It turns out that I was physically capable of more than 10-15 miles. The thing is though, this was unplanned, and that probably was a good thing for a mental stand point, to not care about time away and so on. Just some place to get to. Getting the bike so it could be in a semi-reasonable condition helped too, along with getting to be in some place to have some character in it that could make me smile at times (there were a couple of good ride photos I could have gotten). And someone decided to stop and ask me if something was wrong (bike attitude or something else, I don't know, but at least someone showed some concern - that's a matter for some debate). As far as this ride went, the mental state was far better than the physical one at the end of the ride, and I was mentally ready to find out how far I rode, how far I was away from a metric century, and whether I had the time and ability to get there. Turns out no... I walled out my capability on this one. Though some positives are I did manage to mow grass for three hours (push mower, not this):
And I ended up doing 11 miles today with very little trouble.
The big obstacles (mainly stuff that's new to me), if anyone would please offer some advice:
1) Nutritional management. The big problem I had towards the end of the ride was not having enough water and food to the point of not having much self-control when I could get to these things, and making myself feel not good (not quite using the word sick) for about an hour or two afterwards. I don't know how to precisely address this, but my guess would be to take it slow afterwards, and eat a lot more before? I know this suffered for being "unplanned", so I know I need to be a lot more deliberate about this matter. The subsequent physical activity with lack of leg soreness the next day tells me that this was probably my major limiter from an energy standpoint.
2) Seat issues. This was probably the major thing that made me want to stop and not keep going. And also the major limiter on that 11 mile ride today - I probably need to just wait and heal up. For the lack of resistance or repetitive rubbing, or other factors, the area on my legs where I sit on the seat started hurting to the point of it being a lot of pain.
3) Route issues. I've mentioned this one on posts before, but I definitely ran against this concern on this ride. My route back took me into a section of road that just made me fear for my life (cars going 60mph, no shoulders, tendency for people to give very little room when passing you (usually none), and lots of huge drops if I were to go off the shoulder), and definitely won't be trying again. Again, probably a problem for being an unplanned route like it was, but mainly I bring this up because I wanted to ask what most people do when it comes to longer rides. Do you typically find a place that you know is well traveled for bicycles that could support a longer ride (organized rides?), or is it possible to plan good routes without going near death-trap roads or dirt roads that would be more suited to BMX than road biking?