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Windy 89 mile ride yesterday; New distance and elevation records set.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


Yesterday my friend Jeff Stephens put the call out for a morning ride. Jeff sent me an advance email last week letting me know that he was planning on a couple rides this week with a group visiting from Wisconsin, so I’d already penciled this ride into my schedule:

Going to ride with Mike Spiro and his band of Wisconsin friends in the morning. Depart from FNB @ 9:00 AM. I let ’em pick the time, as they are on vacation. No HAMMERFEST, just steady miles up to ASTOR and the scenic route home. Probably about 85 miles or so… start slow and maintain.

For the life of me I can’t figure out to whom Jeff was directing the “No HAMMERFEST” instruction…

Anyway, after the spirited 100 mile ride we did on Saturday, a nice long social ride on some beautiful country back roads sounded perfect to me. I informed Jeff he’d have no trouble out of me.

I met with Jeff at the starting location, and a few minutes later Mike from Wisconsin, along with three of his friends, rolled up.

Once we were warmed up and out on the open roads, the pace picked up. I was not the instigator, but was more than happy to maintain the standard. As we approached the 50 mile mark, our average speed was 20.7 MPH–not exactly a casual social ride pace!

Full derp mode. Near the halfway point of our 89 mile ride. Good group down from snowy Wisconsin enjoying the ride in our beautiful Florida weather. I'm starting to wish I'd not remembered my Galaxy S4's dual-camera photo functionality.

Full derp mode. Near the halfway point of our 89 mile ride. Good group down from snowy Wisconsin enjoying the ride in our beautiful Florida weather. I’m starting to wish I’d not remembered my Galaxy S4’s dual-camera photo functionality.


The winds were really picking up at this point (in fact high wind advisories were in effect), and as we approached mile 60 we were riding into very strong constant headwinds, with even stronger gusts. The winds slowed our pace, but we were working just as hard: in fact, my average power for the final 39 miles was higher than it was for the first 50 miles.

Final ride stats on my Garmin Edge 810. The wind was brutal, particularly during the second half of the ride.

Final ride stats on my Garmin Edge 810. The wind was brutal, particularly during the second half of the ride.

My lower back has been hurting since my bike wreck a little over a week ago, but during rides it’s not been too bad. Well, around mile 60 on yesterday’s ride my lower back started SCREAMING at me. The pain was constant with occasional muscle spasms; to put it mildly, I was extremely uncomfortable. Every mile felt like 10, and with nearly 30 miles left to ride, I was starting to wonder how I was going to make it…

The only thing I could do was ignore the pain, and try to focus on something else. Once the wind was hitting us full-force, I used that as a distraction, and that helped. By the time we were in the mid 70-mile part of the ride, my back had calmed down enough that it wasn’t too much of a factor for the rest of the ride.

My legs and cardio felt great the entire way. At this point I feel like I’ve done everything I can to prepare for the the 274 kilometer/170 mile Cross-Florida (XFL) ride (Sunday, April 6, 2014). My only concern is the lower back pain I’m experiencing and, to a lesser extent, the saddle sores (although they are MUCH improved now). Right now my body needs to recover and heal, so I’ll start scaling back my miles (while maintaining my conditioning) as I get closer to the XFL.

Yesterday’s ride put me over my previous single-month cycling distance record, which was set last month. As of yesterday I’ve ridden 1,586 kilometers (985.2 miles) so far in March. Today I’ll break the 1,000 mile single-month distance mark, which is something I committed to doing this month.

I’ve also set a new single-month elevation record this month, having climbed 28,346 feet (so far). That eclipses my previous best of 21,673 feet, which I set last month.

My cycling distance for March has put me in the top 1% of all worldwide riders on Strava who are participating the March Monthly Training Series (currently 70,996 cyclists).

Not a bad month so far. 🙂

John Stone Fitness Comments

6 Responses to “Windy 89 mile ride yesterday; New distance and elevation records set.”
    • Like I said, I planned for this ride last week. Yesterday I worked from 4:30 AM until ride time, then when I got home until 9:00 PM.

      We all have different schedules and time constraints. The trick is to know your schedule, and then work with it to ensure you are able do the things that are most important to you.

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      • Oh my apologies John, no disrespect intended. Sorry if it read that way.

        I’m not complaining about my schedule or implying yours is easy, no way. Like you said, we all have different schedules and a different basket of responsibilities for sure. You inspire me to in so many ways, task management being one of them.

        At this stage of my life there’s not a day of the week where I could get away for 4 hours of anything, let alone a hobby, lol! My wife and I barely have a free 15 minutes for well, you know. 😉 (Ok ok, 5 minutes.) But I wouldn’t trade anything I have for the ability to do so regardless, because the trade-offs are well worth it. One day my schedule and responsibilities will be different, and that will be fun too.

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        • Ya, I read your comment and naturally thought, “What is he inferring here?”

          Also, you followed up by saying you were not complaining about your schedule, but the “…if only” remark at the end of your original comment sounds awfully wistful to me.

          Anyway, no worries. 🙂

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