Sunday, August 27, 2006
The Cache Valley Century
Well the 2006 Cache Valley Century is in the books. For me, it was a mostly successful adventure. As is the norm with long distance rides, I learned some positive things about my riding, and learned that there is still a lot of progress to be made.
The day dawned wet and cold as a nasty line of thunderstorms rolled through about 3-4 AM. After months of hot dry weather, we were greeted at the start area with 53 degrees and light rain. What timing! But it all turned out fine. By 9 AM, the sun was out and the weather was lovely.
As far as I saw, there were only two recumbents on this ride, along with one fellow riding a beautiful WizWheels TerraTrike. http://www.wizwheelz.com/ The rest of the group was the usual mix of high end speed demons, intermediates, and a smattering of beginners.
My new friend, Kerry from Clearfield on his Rans V-Rex.
With Amy and Jon as my side crew, I was off to the races around 7:40 AM. The first part of the ride went wonderfully. 51 miles at 17.5 mph average. Right on target! In fact, following one long downhill, downwind stretch I had another rider comment to me that he had been chasing me for 6 miles and wanted to know if I had an extra motor on board!
At the 70 mile rest area in Nibley. (note my happy cheery face)
Of course, all things come to an end. Three factors changed the whole tone of the day. 1. The wind. The second half of the day was mostly into a north breeze. 2. About 1/3 of the ride from Trenton to Wellsville was newly chip sealed road with a very rough texture. Not the fastest road to ride, and it just made for slow progress. 3. The most important issue that arose was self-inflicted. I worked too hard going up a hill, and something happened inside my right knee. So, for the latter part of the day my right ACL was screaming and sending nasty E-mails to me for about the last 40 miles. My mistake was twofold. First was that I rested too long at the Trenton rest stop, and second was not “spinning” up a long hill and mashing the pedals instead. Probably over-stressed the knee in some fashion, but it sure impeded my progress the rest of the day.
The total numbers: Total miles:103. Average speed: 15.7 mph. Maximum downhill speed: 45 mph on the big downhill west of Preston. Total riding time: 6 hours, 27 minutes. (27 minutes over my goal)
What did I learn? That I am a much better rider than I was 3 years ago; That I still have a long ways to go to be ready for a double century like LOTOJA or Seattle to Portland; and that I am very proud of my efforts so far. As Amy tells me, “How many men in your age group can ride 100 miles on a bicycle?” Seriously, I have made progress on nutritional issues, and being comfortable on the bike. I probably once again did not drink enough water and paid the price with a stiff headache the day after. Although I can maintain a great pace for 50 miles, my conditioning level is still not up to century standards. Next year I will need to incorporate more 50-70 mile rides in my training. Commuting back and forth to work with a round trip of 51 miles once a week has been a good method to build base miles, but it's not the same as a bonafide 60 mile training ride.
What’s next? Well, a little rest, and then I am going to explore riding some of Utah’s hilly canyons this fall as the weather cools to a better climbing temperature.
A completely random photo from the Eden Balloon Festival. (www.ogdenvallyballoonfestival.com) We had a great time watching the balloons being inflated!
I hope you have all had a great summer, and still are finding time to get outdoors.
Happy Riding, All