Here are the details of today’s bike ride: .
Today’s Bike Ride — A Short Commentary
I want to take some more time to write about this more fully, but this has been another goal of mine since I became aware of this event, cross that off, what is next? My finish was closer to last than first, but given my experience level and training I am quite happy with the result. The overall speed is one that would have made me ecstatic on a 25 mile ride last summer.
I am hoping the photographs taken of myself are not too expensive and I can purchase a few and publish here.
Today’s Bike Ride — What I Did Correctly
The biggest thing I did right was to reconnoiter the race course. My wife and I drove it out a few days prior the race and I noticed the two halfs of the course had distinctly different natures. The first half was near perfect flat and the second half had much more hills with mostly rollers and a few good climbs (at least for us in Easter Wisconsin), and the overall trend of the second half was uphill to about 5-7 miles prior the end and then it was downhill with some flat.
I also paid close attention to the weather forecasts, which were calling for light and variable winds early and SSW winds at about 7 mph or so later. The course started off going to the north, so we either had no winds or a pushing wind. However, as soon as we rounded the top I noted the winds were less friendly.
I also acquired a ride-mate. Early in the ride after my start wave started to spread out I found myself with a group of riders and one of those riders I had a mutual pace preference, and we joined up. She was a young college student at a local university and was also in her first long distance bike race. She stomped the hills and I was more of a sprinter and dominated downhill (of course, I am a downhill skier). We acquired a third mate for a bit, but he could not maintain our pace and dropped off.
Given my preparation I knew not to try to push too hard on the first half. I was patient and kept a good but comfortable pace, the goal was to finish in the allotted time. Also, given my preparation, I knew to harvest what I speed I could reasonably harvest on the downhills. I have found the key to riding rollers is not push but not so much you are out of breath at the bottom and have to start climbing again.
We stopped at each rest stop but for the first one. I needed to get my tail off of the saddle and at those stops we used the facilities, got water (or a sports drink of some sort) and picked up some energy chews or other source of food. I did not pass it up, it was a big help and at no point did I detect a looming bonk.
All in all it was a great experience and now the step to a true century is a small one! Next year I hope to organize a team to participate and once again Race the Lake!