Trying Out the Back Roads


(photo by R)

R and I rode the Back Roads Century this past weekend. We decided to do the 30-mile option, as he didn’t think he was up to doing more. We also opted to join a group to ride with.
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Going With the Flow

I had signed up for the Scenic Schuylkill Century; it was canceled due to flooding from Tropical Storm Lee. Then, I thought I would try to Indian Head 100 as a substitute; it, too, had parts of their route flooded, and it has been rescheduled. I was raring for a long ride, as I hadn’t done one since July.

Luckily, a couple of my good friends were into doing a ride for weekend, so we headed out to Centennial Park and did a long, hilly ride through Howard and Carroll Counties. The bucolic scenery made up for the leaden feeling in my legs on the return route, and miraculously, we missed the storm that was rolling into the area.

Post ride, my legs feel great, but my arms are sore, like I’ve been carrying weights.

What I learned on this ride:
1. As with the other hilly ride, I seem to poop out somewhere around mile 40. I guess I need to do more 40-mile rides to get over this.
2. I need to figure out how to keep a constant speed on long climbs. Maybe that comes with experience.
3. Do not swallow bees. They hurt.
4. Do, however, get more of those Honey Stinger Waffles– they are delicious. (Damn you, Lance!)

My goal for the rest of the year: do at least 2 long rides every month, and work on feeling strong until mile 50.

On Preparing for a Century

Last year, I rode two century rides within two weeks of each other. It was kind of a crazy thing to do. I had never ridden that long of a ride before, so I wasn’t sure how to prepare for it. I figured just riding as much as I can would be a good start. I wasn’t really prepared when it came down to it, but I managed to finish both of them– on a hybrid, which proved to be an uncomfortable ride.
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August 2011 Totals

For the month of August, I biked 150.3 miles. Disappointing– I thought I would get more long rides in, but it just didn’t happen. On the upside, I am less than 200 miles from my goal of doing 1000 miles this year, so that’s something.

I’ll write about my thoughts for my upcoming century ride soon.