Fifty Plus (50+) - My longest ride so far
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06-09-07, 06:59 PM
Tomorrow morning I'll be in the Tour de Burma, a 66 mile race/tour on the ranch roads north of San Angelo. It'll be my longest ride to date, my first organized ride, and the first time I've ever appeared in public in lycra :eek:.
There's a map at the main Tour de Burma web site (http://www.sanangelobicycle.com/tour_de_burma%20II.htm). The maps are pretty lame - just a scan of a topo map with the route drawn on it. I think I'll put them on Bikely or TopoRoute later. There are also some pictures along the route on last year's results page (http://www.sanangelobicycle.com/Tour%20de%20Burma%20Results.htm).
In case we make the news, I'll be the gray headed old bugger on an 80's Panasonic road bike looking uncomfortable in those tight britches.:o
Wish me luck!
06-09-07, 07:12 PM
Enjoy the ride. I'm sure you won't be the only one with gray hair in lycra;)
Perhaps you're self conscious about the lycra but no one will pay any attention because it is the norm for a ride like this. You would be more noticeable without the lycra.
06-09-07, 07:55 PM
I understand you feelings. I bike a lot and go to restaurants in nice little towns where bikers do go but not that often. I am a conservative 65 male and do not like to draw attention.
The bike pants are a must have and putting dress pants over them is not a good idea for serious biking which is what I do.
My solution is to wear some over sized T-shirts over my bike shirts with a belt. I am OK with that and do not feel exposed.
06-09-07, 08:49 PM
The only people that get attention on a charity metric are the people riding beach cruisers, wearing button down shirts and Chuck Taylors. I saw a guy do one on a bmx bike once. Now that is tough.
06-09-07, 09:25 PM
My, my, my ... you are going HogWild!!!
A day of firsts! Am looking forward to reading your post-event report.
06-10-07, 06:14 AM
66 miles in Texas in June. Can't wait to hear how it went.
Go for it buddy. Show them yung one's you could still pedal the distance.
06-10-07, 11:28 PM
The ride went pretty well. There were about 30 racers and maybe 20 doing the tour. Lots of Treks, plenty of Specialized and Giants. I also saw a Bianchi, a Janic (?) a Peugeot, and a few others. I was on the only Panasonic. There was also a tandem and one recumbent.
The tourists had a choice of 3 distances - a 25 miler across OC Fisher dam (a ride I take pretty), or a 45 mile ride that went nearly to Mertzon then came back through Arden to the state park where we started, or a 66 mile route that's the same as the 45 miler but with a 20 mile out-and-back side trip up Burma Road. The racers all took the 66 mile route. About a third of the touristas took the 25 miler, most of the rest were planning the 45 mile trip. One or two, including me, were planning the full 66 miles.
The racers lined up at 7:30 and took off like a flash. The tourists left about 5 minutes after. A quick mile or so to the entrance to the park, then about 4 miles to the highway. The sheriff's department held back traffic at the intersection so we got a nice start heading south. The weather was surprisingly cool, but the wind picked up early. We pedaled about 20 miles southwest into a 20 mph headwind and mostly up a mild grade. I was pretty much by myself the whole way, though there were usually 5 or 6 people at the various rest stops along the way. By the time we turned onto Arden road I was really glad to get away from the wind, the highway traffic, and the chip-seal pavement. I felt like I was flying once I got onto a smooth country lane with the wind behind me.
Arden road has some nice hills - I saw where they had painted the "King of the Mountain" marker at the top of a pretty steep hill. The view from the top was typical West Texas - rolling hills, cedar and mesquite, some nice wild flowers in the bar ditches. With the wind behind me and a smooth road I was making good time - for me, anyway. Around 16, 18, sometimes 20mph at a stretch - I hit the 30's a couple of times on the downhills. What a hoot!
It was still cloudy and cool, but really humid. I was starting to get sore, too. I'm on a 20+ year old bike and a 20+ year old saddle and a 50+ year old butt - after a couple of hours I could not find a comfortable position. Just about the time I felt like I was getting a prostate exam with a broom handle, I came to the turnoff for Burma Road and the extra 20 miles. The wind was still blowing out of the south. To take the Burma road leg would have meant going south through some steep hills and more Texas ranch land, then turning around and coming back into that wind. Or I could take the easy way out and ride the last 10 miles straight to the finish line for a 45 mile trip instead. I have to admit that I took the easy way out. I rode the last 10 miles to the finish.
What they hadn't told us was that the finish line was not at the state park. I still had about 5 more miles to go to get back to the truck so I could drive home. I got back with 51.2 miles on the odometer, 3:45 in the saddle, and an average speed of 13.5 mph.
This was the longest I've ever gone on a bike, and though I'm a bit disappointed I didn't do 66 miles I still feel like it was a pretty good accomplishment. I learned a few things too. I learned that it's great to be on a supported ride. I really appreciated the volunteers at the rest stops with water a cookies and fruit - I never knew an orange would taste so good! I learned that I really need to rethink the equipment I'm using if I want to go longer distances - I'm ordering a Brooks saddle tomorrow. I learned that you just have to learn to deal with the wind - if it's gonna blow, it's gonna blow, and all you can do is shift down and keep pedaling.
And about the lycra - it just wasn't any big deal, and I'll probably start wearing tight shorts on my daily commute.
Oh yeah, the next organized ride will be the first weekend in August. You can bet I'll be there!
06-11-07, 06:19 AM
Congratulations on your new longest ride. :beer:
I hope the new saddle works out for you. Sounds like maybe a little more dialing in of the fit of the bike may be in order. You'll be ready for the metric or the full century by August for sure.
06-11-07, 06:44 AM
Congratulations on your new longest ride. :beer:
You'll be ready for the metric or the full century by August for sure.
Great ride but Pity about the saddle- You'll have to learn to ride out af the saddle a bit more often to give the butt a rest. That century is on for your next ride so get training and learn to stand. Now as to the lycra- Bibs or just shorts?
Congratulations and well done. The wrong saddle could fail you on your goal due to the discomfort. And for the next ride, you will be ready to complete with few practice runs and finding the comfort zone of the new saddle.
06-11-07, 07:18 AM
I'm another who loves the supported rides. It's nice knowing there will be someone around if you have problems, the food stops are great and you meet some nice people.
Hope the new saddle works out for you.
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