This time I have fewer thoughts to record; the ride itself was the long, rambling narrative instead of the post.
- Weather: it rained on us for the first 80 miles, rarely pouring, but virtually always steady in every way. We also saw temps about 55F all day long. I was never cold, never warm,and never comfortable, but I was adquate mostly all day. It certainly goes in the books as one of those "because I could" moments. Imagine, my century in Sept. was in 100F temps, yesterday's 55F with constant range. I figure if I could put up with that, I can face other miserable challenges.
- Clothing: We knew going out that the forecast looked on us unfavorably, but I dressed the part in wool tops, bottoms, hat and gloves along with a rain cape. I used my lighter army-surplus gloves; they were the weak link of the day. My hands were often slightly cold. Next time: Dry gloves, Dry socks. I brought a dry hat and dry light-weight socks, but I needed replacements of comparable nature.
- Bike: The Blueridge was superb. I had very little back, neck soreness. The cockpit is spot on. Eventually I will change to alternative crankset gearing (mostly b/c I like the compact on the IF so much). As such, the downtube shifting was seamless and smooth but I think it did contribute to some crotch soreness as I regularly leaned over onto that "spot" during the course of the day while shifting (a lot during the many rollers). Aside some tights/shorts/"spot"/seat issues, the remainder of the bike experience was excellent.
- Food: I think I did a little better than usual, although I was facilitated by the weather in that I didn't have to drink as much. I took in my first snack in Shelbyville, munched a little mid-course and then we ate a good-sized meal in Crestwood. Dave mentioned in his post that he can take in more than I can, and I agree. A big meal always feels like it's going to come back up while on the bike. However the bigger meal- cheesy bread, Dr. Pepper, meatball sandwich- did sustain me for another couple hours. I think I need to work on eating more regularly and in smaller portions. And I've decided that I like gels and other "non-food", certainly for long days. I would have paid $5 for a "gu" a few times.
- Bad Spot: Somewhere in there I thought I was going to get through my first century sans "black spot" like those that have plagued me in previously efforts. Typically it's around 75-85m but yesterday I felt strong all the way through the rollers and hilly parts. Once we dived down the river escarpment onto Rose Island I though, "home free, flats all the way home!". Instead I had to stop at the end of Rose Island and take in some grub at mile 80 and really had to concentrate from there on in. It wasn't a get-off-the-bike moment. I didn't lay down in the wet grass, but I grimaced and gritted the teeth all the way down the trecherous rush hour of River Rd. Dave and I stayed close during that last portion as a means of support and protection during rush hour. When we hit Indian Hills I got off the bike for a few moments before making it in those last 6m. In some fashion, it will always happen. Eat!
- Pace: I'm not very fast on long rides, but I feel like I'm getting steadier, more consistent. My times (avg) for my centuries: 7.41 (13.2) /7.24 (14.2) /7.29 (13.7) /7.30 (13.6)-understanding that they're all over 100 but of variable of a few miles. Notice a trend? Every single on at the 7.5hr mark moving time. I didn't compute stoppage time, but I know the HotternHellHundy in September had the longest air-conditioning break. I next goal might be to do as consistent a time and get the total time under 9hrs and then closer to 8. I think it can be done. Keep moving. Be consistent. Be fit.
- Mas Pace: I averaged 14.2 on the IF in September in 100F temps *and* I think the computer was registering when I walked two hills. That's the machine I want to use again under more clement conditions.
- Set-up: So much for being short-winded. the pic below shows use of the Acorn Rando bag and my Garmin 60cx mounted on the stem instead of the bar like September. Both decisions get very high marks. The gps unit was much easier to deal with in that position; too bad it wouldn't run "route" and I had to rely on Dave's "track". Shite! The rando bag was great, but the BR has interrupter levers at the moment. Not for long, though. This weekend it'll be losing those for some new cockpit elements. And, yes, Dave and I wore reflective gear all day, ran lights all day and got rained on all day. Quite!
I thank Dave (with a few pics beetwix the rain) for being willing to go out at the drop of a hat for such a long, tough day. It was a lot of fun and I'm very proud to have finished in the conditions. I think, too, that yesterday's hundy was a better tempo than the others I've done. The avg. speed was little lower, but it felt like a good tempo to take. Great day.