Saturday’s 75 mile/120.7 Kilometer group ride (new distance PR).
On Saturday morning thick fog was blanketing the entire area, and there was some doubt as to whether or not the planned group ride was going to happen. I was really hoping the ride would go forward, as I had been excited about it all week long (I was not able to attend last weekend’s group ride). The group decided to meet at our usual start location and make the call at the last minute. As the 8:00 AM roll out time approached the fog seemed to be lifting a bit, and we hit the road right on schedule.
One of the things I really like about the We Must Be Crazy cycling club is that each ride is selected from a fairly large pool of different routes. Each of the group rides I’ve done with the Crazies (3 so far) has had its own unique challenges and scenery. These different courses help keep things fresh, fun and interesting.
Saturday’s planned route is named “Battle of Buckhill”, and it is the same ~60 mile route as is used for the Mount Dora Bikefest. This route, as the title indicates, includes the challenging Buckhill Road climbs (among others) in the Clermont area.
Partway through the ride the group split apart, as some members didn’t have time or didn’t want to do the full planned route. I was feeling great, and decided to stick with the group doing the long route.
The planned route was actually changed mid-ride, and the ride wound up being considerably longer. At one point late in the ride we passed by the entrance to my subdivision. I could have turned off and called it a day, but I was still feeling really good and decided to continue on and set a new distance personal record.
A short time later the group further split apart: a few riders headed towards their homes and a couple other riders took an even longer route (I think they wound up doing 90 miles or so). I didn’t know the route back to the starting location, so I stuck with Steve who was heading that way. I already knew Steve from previous WMBC club rides, and I also happened to run into him at the Mt. Dora mountain bike trails when I was riding there with Mike last week. We kept it conversational (18-ish MPH pace) for the final leg (which included a couple decent climbs), and that served as sort of a nice cool-down for the ride.
When I arrived back at the starting location my Garmin Edge 500 showed that I’d ridden 75 miles on the nose (120.7 Kilometers) and done roughly 1,100 feet of climbing. That’s a new distance personal record for me (my previous distance PR was 62.2 miles, which was also set on a WMBC group ride).
Here’s the actual route I rode (click to enlarge):
I felt strong and had plenty of energy for the entire ride. The only real issue was some triceps tightness, which was due to the tough weight training workout I’d done the day prior. Even though my triceps felt sore and a little tight, they did not cramp. My legs felt great the whole way. I need to do a 100 mile ride now, there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m ready.
Even though I had no idea what Strava segments were present on the route (and therefore made no special effort at any point), I did place quite high on most of the segments. I took 2nd overall on the “Climb for the Roses” segment (out of 134 riders/337 rides), and 3rd overall on the “CR48 to Astatula School” segment (73 riders/158 rides). I was also pretty happy to wind up 18th overall (out of 419 riders/1060 rides) on the very competitive “Buckhill Ventoux” segment. Again, I was not gunning for time on any of these segments, and these times were accomplished simply riding at my pace on the 75 mile ride. I’d like to see what I could do with a concerted effort, especially on Buckhill.
Here’s the complete ride on Strava, with all segments.
One final note. Since swapping the Bontrager tires that came stock on my Trek Madone 5.9 with the Continental Gatorskins I’ve not had a single flat. So far I’m very pleased with the Contis. After my horrible experience with the Continental Mountain King MTB tires, it’s nice to see that Continental at least does road tires right!