Excellent century ride yesterday!
I love century rides, but while we’re suffering through the dog days of summer I generally avoid them. A 75-80 mile ride, rolling early, is my preferred upper distance limit when we’re dealing with heat index temperatures of 100°+ (F); anything over that just becomes a painful grind towards the end of the ride.
Apparently I and my buddies Sebastian and Christopher were all in the mood for a painful grind yesterday. 🙂
You may recall that we, along with our friends Justin and William, tried to do this ride last Friday, but an unfortunate mechanical issue made us cut the ride short (see “An extremely eventful ride yesterday!“). After the mechanical forced us to shorten last week’s ride, we decided that we were going to do the century this week. Unfortunately Justin and William could not make the ride, and they were missed.
So, yesterday the three of us rolled out–albeit a little late (I’m not mentioning any names. I wouldn’t do that to you, Chris!)–and headed north towards the Ocala National Forest.
Christopher, Sebastian and I rode this exact same route together at the end of January. None of us said it out loud, but I’m pretty sure we were all thinking it: we wanted to beat our average speed from the January ride (Spoiler alert: we did, averaging 21.4 MPH yesterday vs 21.2 MPH in January).
It was fairly cool for the first half of the ride. We were all feeling good, joking around and basically just having a great time.
The forecast was calling for ENE winds, so we were expecting a tailwind during a long stretch deep into the ride. As we made the turn heading west, we were met with a hot blast of crossing headwind. WTF?!
The wind is sort of an ongoing joke with us on this route. The last time we all did this ride the exact same thing happened. All we could do is shake our heads in disbelief, make ourselves as small as possible on the bike and pedal our asses off.
About 75 miles in the heat was becoming a big factor. We stopped off for water and food.
Those last 25 miles definitely hurt. It was extremely hot, and our legs were burning.
I have to give a special shout out to my man Sebastian. Even though we were hot and tired, every time we hit a hill Sebastian would come out of the saddle and attack it. Every. Damn. Time. Of course Chris and I were not going to let Sebastian ride away from us, so we were obligated to do the same. I was looking at my power output chart, and during the last 14 miles we were hitting most of those hills at between 700-860 watts (and as high as 915 watts). Thanks for the extra push at the end, Sebastian. I take back most of the things I was muttering under my breath at the time. 🙂
Despite drinking about a gallon of fluids (water and Gatorade), a Salt Stick capsule, a Clif bar and an energy gel, I was down 7.2 pounds when I finished the ride.
Tough one, but I loved it. Great ride, fellas.