Ok guys this is gonna be a bike post…
Yesterday Jay and I went upstate for Bike the River Valley… we’d intended to do the 100mi route. I figured that it’d take us 7 hours of riding, 9 with rest stops. Turns out that not only did we only have 9 hours total to ride after transportation was factored in, but the day was cold and rainy until about 2pm. Feeling exhausted and not looking forward to being rushed out of our post-race amenities upon a late return (along with suffering other snafus from the ride organizers along the way), we settled for departing the 100-mile course at around mile 50, for a total of about 55-ish miles on the day.
Part of me says “not too shabby”, part says “you’re a wuss, good luck handling something that’s not beginner-bait”, and part says “well, no shit, you were riding in 45-degree rain with only cheaply-improvised cold protection meant for 55-degree weather, so, it’s almost like you did a century”.
There were other reasons to come back early, but definitely the strongest one was that we wanted the ability to eat the post-ride meal and shower comfortably. In the end we really didn’t even get that, as I had to rush just to get in a meal + shower within the time I was allotted before waiting for the next return trip to NYC (which took an ungodly 4+ hours with bike-unloading included. Could have taken a train to DC in less time). For that, I don’t have to defend a decision to downgrade my century day. I could have handled 25 more miles, surely. I just didn’t want to get back home at 1am wearing soggy clothes with no food. We’re supposed to enjoy the ride and the day’s experience, not rush and suffer through it.
But the worry is that I’m still not resilient enough, especially on hills or in adverse conditions, to do the kind of riding I want to do. That worries me, because I’m definitely not training as much as I think I should be lately, I’m definitely getting worn out from the training that I’m doing, and I’m struggling to find the time to dedicate (especially with enough time to reach appropriate training locations) for my physical conditioning activities. I don’t think anyone with a steel bike and a hanging gut is doing a 6-hour century in the rain on a hilly course, so on that measure I am doing just fine, but the entire point of riding (both commuting/training during the week and long-distance weekend rides) is to be in damn good shape and not be tired or easily exhausted most of the time.
That said, fuck riding in a rainy century when your organizer doesn’t even get you to the start line before 8:30am. The rain isn’t the organizers’ fault, but I can’t trust their amenities/organization regardless. I’ll take my 60 miles and make it home in time for a real dinner, thanks.
- cowboy-killr said: When people ask me what it’s like to run a marathon I usually tell them “Well, I only ran 20 miles and walked the rest”
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- theblueprint said: gore bike wear phantom shell is worth its weight in gold. i’ve rode it in all conditions (to -10). near-waterproof, fast drying, warm, well-ventilated, zip-off sleeves. my favorite bit of gear, by far.
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