Yesterday I did the longest distance ride of my life and completely solo to boot. I've gone 100 miles before several times but never pushed much beyond that arbitrary limit. Yesterday I rode basically the pictured loop with a small extra detour around Standley Lake at the end. All told I rode about 116 miles in 7.5 hours. The trip took me from my house in Westminster along the front range, though Boulder, Lyons and then climbing up to Estes Park at roughly 7500 feet elevation.
My focus was to ride at a pace I could ride all day and get off the bike knowing I could keep riding. Essentially I wanted to go at a pace that I could keep for a 24 hour race. I worked on my nutrition again, using Ensure's every hour in the morning and also eating a Burger and fries for lunch up in Estes. In the afternoon I ate Clif Nectar bars every 45 minutes and took only one gel before a big climbing section near my house. I never bonked or got really hungry which is good compared to my lousy nutrition plan last year at Leadville. Despite keeping a talking pace all day I still averaged 15.5mph including all stops except lunch. I was lucky in that the afternoon storms held off until I was home. The weather was below freezing when I left a few minutes before 7am but by the time I hit Boulder it was in the mid 30s and eventually warmed to the mid 40s. Today I'm going to do a very short active recovery ride on the rollers while I watch the tourney. Next week is a rest week and this time I really deserve it.
In the past 3 weeks I've ridden almost 800 miles and spent over 60 hours on my road and mountain bikes in all weather. I'm in great shape and ready for whatever race season has to throw at me. Just 2 more weeks until daylight savings time begins and that means more mountain biking after work. Ten days after that I'll start the Cherry Creek Trial Series which I'm really looking forward to. I'm hoping we really do get the foot of snow the weather people (PC eh?) are predicting so I can screw around in it on the mountain bikes. Otherwise riding this week will be mostly commuting and easy lunch rides with my coworkers. At least I'll have a good chance to clean the house and start the remodeling of the office.
What's that? Oh sorry I have to go. The shower and that dent in the couch are calling my name.