Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ow, what a ride!

Well, I'll post a short summary of our ride yesterday (2008/6/15 - the Longest Day - 208 miles). A longer version should be posted on my page within the week. We left at 4:48 AM (according to my watch) and arrived at 8:28 PM (again according to my watch). I don't have an average speed as my computer was messed up (I forgot to turn it on) but we're certain it was close to 17 mph as the other teams were reporting this and we left close to when they did and arrive before most of them. There were two reasons for the long length of time. The first was we lost our SAG, the second was the heat and humidity in the Pine Barrens. At our lunch stop the SAG was supposed to meet us in Allentown. He stopped in Kingston at a local deli to get lunch and he didn't see us pass him (we where doing pace lines and flying onto Allentown another 20+ miles ahead). So we ended up waiting in Allentown for 45 minutes for him to arrive. I made the mistake of not giving him my cell phone number and he didn't have mine (oops). So our lunch stop took around an hour instead of 30 minutes. Next we really suffered in the Pine Barrens, actually we began to suffer on Four Mile Rd (just below Browns Mills) and knew we needed more stops. So I modified the route to include another stop in the Pine Barrens. Earlier we added a stop early in the ride so we now had at least 20 extra minutes there. In the Pine Barrens we also hit heat, humidity and wind. It was reported that Woodbine, NJ (southern end of the Pine Barrens) had a high of 89F. I'd guess the middle of the Pine Barrens were higher yet. Add the humidity and the direct sun and we were riding in 100+F adjust heat index. The wind did us no favors as it was quite strong. We all suffered (every team, not just mine). I can honestly say that I think our team could have gone much faster as the last 23 miles were our fastest. We managed to up the pace to 18.4 for the last 23 miles.! I'd hav e to say this ride has caused me to doubt my leadership abilities. I'll have to work on that. More about that later (on my web pages).

Friday, June 13, 2008

On the road again ...

Well it's the day before the Longest Day and the training is done. If we're not ready now we won't be ready tomorrow. ;-) The weather looks good for tomorrow. We'll start out at 4:30 AM and it looks like it will be in the low 60's. When we get to the Pine Barrens we'll be looking at the low 90's. When we get to Cape May it should be in the low 70's with a head wind of 12 mph out of the south. This is to be expected and I don't think I've seen one of these rides where we haven't had a head wind on the lower half.

I've tried to figure out how to access the blog and Facebook via my cell phone but I haven't quite figured that out yet so I'll not worry about it. The cell phone has a camera and I'd like to remember to take pictures but I'm not that good at it (shaky pictures usually). I'll see what I can do. Anyway I'm off for my big ride and I am excited.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Back to back rides, final training for the Longest Day.

This weekend (5/31) my friend Mark and I did back to back rides (one on Saturday (5/31), one on Sunday(6/1)). This was the final preparation for the Longest Day (6/14). The idea is to do a Century followed by a Metric on back to back days, at the pace you wish to keep on the Longest Day. If you can do this then you're ready. Well we're ready! :-)

Because of weather we needed to reverse the two days. Tornadoes were predicted for Saturday so we rode the Metric using this route: Cranbury Griggstown Allentown II and Sunday we did this: BBC Manasquan Reservoir. We rode at 18+ mph avg on Saturday and 17+ on Sunday. Though we did take it a bit easy on Sunday as we knew there was going to be a lot of head winds (typical 16 mph and out of the West).

While I am tired from both rides I have recovered nicely. Oddly enough my naps after the rides was very short and I wasn't as tired as I have been. The single change was that after the rides I continued to drink as if I were still riding. I'm guessing that I was getting dehydrated after the rides and didn't realize it until now (some 10+ years after doing my first long distance ride). My legs held up real well! I still have the strength to ride further and I didn't have any problems with loss of strength as I have on the past 4 rides. This was my primary concern and it seems my last minute changes where exactly what was need to remedy the problems. I'm now confident of at least holding a 17.0 mph avg speed for the 208 miles of the Longest Day.