So I'm all geared up and ready to roll out for what I thought would be a 15 mile ride. I decided to push the tires to max psi (they're Serfa Drifters" and see if I got a little more speed.
First interesting thing that happened; a neighbor I have spoken to maybe three times in 10 years of living on this block stopped me and said she'd been watching me with the bike all month, that I looked great and she was proud of me. Also, she's telling her kids about me riding all the time to get them doing more (both her kids are a bit on the chubby side but not significantly so).
Well that was pretty cool! Ego definitely served there. Puts a little extra pepper in your shaker when that happens.
So I get out on the rail trail and I'm going. But my heart rate is not. I just cannot get into the zone unless I pedal like a crazy person! So that's what I did. For 12.55 miles, and my heart rate stayed rock stable at 120-130 while I did 15 MPH steady. For me that is crazy. My heart should have been hammering around mile 10.
I stopped, looked at some ducks, drank a liter of water and turned around. I started hauling butt at 17 mph! It's actually slightly uphill for this segment. What in the...I never go that fast on this section.
Now, you probably noticed the part where I inflated the tires all the way up? Yeah, I forgot that part while on the trail. I just figured I was superhuman today. Apparently it does make a difference.
Second interesting thing: around 17.5 miles in, a pretty fit guy pulls up next to me on a Trek 1.2. "I've been trying to catch you for like three miles! You are really moving!" He stares down at the bike. "Wait...is that...is that a Walmart bike?"
I laughed and said "Yeah it totally is, but I'm making it work until i can afford what you're rollin' on!" He told me again how fast I was today and then offered to pull me along for a couple miles, an offer which I gladly accepted. Couple miles later I said "I'm gonna slow it up" so he pulled away and took off.
I caught up about a mile later at a street light where the trail crosses a busy intersection, and while we waited for the light to change, I asked how fast his computer said we were going when he caught me.
"20 or so, why?"
"Mine said 17. I wonder if I'm faster than I think?"
"You gotta calculate the wheel size and all that. You might have the wrong number. There's this website..."
That's the one! See if you have the right settings."
We chatted for the next 5 or 6 miles about diet and how great it is to have this 15 or so miles of uninterrupted trail and parted with a "see you on the path!"
Good day out there today...I planned to do 15 and ended up doing 25. The lessons learned were that hard tires mean a more sore backside, but the trade is I could roll 50-odd pounds of mountain bike (and Fred gear!) pretty dang fast for a big fat guy. And, I should chat more with people on the trail. Bike people are mostly awesome and a light chat makes the time and the miles fly by.
Also, I should have taken pictures of the deer that was chillin' on the trail with everyone, just hanging out munching the new grass they planted earlier this spring. Or the turtle trying to bury himself in the dirt on the side. He was also pretty awesome.