Government shutdown, gorgeous weather, a bike that was ready to ride, and I was open to a 'longer' ride.... that equals my first ever Century distance ride. Significant not only due to the milestone of 100miles, but also becuase, as recorded on this blog, my previous distance best was less than 55miles. As soon as the Government shutdown seeemed likely to hold up on Tues night I took about an hour to tweak some things on my Trek (the Atlantis is down with a BB issue). New rear innertube, shifting cables tweaked, VO Front Wheel Stabilizer installed, and bar tape installed on the tops of my Noodle bars... she was looking good, poised and ready.
Wednesday morning came and to be honest I was not very motivated, I dallyed around the house, walking the dog and on the verge of throwing in the towel and focusing on house projects... then I got a note from my friend Wes wishing me a good ride and that was the last straw. I set out without the commitment to do a Century, in fact my bar for success was to exceed my 50 mile previous best... but even as I rolled out of Alexandria I was arleady thinking that if my legs and mechanics were in good shape when I got out towards Herndon that I would reserve the right to go further...
I'm so happy to have successfully completed the ride yesterday, among the highlights was running into Mary of Chasing Mailboxes and #FridayCoffeeClub fame... really awesome person who I got to share a couple miles with in and around Herndon on the way home. I was in the neighbourhood of 70-75miles into my day and will say without an ounce of shame that I was not able to keep up with her despite the fact she was riding her gorgeous singlespeed, a Rivendell Moonbeam. My day was about endurance and finishing, not time.
Another happy coincidence was stopping in at Best Buns in Shirlington on my way out and running into the Bike Arlington forums Wednesday Coffee Club... Cynthia, Dana, Mark? and others... awesome to have met you on the way and I'll have to check out that forum soon!
So many thoughts about the ride, spending 11 hours in an outing, with at least 9.5 of those directly in the saddle gave me plenty of time. I really struggled badly with cramps in my hamstrings starting around mile 35. After stopping mulitple times to stretch out and walk it out I ended up cycling through the cramps most of the way back, the pain was pretty intense at times but I gained confidence with each bout that I could muddle through. Definitely need to work harder on staying hydrated. I"m going to cut off the words here and go to the images, maybe a follow up post with lessons learned and gear notes will come to me later.
|Pointed towards adventure...|
|The front basket with that elastic hook net is one of my all time favorite additions for any bike. How do you like the tops only bartape? That is the old tape off the Albatross cockpit on top of innertubes of course.|
|Wednesday Coffee Club at Best Buns|
|Golf course rest stop near Reston|
|A fantastic coffee shop bike shop in Herndon, I recomend the Espresso|
|A bike on the ground cannot fall...|
|Luck Quarry doesn't seem affected by Gov't shutdowns|
|At the Turn... reaching Purceville was the biggest hurdel in my own head. I was dissappointed to find Trail's End Bike Shop closed.|
|Carolina Bro's BBQ.... I ate a LOT of bbq on my way back...|
|Can't say enough about how well the Trek did yesterday...|
|Victory Lap... home-Purcevill-home = 96 miles, so I added the Custis Trail/Mount Vernon Trail loop to tack on the extra 4 miles. Just in time for sunset over the Monuments.|
|Centurion (note the dyno lights still hot! :))|