Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cup 'n Cone Ride: Recap

I've recently discovered that along those weekly curling recaps, recaps of specific bike rides are among my least-read posts. So...sorry in advance, but I think I put in a pretty freaking awesome performance at this "Cup 'n Cone" Ride I did last weekend.

The ride was 65 miles long (my longest ever, and my second 100K), and included a chip-timed hill climb contest as well. My goals were: 1) don't be the last rider to finish the 65 miles, and 2) finish 15th percentile or higher (meaning, not in the bottom 15%) in the hill climb. (I know my place in the world of road bicycling. Compared to most other people who ride their bike as much as I do, I'm pretty slow.)

My actual results:
- I finished the 65 miles in 4:46:23, ahead of 30 other riders, and 21 minutes ahead of the last riders to finish.
- I did the Lystra Road hill climb in 9:09, a full two minutes faster than my test run two weeks prior, and placing me in the 42nd percentile among males (168th out of 289).

In other words...woooooooooo! I know that bicycling accomplishments don't get anywhere near the pub (or as many Facebook 'likes') as running accomplishments, but whatever. I'm proud. I wasn't sure I could do 65 miles in under five hours.

One thing that's neat about these bike rides is huge mass of bicycles at the start. Even though I knew I'd be among the slower riders, I decided to start near the front, in order to take advantage of "the draft" for as long as possible. And, so, the first 30 minutes of the ride basically consisted of me getting constantly passed by, oh, pretty much everybody.

But that's okay, because at the first rest stop (mile 15), my average speed was 15.8 mph, which for me is blistering. I'm usually in the low 13s at the one-hour mark of a longer ride. I don't know how much the draft had to do with it, but there was also adrenaline, subconsciously trying to keep up even though I was going out of my way not to push, and the fact that I didn't have to lug all my water with me, this being a supported charity ride.

There were pretty much only two times all day long in which I passed anyone: 1) at rest stops (I didn't stop at all of them); and 2) on the timed hill climb. I totally went for it on the hill climb, and perhaps I paid the price towards the end of the ride as a result, but it was worth it.

(Side note about the hill climb: I unofficially timed myself going back down the hill as well, and my downhill time would have still only been the 3rd fastest hill climb. So, there are two people who went up the hill faster than I went down it. That's insane. By the way, I set a new personal speed record going back down the Lystra Road hill: 38 mph.)

By mile 18, the hill climb was over, and I just had to grind out another 47 miles, and try not to waste too much time at the rest stops so that I can accomplish my goal of not finishing last. That's really where I slow myself down on my typical bike rides. Maybe spending a little more time at that last rest stop (mile 52) would have made the last 13 miles a little less miserable, but it's funny what you're willing to endure when you're on the clock. Four days later, my muscles still haven't completely recovered, by the way.

This ride did remind me that anything much longer than 60 miles is well beyond my reach. However, while 100 miles at once would be too difficult, I think I could do 100 miles over the course of a weekend. Maybe that will be my goal for next year.

Okay, I'm done patting myself on the back now. Sorry about all that.

1 comment:

Adam said...

GReat Job Chris! I'm exhausted after 10 miles!