Issaqueena's Last Ride
I did the same 31 mile version of this ride last year but I didn't record my time. This year it took me 2 hours 12 minutes, starting my gps a little late and not counting 9 minutes at the rest stop. Last year I did it as a test run of nutrition and keeping up effort for the Clemson triathlon (a week from today); this year I did it casually.
The oddest part of the day was that I ran into the therapist whom I decided to stop working with a year and a half ago. He is a runner turned fairly serious bicyclist, so I wasn't that surprised. But it did seem an interesting coincidence that when I went back to my car after registering I saw him almost opposite to me in the next row of cars getting set up. We talked a while about running and bicycling and I didn't feel uncomfortable. He once told me that the success rate for medically-significant weight loss maintained for 5 years is only 5% (he was trying to be supportive of me not making weight loss my goal). It has only been two years, but I'm glad to show off I'm still on the athletic path. He said I looked fit and I said I'm amazed by how far I've come in a year. I don't know if I can improve my time in the Clemson triathlon by 20%, but I think I might be able to, and that is a big difference.
It was a perfect day for a ride--starting out cool and sunny. The route is mostly lovely quiet roads. I passed some people but at times I had trouble keeping up with the group I was riding with, particularly uphill. When we came to the split between the 66 mile and the 31 mile route I would have been very tempted to take the longer route if everyone else had turned that way, but half the group turned onto the shorter route. I had intended all along to do the shorter route so as not to strain my legs a week before my big race--the 66 mile route goes up the mountain. It was 3 hours and 15 minutes after the start when I got in my car and headed for home, and no one from the 66 mile route had finished. It must be really steep if no one averaged 20 mph.