So it has been about two weeks since my last post and training is moving along nicely. Fortunately the weather has cooperated and spring is in full swing. Last weekend I got out for 102 miles on Saturday and another 44 Sunday.
Yesterday I had plans to get 150 miles in. When I woke up, I was lazy and went back to sleep. Bad Brian! After laying in bed until 8:00 or so, I finally got up, ate, did some chores and lazily rolled out at 9:30.
The plan was to go East on the Trans Am 75 miles, then turn around and come home. The weather was cool, so I wore my windbreaker. I had a very relaxing stroll for the first 31 miles and never put a foot down. Gotta love it when you don’t have to stop!
After a short nature call, I took off my jacket and it was back to it, if only for a short spell. Stopped at the convenience store in St Mary 36 miles in to grab something to eat and refill fluids. While stopped, I added the jacket back. Not quite warm enough to go without it yet.
I left St Mary headed for Chester and once I was on the flats near the river, I felt the brunt of the Easterly winds we were having. Headwinds on the flats are worse than climbing!
I crossed the Mississippi, climbed the hill into Chester and stopped at Casey’s for a quick snack and some orange juice. I really didn’t feel the need to stop having only ridden 13 or so miles, but it seemed prudent. That and I wanted to take the jacket off again. The sun was out and I was heating up.
The roller coaster hills along County Farm Rd as I left Chester were a bit brutal with the headwinds! Little gears and patience were the method of the afternoon. I still had a long way to go and did’t want to burn up. A days worth of cycling can be thought of as a matchbook. You have a limited number of matches to burn. Use them wisely.
Through Wine Hill and on to Campbell Hill. I stopped in Campbell Hill and their little C-store and refuel again. Just a quick snack and a drink. Just 10 miles or so to my turn around!
Down Rt 4 to Ava and onto Ava Rd. I was feeling a little beat up and didn’t like the idea that although I was almost to my turn around, I had a long row to hoe to get back home!
I use two different methods of mileage tracking. I have the Strava app running on my phone and a simple wired bike computer on the bars. My computer usually is off to the plus side a bit so I wanted to make sure that Strava had 75 miles before I turned around. With my phone being in my top tube bag, I had to unzip, open the lock screen and check it to see what it read.
At around 72 miles on the computer, I checked Strava. It showed about 1 mile behind my computer, so I zipped the bag up and kept going. When I neared 76 on my computer, I check the phone again and got a little frustrated. Somehow I had paused Strava when I checked before! Bummer! Not wanting my ride to show up less than 150 when I finished and uploaded it to Strava, I kept going another 1.5 miles or so. Not that big of a deal, but not what I wanted to do either!
I took the following video at the turn around.
As I turned and headed West, I started feeling the benefit of having dealt with the headwind all day- tailwinds home!
I stopped in Campbell Hill again for a snack and drink on the way back. I skipped the stop in Chester and made my final stop in St Mary.
Leaving St Mary, the sun was almost set and it was cooling off. I put my windbreaker back on and headed off for the final 36 miles home.
Once the sun went down, I got to try out my light setup. Just a little different than what I normally use, but it worked well and I should have plenty of light (not only to see, but enough power to last the night) for Trans Iowa next month.
I won’t say that I wanted to go any farther, but overall I felt fine as I rolled back into Farmington. Sore hands and a bit road weary, but nothing out of the ordinary. I really need to get my aero bars on my road bike before I go out for another long one, just so I have another hand position.
In the end, the ride went great! To critique myself, I needed to drink more water throughout the day. The best part of the day was recognizing that I crossed over a “wall” at about 105 miles or so. Up to then, I was struggling with my hands and but aching and generally just wanting to get off the bike. After that, I got beyond all that mentally and just cruised on. Exactly what needs to happen when I go to ride 331 miles at Trans Iowa. Not far now! Just 32 days!!!
This week I will be going through my “gravel” bike. Right now it is in pieces as I took it apart for inspection. Good thing. Bottom bracket was shot. I’ll have it back together for next Sunday as I head out for a ride in Steelville, MO called Death by Gravel. 90 miles of Ozark gravel roads. Should be easy after 150 this weekend!