144 miles

I had a spectacular weekend of riding, and I sincerely hope each and every one of you did also. With PALM only about two months away, I figured it was time to start thinking about how well prepared I am to make the trek. I was already pretty confident that I could handle any single day’s ride. The question was whether or to what extent I’d be up for riding on consecutive days. Therefore, the goal this weekend was to ride Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I am positively thrilled to report, not only that I managed to do what I set out to do, but also that Sunday was my longest ride!

Friday, bike path from Riverscape Metropark to Xenia Station, 43.1 miles. Note: an easy way to add a few miles to any trip is to leave your gloves sitting on the roof of your truck (especially if you’ve parked it in a less-than-stellar neighborhood), and then recall doing so about 10 minutes into your ride.

Saturday, bike path from Riverscape Metropark to Xenia Station, 37.9 miles. This time, I didn’t leave anything behind. However, I did fail to pack either food or money, and I paid dearly for my foolish error. I felt like I had absolutely no strength or energy for most of the return trip. I am grateful for the kindness and generosity of a man I met at my rest stop who gave me an extra apple he had in his bag.

Sunday, club ride following a combination of country roads and bike paths, with a food stop in the middle at Young’s Dairy (where I ate heartily and without reservation, lest a I risk a repeat of Saturday’s second-half experience). The club ride is roughly 43 miles, so I decided to add some distance by riding to and from the starting point, which is 17 miles round trip. Returning from the food stop, it dawned on me that 62 miles is a metric century (100 km). Regrettably, I realized also that our mileage was going to come up a bit short of what was anticipated.  So, upon reaching the starting point, knowing I had only 8.5 miles to go, which would leave me with about 58 miles on the day, I decided to take a different route home and tack on an extra 5 miles. Wow, was it ever cool seeing the odometer roll over at the 62-mile mark. By the time I got to the truck, I had 63.73 miles on the day, and I was grinning like the cat that ate the canary (wobbly legs notwithstanding). Rain was in the forecast all day, but hardly a drop fell prior to 3p, a good 30 minutes after I was already home, showered, and relaxing. I am so glad I went.

Best parts:

  1. chats with strangers at rest stops over the shared interest of bicycles;
  2. seeing places that were once milestones and remembering what a big deal it was on that day to have ridden so far; and
  3. discovering a new reason we ride: so we can order anything we want from the menu.

One response to “144 miles

  1. 10thousandfeet

    Hear, hear. I ride for cheeseburgers and fried pickles from the Longhorn Cafe.