A couple of days ago I did close to 25 miles by accident. Today I decided to do 25 on purpose. My route, an out and back, was not exactly well chosen, but it put me back on roads that I used to ride regularly. It was not well chosen because, while it has a few nasty little hills on the way out, the worst hills are all in the last four miles on the way home. Or maybe that means it was well chosen. You might as well save the best for when you're tiredest, right?
I decided to push the pace some and hit a few of the early hills hard. You know, for me, I mean. Back when I used to ride this route, I had a turn around point at ten miles. I found myself coming up on that turn around point and realized that I was feeling great and was amazed at how quickly I had gotten there! Then I realized that I didn't quite remember the route accurately and that turn around point was still at least 3 miles away. What a downer.
Then I came to the town of Eureka. I love the signs in that town, because it looks like the people who live there are so happy to find everything. Eureka! City Limits....Eureka! Church!.....Eureka! School...
More hills. You have to understand that I climb hills in exactly the same way that a hippopotamus walks a tight rope.
Actually, I'm not sure what that means. It kind of sounded better in my head.
What I'm saying is that I really need to work on going uphill. Today gave me plenty of practice. I did not excel.
I saw two nice dogs. What made them nice was that one of them ignored me completely and the other one simply watched me ride by with a little doggy grin on its face.
I found myself at times cruising at the sort of speeds the bike club used to ride at. I didn't stay at those speeds for a particularly long time, mind you, but I was there for a little while.
Here's how swamped in lactic acid I was at one point. I had to stop at an intersection and wait for some cars to go by. About a second after I turned the corner I glanced at my computer and saw the number 28. "Wow! Am I going 28 mph?!" One second after being at a complete stop? "Oh, maybe my top speed so far is 28 mph..." No. That was my cadence. I had, after all, just gotten moving again. Shake your head and move on.
Oh, here's a thing not to do:
I was riding up a long hill. Near the top of the hill, the road forks. If you continue straight, you go uphill more and then quickly around a blind curve. If you go left and take the fork, you go even more sharply uphill. I wanted to go left. There was a car coming up fast behind me at 55 mph. It didn't seem like stopping in front of the car was the ideal thing to do, so I pulled off and let if pass. The only problem now was that I needed to take the fork quickly so that some car coming around the blind curve didn't have the chance to T-bone me. I had one foot clipped in. I hit the the pedal with the other foot and clipped in, and then I stood up and dig in hard to get a quick burst of speed, which was when I found out that my second foot hadn't actually clipped in. It slid off the pedal with results that were...let's say unpleasant and let it go at that. It probably wouldn't have been that bad if I hadn't immediately repeated the performance with similar results.
So, back to those last four miles I mentioned. I wallowed gracelessly up the hills for two miles. Then I get a mile of only slightly up, so I decided to hurt myself some more by picking up the pace.. The last mile has a beautiful down hill - big chain ring, dig in, then comes an unpleasant uphill and the ride is over. I'm trying to make sure that I finish these rides strong, which is not something I am known for.
This is probably the most miles I've put on the bike in any 3 day period since I got back on it, and I managed to beat my target time for this ride.
I guess it's time to raise my goals again.