Because of the way that this week is panning out, I wanted to get out for another longer ride today. And with LOTS of other things to do, I dragged my carcass out of bed reasonably early, and was on the road and out of town before the 4x4 School Run brigade were out - always a good move that!!
This was a new route - it has bits I've done before, but not connected up the way I did them today, and I reckoned that it was about 95 miles - although it is easily extendable to around 105 miles when the roadworks that forced me to reroute today have been finished.
It started off a little overcast and the forecast wind was as strong as they said it would be, and from the direction they said it would come. This meant that the first half only had a short section where I was heading in to the wind, and it was a reasonably hilly section with plenty of trees and woods to provide a bit of shelter, so that worked out rather well. Better than I could have hoped for in a way!
Part way through this bit I got a call from someone that I needed to call back, so an impromptu stop in a gateway was needed. While I was making that call I noticed that the early morning cloud was clearing and the sun was starting to come out. It being nice and warm, I was only wearing a cycling top and shorts...... and I hadn't done the sun cream thing. That was to become the Oops!!
Now I've started to notice a pattern on these longer rides. By about 55-60 miles my legs have become progressively more tired, and yet by around 70 miles they seem to come back to me and they actually feel much stronger.
Anyone have any idea what that is all about? Or is it just similar to the 'Bad Patch' that many runners experience on longer runs and Ultras?
I decided on a very short off-the-bike rest at 65 miles. It was gorgeously sunny and warm, and it was a food and drink opportunity with a nice bench to sit on and a bin to get rid of my accumulated rubbish :o)
There was another 'new' section a short while after this, and it was a cracker - I'll use that again. It cut short by a couple of miles a slightly contrived section that I normally ride when I'm in these parts, and it was much nicer tbh!!
Although the last 20 miles were still mostly into the wind, with my legs coming back to me, it was really enjoyable.
Funny moment at 92 miles where I passed and older bloke on an older bike only for him to (obviously) go "Harrumph" and stand up and bat past me
I contemplated some testosterone hurling, but instead just sat on his wheel while he struggled up the hill. Well..... I saw him come out of his house, and I had done 90 miles, and if he wants to regale heroic stories of how he dusted this bloke on his fancy-pants bike (it's not!) wearing tight lycra - then he can. But he was looking very grey when I peeled off at a traffic light junction ;o)
So a decent ride!
96.8 mile in 6:21
More decent endurance work :o)
But, if I am going to be out for that length of time, I MUST remember the suncream. Comedy tan lines (well to call it 'tan' is stretching the truth a little) abound.