Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Longest Bike Distance

Happy Wednesday (a.k.a. Happy Hump Day)!

4th of July Metric Century Bike Ride

It's no secret that I have found a new love. Cycling! Of course, my old love of running is still my most forefront activity but cycling is a great cross training activity for my running and it helps that I love it so much.

It's also no secret that I have a slightly crappy inexpensive road bike that was purchased online.  And I love it. It's my baby. At some point, a more expensive and better road bike will come along...but I won't forget my first...

Anywho. A couple weeks ago, actually on July 4th, I participated in the 4th of July Metric Century ride in Plainfield. It's not a competitive race and nothing is timed. It's basically a fun-ride with 3 distances available: 30, 45, or 62 miles.  You don't have to pre-register (although you can), it's inexpensive ($20 pre-register, $25 day of ride), and you don't have to choose your distance ahead of time. You can decide what you want to ride while you are out there (as long as you don't pass the turn-around for the particular distance you want to ride).

Initially, I had thought of doing the 30 or 45 distance. I had never gone more than 26, but the weekend before, I ended up riding 36. I knew then that I could handle the 45 miles. BUT... I have crazy friends who like to challenge me. They wanted me to do the 62 miles.  My boyfriend was up for the challenge, so I decided to do it if I could manage it.

We met up with some of my FNRC friends (yes, all runners! But now cyclists. No need to pigeon hole yourself), and headed out. A few of us (5 of us) stayed together for the whole ride. We knew approximately what pace we would be riding and it was what everyone had in mind. We saw some of our other friends along the way and/or rest stops but it was nice to have a group of us to ride together the whole time. It's a long way, after all.

There were 3 rest/food stop along the way. They were at about miles 18, 32, and 50.  And they were pretty awesome! Lots of food: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, tons of different fruit, trail mix, cookies, chips, pretzels, water, gatorade. Really spectacular and I was thrilled! I was hungry at mile 18 as I hadn't eaten too much for breakfast. The first stop I had the PB&J and craved salty. The second and third stop, I just couldn't get enough fruit! Yum!  Special thanks to all the volunteers!

My FNRC cycling crew!

The long stretch of food available

A lot of hungry and thirsty cyclists

Another view of the food (because you can't have too many pics of food)
We stopped for about 15 minutes at each rest stop. I was really ready for the first one. The second one came up a bit unexpectedly. And I really was ready for that third stop!  I felt like a kid on a rode trip, "Are we there yet?"

Sometimes we rode faster, sometimes we rode slower, sometimes we rode "just right!"  We talked to various members of our group and switched it up. We switched up the order of who was riding in front. Most of the ride was on open roads with miles of cornfields. It was really nice and peaceful. Simply beautiful! Of course some of it was in busier areas and we really had to be careful of cars and debris from the recent storms. There were little markings on the ground telling you which way to go, so you just had to watch for those and you were good.

Lynn and I just doing our cycling thing!
 
Hey look! It's me!

With the 4 others in my crew

Big D (a.k.a. Derek)
I was definitely happy when we got out of the 30's. In the 30's, I kept thinking we were only half way. So I was happy to hit 40 miles. The 50's were long. So very long. I knew I would be able to finish and I was really ready to finish. I think 30-40 miles is a perfect long distance! lol.  We did see one accident off to the side. The guy must have clipped the person's tire in front and crashed. He was laying on the ground and not really moving when we stopped. But then it seemed like it was just his shoulder/collarbone that might have been broken. Someone had called for the ambulance and some of the people he was with were firefighters, so we knew he was in good hands and we started going again. But really shook us up for a little bit.  My boyfriend likes to draft and is sometimes very close to my back end which was making me nervous after I saw that crash and snapped at one point, "Can you not follow so close to me after what had just happened!" My nerves were a bit on edge.

But I had a lot of fun. We finished and my watch only showed 61+ miles so I rode around the parking lot. Hey, I had 62 miles in my head and I wanted my watch to show it! lol. Derek and I had a busy day ahead so we took off pretty quickly afterwards. We had a good time and this was a great ride. I would definitely do it again!

Derek and I after the ride!
I do have the Venus De Miles ride coming up in August and I signed up to do the 64 mile ride. Obviously now I know I can do it! So it should be a fun time!

Also, don't forget that I still have a 10% discount code if you want to run Zooma with me! Register with code CAMB6! August 2nd!

4 comments:

  1. Well done! I'm still working my way up to those distances!

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  2. It was a great ride - and so much fun doing it with you guys!! :-)

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  3. Great ride!! Thats scary about the crash!!

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  4. Congrats on biking 100! That's along way!

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