How was your weekend?
That’s great to hear. Mine was spectacular too – thanks for asking.
I went for a ride.
This all started 12 days ago with some sage advice from the LBS owner that required me to go out and ride my bike an excessive amount. So I did, and in the process rode a distance that created a new 3 day record for me (that’s the new me in the 21st century, not the young fit me that no-one has seen for the best part of 2 decades). Then I got all cocky and went out and rode up a hill that I hadn’t been near for over 15 years. Then my study got in the way and I had a day off the bike. Followed the next day by a light 34km (21mi) spin. The next day I had good intentions and had actually started to execute them when my bike started to self-destruct, so that day turned into a dismal 3 mile joke. In the last paragraph of that post I hinted at a long weekend with long rides. And…
Saturday was a wonderful day. And it stayed that way. 132km (81.6mi). With a climb. A nasty climb on a coarse, dead surface. As well as 25km (15mi) of dodging abuse and debris from rednecks that were coming down out of the hills for the annual country music fair. But even with the bad roads and bad drivers it was still an enjoyable trip.
Sunday was a wonderful day. And it stayed that way. 101km (62.6mi). Flat. I planned on riding 94km (58mi) but as I rolled up to the end of my street I was overcome by the siren song (or male ego) of the triple digit ride and so completed a circuit of the estate I live in to knock the total over 100.
Monday was initially planned as being a 150km (93mi) day. When I was looking at the numbers on Sunday night I noticed that ride number 3 was tantalisingly close to a nice round number of 100 miles (161km). So that started to look like the goal for today. Then I noticed that a ride of that length would put me very close to a nice round number of 400km (248.4mi) for my 3 day total. You can see the trend here, I’m sure. And thus 248.4 miles is very close to 250 miles which seemed like a sensible place to stop. Therefore, 170.4km (105.8mi) became my goal for today, and a single day total that was more than double my longest ride up until 2 weeks ago.
So I rolled out this morning with enough fruit bars and batteries for the MP3 player to last 8 hours. I promised myself that I wouldn’t come too close to home during the ride to avoid the temptation to bail out. If I was cutting this ride short it would be by way of the call of shame. Despite my promise, when the day dawned I rode a route that would take me on a southerly loop of 95km (59mi) then a south-easterly loop of 75km (47mi), with the end of the first loop/start of the second loop bringing me within 3km (1.9mi) of my front door.
On the outward leg the wind was coming from a strange direction, so while it felt like a headwind I was still making reasonable time. And when I turned around at the far end of the first loop my legs felt great. I stopped at a truckstop at 54km (33mi) for my first scheduled 10 minute break and junkfood fill up. Then on the road again and despite travelling in the opposite direction, the wind still felt like it was in my face but without any significant impact on my progress.
I can handle pain.
As I rode up the highway towards completion of the first leg of the ride, I noticed a burning. Not the muscular, lactate threshold type burning. But rather, the sweat-soaked, ill-fitting, synthetic-fabric type burning. And there was no amount of squirming or adjusting that could make the pain recede.
I’ve ridden 400 miles in 4 days in high summer with not sunscreen. I rode my bike later the same day when I broke my skull, cheek and spine. I was back riding 8 days after I broke my collarbone in 2 places. What I can’t handle is chafed “boy bits”.
When is a failure a success?
So I failed. But I succeeded. I failed to achieve the original goal. Or the ultimate goal. But I still feel I succeeded. I rode 326km (202.4mi) in 3 days. A new “new-me” record. And when I stepped off the bike my legs felt great. There’s no muscle aches, there’s no joint aches, there’s no bruised bum or hands. The distance didn’t damage me. The ill-fitting clothes suited to a fatter me caused all the damage and pain. But earlier this week I ordered new knicks and a jersey from the LBS so in a couple of days I’ll be shooting for distance again, but this time in snug fitting clothes designed for the purpose.
This week was a close call on the points front. 16 points, and a lot of the damage was done by junkfood. A by-product of the increased distances being ridden. Refueling at the drive through. But after a small gain last week that followed a no change week, it was nice to step onto the scales on Sunday morning and see a 2.5kg (5.5lb) loss for the week.