Last Monday, I embarked on a training ride that I was planning to make my longest bike ride of this season to date. Usually when I extend the duration of my longest ride, I don't worry too much about pace. My goal is to go out for a certain amount of time, and once I've been out for the given amount of time, I worry about pace the next time that I do that ride. Of course, any time I happen to go a little faster than expected is an added bonus!
For this year's Ironman Arizona, my goal is to finish the bike portion, which is 112 miles, in six hours or less. To do this, I need to average 18.67 mile per hour for the entire bike portion. Up until about a month ago, 18.67 mph seemed pretty out of reach. Lately, though, I've been able to keep my speed a bit above my goal. Would I be able to do it for my longest ride of the season to date? Maybe. But again, it's not the priority.
The ride went fairly smooth. I left my house at about 5:00 a.m., and met up with The Captain after about 6 miles or so. From there, we rode together for a little under 50 miles before he had to Peele off (ha!) and head home. I, however, had the great pleasure of continuing onward!
At about three hours and thirty minutes into the ride, and started to get a little antsy. It was starting to get a little warm out in the Arizona sun, and my, eh hem, saddle muscles were beginning to feel the fatigue of the long ride. But I was determined to complete this ride in it's entirety. Once it was all said and done, it actually wasn't that bad.
|The map of this most epic bike ride|
|The summary of the bike ride|
And check out them apples! My average speed, including "stop time" at intersections, was 18.8 mph, and 18.9 mph if you only count my "moving" time! Wahooooo! And the best part was that for the first 30 miles or so, The Captain and I weren't pushing our pace at all. We were intentionally holding back and keeping the pace very relaxed.
And as an added bonus, if you read the post about my Garmin heart rate problems, my Garmin appears to have worked, for the entire ride!
This ride was basically a huge step forward for both myself, and The Captain. For me, it was the longest ride so far, and it was above my goal race pace. I can't help but be excited. In fact, I was going so fast that I burned the rubber right off of my rear tire:
Ok, so it's not from going fast. Somewhere during this ride my rear tire pretty much wore through the rubber. It's a kevlar tire, so if you look close enough, you can see the cross-stitching of fiber where the rubber is no longer intact. Luckily for me, this little guy did not burst on me, which The Wife is a little upset about because she was hoping to cash in on my little insurance policy. Maybe next time, honey!
Oh, and I know I don't always have the greatest photos. But I need to credit The Wife with the good looking photos. Basically, if it is a good looking, clear picture, The Wife took it. If the picture is a peg or two away from even acceptable, I probably took it.