I was hoping to do a 65ish mile ride there and back to the town I went to college in, split over two days. (A friend was in town and throwing a small party.) It wasn't working out logistically. I couldn't get the day off, and I was nervous to leave after work and make it there by dark.
But the next day, I was feeling bummed I didn't do the big ride, so I figured I'd go out for a long ride. I couldn't believe how fast the early miles were going. Around mile 20, I started to feel a bit fatigued, and I was nervous about going too far and being too tired to get back. Plus my pace was slowing and the sky was getting ominous. My inclination was to go another five miles then turn so I could hit 50.
At 24 miles, the skies opened up and it started pouring. Being a good distance from home, and not knowing anyone in the immediate area, I figured I'd better pedal hard back home.
Things cleared up about three miles down the road, and the skies looked a little more clear. I decided not to push too hard, since I had never gone this distance before. I stopped for a demonstration on how a lock works. I also stopped for lunch at a local restaurant. It felt difficult pedaling after breaks, but I felt fine with a mile or two behind me each time.
My legs weren't terribly pained, but I could tell they were fatigued any time I hit a hill. It became much harder to get up them, but I never had to get out and walk.
The biggest hill, not surprisingly, was at the very end of the ride. I averaged 5 mph going up it. When I got to the top of it, a family was sitting near the top picnicking. They started to cheer me on. The pain I was feeling must have been on my face, because the one dude said, "I can't believe he made it!"
But I got home, and I felt great.
I have tickets to a performance of Pippin on the other side of town this afternoon. It's about 10 miles away. The weather is questionable, but I'm thinking about riding. I know I won't have as much time for riding during the week, so I figure a 20 mile day will be followed by some rest.
Riding is so much fun.