Excellent 104 kilometer ride yesterday; On Vacation.
Because of my schedule and Lisa’s schedule, it’s been impossible for me to get away for a ride longer than an hour on recent Saturdays. That situation should be changing in July, and I’m really looking forward to getting back to long Saturday group rides with the Crazies, as well as Saturday morning trips to Santos with my friends.
In the meantime, Thursday mornings sort have become my go-to day for fairly long morning rides. Last Thursday I did a 104 kilometer (65 mile) ride with Harv Carpenter, and yesterday I went for another 104 kilometer ride with Mike Simmons. Unfortunately Mike was getting hammered with work calls, and had to turn back at the 22 mile mark. I was really in the mood to keep riding, so I reluctantly said goodbye to Mike and continued on solo…
Anyway, we rolled out at 7:00 AM. It was humid, but the temperature was cool enough that it was quite pleasant–at least for the first hour or so. I rode for about 4 hours, and by the halfway point I was drenched in sweat.
I drank approximately 1.5 gallons of water, consumed one package of GU chomps (I love the Orange and Cranberry Apple flavors), two GU energy gels (the Espresso Love flavor is amazing) and a total of 6 Saltstick caps (1 after the first hour, then 1 every 30 minutes for the rest of the ride). No muscle cramps, no bonks, plenty of energy the entire ride.
I’ve become a huge fan of the Saltstick caps. They are inexpensive and they really work. I’ve got more information on them in this blog.
The ride was awesome. I felt great the whole way, and set a number of new personal records: 9 PRs, including 4 new KOMs and 2 additional top 10 finishes. My average heart rate over the 3:37:21 ride was 159 BPM, and my Strava Suffer Score was 176 (“Extreme”). You can check out the entire ride on Strava here and here if you want (it was one ride, but split into two on Strava).
There’s no question that my hard cycling training is paying off. I’m getting faster and stronger on the bike every week, and it feels great. That’s not to say I’m anywhere close to where I want to be. I know that I have a lot more potential.
Training will only take me so far. Racing is the path to a level of cycling that training alone can’t allow me to reach. As a former competitive swimmer, I know firsthand that no amount of training can substitute for the experienced gained in live races. The Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia in Miami will be my first road race. Even though I’m going to get my ass handed to me (there will be pros and hundreds of local heroes there), I’m going to learn a lot that day.
Finally, I’m on vacation! Well, technically I have to work tomorrow, so my vacation really starts on Sunday, but this will be my final JSF blog until I return. My normal daily blogs will resume on Monday July 1, 2013. In the meantime, I’ll be around on Facebook and doing lots of riding while I’m off.