Most of the lessons I learned on the Flatbread 200K this year were happy discoveries.
Eating real food is awesome. I mean, I know this, but it was a revelation to discover how much I could eat and feel good about it. Over the course of this ride, I had half a cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter, a Tastykake pie (a nostalgic thing from my childhood), two cookies, a turkey sandwich (no cheese) with chips and a pickle, an apple cider, and a Payday bar. And not only was that enough energy to get me through the ride (I didn’t even come close to bonking), I also didn’t get sick or cramp up. I did supplement with a few Shot Bloks and a Mojo bar, but that was it.
I probably could have eaten fewer slices of pizza after the ride, though. Pizza and I don’t always get along, but I found it hard to turn down after the long ride.
The Camelbak works great. I’ve been keeping up with my hydration, which is a very good thing. I had to go to the bathroom at every stop and in between, but that’s okay.
Riding on the tandem was a great experience. Mike is a very strong rider. I felt like he propelled us along, so sometimes it felt like I was cheating. But I discovered that you really do need to work as a team– if either one of us wasn’t pedaling, the bike suddenly felt very heavy. And although it was a blessing to not worry about pedaling together on the Davinci, it’s actually more advantageous to match up in cadence. When we were really out of sync, I felt it– it felt like we were pushing and pulling against each other, instead of moving forward.
The biggest lesson I learned was that fit matters. Also something I know, but man, I was reminded of this again and again as the miles wore on. The fit on the stoker side was not quite right– my sitbones hurt, and my right knee started hurting towards the end. This is the price you pay when you ride someone else’s bike. To his credit, Mike tried to adjust the saddle and seatpost a couple of times, but in the end, I just had to keep riding and do the best I can.
The more rides I do, the stronger I become. Now, I just have to keep riding through the winter and keep in shape.