the road. It looked like two people dancing. It turned out to be two roller-bladers, who were doing the 25 mile route. I had trouble settling down at first--it was a distraction to be in the new situation of an organized ride. There were about 250 riders, it wasn't a huge ride, and after a while I saw very few people.

After the first rest stop at 14 miles I settled down and started feeling tempted to do the 100 miles instead of 61. I decided I had better not since I hadn't gotten an early start and my husband would worry about me if I got home so much later than I had said I would.

I knew the biggest hill was at about 30 miles. I had made it up twice before, but after 10 miles of riding, not after 30 miles. Actually, if anything it was a little easier this time, or seemed that way because I almost caught up with a young man on a mountain bike. After the hill the route went through the town of Six Mile and I stopped and bought a hamburger. It had taken me just under 3 hours to do 35 miles, which was a little better than I expected. I wasn't at all pushing myself to go fast.

At 40 miles the 100 mile route rejoined the 61 mile route, and a couple of groups riding in formation passed me. I didn't see the person from various newsgroups who I said I would look for. There is a pretty good series of hills around 50 miles and I did them quite comfortably. It was getting hot (the high today was 85) and so sometimes I was grateful for the wind but there was one section of slogging into a headwind. I filled up my water bottle at the rest stop at 40 miles but it was empy by the time I got to the rest stop at 53.5 miles. I wasn't dragging when I got to the last 10 miles, I actually rode faster the last mile or two because I saw if I pushed a little I could complete the 61.3 mile route in 5 1/2 hours.

I'm pleased with that--if I take out the 15 minutes for the lunch stop I averaged 11.7 miles an hour. Still pretty slow, but I had had been a little discouraged when I first started riding further that I didn't seem to be averaging much faster than 10 miles an hour.

My husband and kids set out to ride the 25 mile route, knowing they weren't going to make it all the way. They made it about 8 miles, which is as far as we had gotten when practicing, and they said they would have gone a little further if the person who was driving the sag wagon hadn't wanted to finish up. They had a good time and want to get ready to go further in the next local organized ride in the spring.

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