Well, 'long' is a relative term, but it was a long ride for me! For me this was the longest I've ridden a bike in 15 or 16 years. This was the ride referred to in this other thread. To sum up, my wife was never approving, even after I altered the route to get off of the higher-speed roads as soon as I could. The new route was 18 miles in length. The new route was very scenic, had very few cars, and a strangely large number of horse farms.
Bringing my car back to my apartment was an adventure when I ended up as the 2nd person stopping to help a car that had crashed off of the Mass Turnpike and flipped over (3 times!). The driver walked away with some head lacerations and a concussion. Amazing. I was expecting to find body parts by the side of the road when I stopped.
Anyway, the weather was nice, I hit the road at noon on my V-Rex, and cycled off. I made good time through the next 2 towns when I turned off the main road onto a side street at the 9 mile mark. So far so good, I drank some Gatorade, knocked back a Cliff Shot (yuck, never again) and some water, and pedaled on. Eventually, I turn onto a road called Farm St and head down it looking for it to connect to Farm Rd. Being a Massachusetts native, such a perverse set of road names seems hardly unusual to me. See the Google Map here. I eventually discovered I needed to take the short 'Bridge St' that connects the two, but not after adding an additional 6 miles of detour. I downed another Cliff Shot (still nasty) at the 16 mile mark when I realized I still had a ways to travel.
I finally rolled into my mother-in-law's driveway after 24.13 miles, at an average of 12.4 mph, with 1244 feet of climbing and a total elevation change of 125 feet. Slow but determined, I guess. My legs were shot at this point but nothing felt over-used and I had no injuries. I felt great having made my goal and have little soreness to show for it. I'll do a 10-mile ride tomorrow.
Just a few months ago a 1.5 mile ride left me half-dead.