What a great weekend! I guess I would define a great weekend as a weekend that no matter the challenges, you can look back on it fondly and look forward to riding again.
I will admit that there are times now that I get tired of riding my bike. There are times that I really don't want to look into the future past my Transcon to new goals. But, that said 24 hours after a weekend of riding 408 miles in 4 days, 268 of these miles completely alone, I can't wait to ride again! 39 more days before I start the Transcon. I can do this! Slowly, but I can do this! LOL!
Anyway the highlights of the weekend:
Friday rode the North Trace from my house starting at 5 am. Traffic was light. I was thinking too much at the start of the ride. When you know you have 125 miles ahead of you it is much easier not to think of the miles. It is one reason to ride with others so you don't have too much time to dwell in your own company. I intended on riding to Kosciusko and back. Much to my delight, at mile marker 130 I notice new pavement. David told me last September that the Trace would be smooth paved from mile marker 130 to 160 by year end 2010. Well, they have finally started. They have paved from mm 130 to 135 so far. The pavement from this point to mm 192 is chip seal. Not Texas chip seal mind you - baby bottom smooth in Texas definition chip seal, but teeth rattling nasty chip seal by a Mississippians definition. The distraction of the new pavement really made me feel great. As I approached the construction I decided to turn around and not mess with the guys working. Plus, I did not want tar junk on my bike. I also had no desire to ride over chewed up chip seal as the road was ground up for a couple miles. The day was very uneventful from that point. I rode to mm 105 and then back to mm 135 and then home. At the bike trail at mile 124, I was at a 15.7 ave and had an elapsed time of 9 hr and 4 min. This is an unofficial PR for me for this distance!
Saturday I got up and rode over to Ride South to meet the bent riders for the bread ride. Jim does a good job getting variously skilled cyclist riding their bikes. It is mostly for bents,but a fair number of diamond frames show up too. He makes a couple loaves of bread that are ready for us when we get back in - complete with syrup, and different jellies.
I could tell that I did not have the recovery I would have liked from the night before, but I wanted to get in as many miles with other people as possible. I rode the better part of the first 30 miles with Bill Mendenhall. I think he is on a Corsa, but I could be wrong. He and I match up really well and I hope that we can ride some more in the future. I hope to talk him into doing more distance too. He works alot, and we all know that work can really interfere with cycling. At about mile 30 I broke off with a Diamond Frame, Brian, to get extra miles. Brian is a former racer and a great young guy. He could have had 200 miles to my 90 miles in the time it was taking me on the hills. He wanted extra miles and to ride with someone and although I was slower than he was, he was patient and rode with me. The neatest thing about our ride is that he took me down a new road and pointed out a LAWN MOWER RACING COURSE!!! Only in Mississippi. I would really like to see it in action. Well, not really, but it was pretty interesting. On the way back to Jim's, I ran out of water. In the heat this was not very good. I cut my ride short to get the water and was probably dehydrated. This may have affected my Sunday ride. Great day, great friends, great roads, great bread with strawberry jam!
Sunday I got up early to head to the Long Leaf trail in Prentiss, MS. It is a rails to trails that runs from Prentiss to Hattiesburg - 40 miles one way. I wanted to do it twice. I was not feeling very good from the time I got up. I wanted to leave at 5 and left at 5:20. I wanted to be on the bike at 7 and was on the bike at 7:30. I was very tired and just did not have any energy. I knew it was going to be a tough day. Less than 25 miles into the ride I became nauseated. I battled with the upset stomach to Hattiesburg where I was able to buy Cheez-its, one of my favorite on the bike foods. By mile 60, I was feeling much better. It was getting hot, but I no longer felt sick. One of the greatest parts of the ride was the Llamas and emus. There is a farm with the odd creatures that I have passed a few times before. The animals/birds have always been too far out to really get a good look at. On my way back past the farm there were several llamas right at the fence line and an emu walking toward me curiously! Really neat!
Once back to the ride start I unpacked my picnic lunch of cold chicken pasta, cantaloupe and grape soda. I started drinking the grape sodas last weekend in Texas, don't know why they give me energy, but boy a cold grape soda tastes great. The whole lunch was fabulous! The rest of the ride was uneventful. I knew with my sluggishness at the beginning of the ride that I could not get my 160 miles but I stayed on the bike until 7:30 for a full 12 hour day. I was really pleased that I did not go mental, figured out my nausea and overcame it and picked up speed over the last 50 miles. However, when I got home I just knew my legs were shot and I did not know how I would ride on Monday. I just needed 40 miles for my 400.
So, Monday, I had planned on meeting Diane back out at Jim's for the Memorial Day ride. I was really excited about riding with her. We hadn't ridden together since the Friday before 3 State and I was looking forward to riding with her again. Right off the bat I rode off and realized I did not have my helmet on. Dianne and Bard waited for me since we were the only ones doing the longer ride around the rez. I rushed back for my helmet and then we were off. I immediately noticed that I felt great. My legs were rested and only on some of the hills were they sore. I would have still be slower than Friday, but most likely faster than Sunday on the ride had I been going all out. Fortunately, I just planned on riding until noon for my 40 miles and to ride with Dianne. She is really getting back into her pre-broken leg form. It won't be long before she will be spanking me up the hills again! We ended up on the new bike trail that now makes a nice 11 mile loop on the Rankin county side of the Spillway. Very nice! As I only had 36 miles at the end of the loop, Dianne graciously stayed out and rode the loop with me to get my 48 miles. What a great day!
So, 408 miles for the weekend, 1196 miles for the month and 3135 for the year. Sad thing is that I have 3135 miles for the year and the Transcon will do 3410 miles in 30 days! So in 5 months I still have not ridden the miles I will do in one month!!! Yikes!!!