One of the big worries that I had in making a snap decision to do this ride was, “Can I actually do this?”  As I said in my first post about this trip, I’ve never done more than three 80-mile days in a row.  And now I’m looking at doing 7 or 8 of them.  When I did the three 80s before, I was training for RAGBRAI 2008.  I was arguably in the best shape of my adult life when I rode then.

That was six years ago.  I’m a little out of practice.  The only ride I’ve done in 2014 of note is one I did on Easter Day.  I rode a shade under 56 miles.

Today’s ride threw everything at me it could think of:

  • 46 degree starting temperature
  • A 20 MPH headwind that lasted the entire 80 miles I rode today.
  • Temperature that never got about 57 degrees.  (Except for one time / temp monitor that showed 72.  Lying bastard.

It took over 40 miles to finally see the sun.  Then it’d go hide behind the clouds again robbing me of the warmth I was counting on.  (I don’t do well under 60 degrees.   It still hadn’t gotten out of the 50s as of 2:30 — a full six hours after starting.)

I was actually feeling pretty good . . . until the sun came out.  Then my legs decided they’d had enough.  Followed by my right shoulder.  And then the glutes chimed in.  All of them with the exact same message:  “Don’t do this to us again or we’ll leave you on the side of the road.”

The problem is:  I gotta do this again tomorrow.  And the next day.  And the next.  And five more days after that.

It’s the wind that’s causing all the problem.  Fighting it lowered my average speed from a little over 12 miles down to about 9.  Fighting it is what took the toll on my legs, I’m quite sure.  Frankly, an hour’s stopover at a McDonald’s, plus some road-side stretching did wonders.  While my physique’s profile would remind one of Alfred Hitchcock, my legs actually are quite powerful.  I just gotta remember not to abuse them.  They quit and it’s game over.

Of course, I could say the same about my ass.  Hard to ride 70 or 80 miles standing up.

Yeah yeah yeah, I know, I know.  I’m just bitching.

I did tell a couple of people that I’d probably get 5 miles, say, “Screw this,” turn around to the car, and sit on Lake Huron for a week.  I did make the five miles in style.

2014-05-23 08.31.06