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  1. #1
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    My first Metric Century

    Today I did the 23rd Annual Tour of Lakes Bicycle Ride. http://www.paulbunyancyclists.com/To...f%20Lakes.html.
    This ride is in my neck of the woods in northern Minnesota. The ride meanders around lakes and through the woods on low traffic rolling to flat terrain with a couple of real hills.

    I signed in at the start and felt that because the day was cloudless that I could get by without my leg warmers so I ditched them at the car. So even though it was only 42 degrees I was down to shorts, wool socks, full finger gloves, short sleeve jersey, arm warmers and jacket. I froze for the first six miles, I was almost shaking, and regretted ditching the leg warmers. My hands and feet were especially cold. Then I and the world around me started warming up and I was glad not to have the knee warmers.

    Mile 15 or thereabouts was the first rest area. It was filled with tons of food that I did not need. I have this thing about free food. Stuff in as much as you can because you may never get to eat again! I more or less resisted. I ditched the arm warmers and put the jacket back on. I ate half a hard boiled egg, half a cup of yogurt with granola and blueberries, topped off my water, snatched a cookie for my top tube bag, and hit the road.

    After riding the first 15 miles alone, I started the next section riding with a young couple. It was nice to have the company plus I ride faster with others. However, we then hit a hilly section and I got left behind to tackle the hills alone. The hills were rolling and weren't bad. But I still suck at hills. I ditched the jacket at the top of a hill and was down to shorts and a short sleeve jersey. It was probably in the 50s.

    The next rest area was at mile 34. They had homemade tacos and all sorts of other food. I ate a cheese stick and a brownie and a few chips. So much for my plans to try to eat healthy on this ride! Man that brownie was good, homemade with lots of frosting! I had a hand full of blueberries and hit the road again.

    The next part of the ride had two good sized hills. They weren't long, but they were steep. I was a bit worried that I would slow down so much that I couldn't clip out of my pedals. But very slowly, in my easiest gear, I got to the top. I had to weave back and forth to make the steepest hill. A number of riders passed me by, but at least they were moaning and groaning as they passed!

    After the two short but hard hills things flattened out but my right leg and knee gave me some grief after the hills. I took it really easy and eventually it worked it way out. There was a bit of a head wind but nothing too significant. A few people here and there passed me but I didn't see many on the road, most of the time I only saw a couple of dots of people ahead. This was on a ride with 1200 people. I think a lot of people did not start right away and waited for things to warm up a bit. There was a two hour start period.

    Round about mile 45 the route I was on began to overlap with a separate shorter route. There were quite a few riders on the short route which was advertised as a 35 mile ride, in contrast to the 68 mile long route. At this point I was rolling along pretty good and passed quite a few people who were clearly on the short ride as a more of a leisure ride. A number were really struggling. Every once in a while a group would pull over to the road side and rest and chat. There were quite a few dads on their road bikes riding with their sons on their mountain bikes. Poor kids, working hard to keep up! There was an older couple on a tandem pulling a homemade cart with who appeared to be an adult disabled son in the cart. It looked like a tough go for them.

    The last rest area was at about mile 49-50. Again, lots and lots of food. This rest stop was quite crowded because of all the riders on the short ride. I parked my bike by a woman who had the same bike as me, a 2011 blue Madone 4.7. Her's was huge as compared to mine, it was fun to compare how they looked and to chat about how much we liked our bikes.

    I ate too much. I had some beans and a half a sausage on a bun, and a brownie. But I was feeling good and there wasn't a lot of miles to go. I topped off the water and headed out

    The remaining miles were very gently rolling to flat on good pavement. I passed a lot of people and lot of people passed me. About five miles from the end I followed a guy who had passed me and I upped my speed considerably for the last few miles. I had gone very slow at the start, did ok on the rolling hills, got killed on the two steep hills, tooled along on the flats, but then blasted to the end with plenty of juice in the tank. I think I could have pushed a bit harder but this was my longest ride to date, I didn't know really what the course was like (rolling hills mean such different things depending where you are and I didn't know how much was relatively flat). I am sure I would have done better if I had started later and ridden with more people, rather than doing almost the entire ride alone. But on the other hand, it is good to finish strong and feeling good. I am too old to beat myself up! At the end they had root beer floats. I had two.

    So, I finished my first metric century. 100 kilometers. (The ride was published at 68 miles, but my speedometer did not show quite that much).

    Average speed 13.7mph.

    It was a good day in my back yard.
    Last edited by goldfinch; 06-02-12 at 05:18 PM.

  2. #2
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    Great job, and a nice write-up! A toast to you:

  3. #3
    Just Keep Pedaling Beachgrad05's Avatar
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    Awesome !!!!

    I am doing my first Metric on June 23... On my replacement bike which I should get by the end of this coming week. My training is suffering as a result of my issue with my current road bike.
    Move along....nothing to see here....anymore.

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    Awesome job Gold! I am so proud of you!

    The food sounded good too. Crap, we only get so so food here on organized rides. Probably best for me really. One ride I was on last year had a chocolate fondu stop as the last rest stop. A fat guy and chocolate???? come on!!!!

    Do you take any OTC pain meds before the ride? I do if it is a lot of climbing. Helps my knees and back.

  5. #5
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    I didn't think of taking an Ibuprofen; that probably would have been a good idea.

    The food was amazing. At the end there were a few fast riders who talked about going back on the course backwards to hit rest stops before they closed.

    Their motto is "if you don't gain weight on this ride you are not doing it right."

    It cost all of $25 and you got a t-shirt plus all the food a person could possibly eat and then some.

  6. #6
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Way to go! You deserve a pat on the back,


    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    Do you take any OTC pain meds before the ride? I do if it is a lot of climbing. Helps my knees and back.
    I'm afraid of pain meds before any sustained hard exercise. I worry that I won't feel pain when I am really damaging my joints.

    The strongest medicine I take after I have finished for the day is 2 extra strength Tylenol.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  7. #7
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beachgrad05 View Post
    Awesome !!!!

    I am doing my first Metric on June 23... On my replacement bike which I should get by the end of this coming week. My training is suffering as a result of my issue with my current road bike.
    I barely rode in the two weeks before today's ride because we have had constant rain storms. I think the rest actually did me good!

  8. #8
    Senior Member IBOHUNT's Avatar
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    That's awesome Gold!

  9. #9
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Fantastic job, goldfinch. Way to go. Sounds like you had a great time.
    Craig in Indy

  10. #10
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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  11. #11
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Great stuff. And 13.7 mph is pretty good.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  12. #12
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Great job!

    Hey, my mom is from up your way... her brother/my uncle was the sheriff in Caas county (sp?) 800 years ago and had a house on Leech Lake I visited plenty when I was a kid. That's where I learned that I stink at water skiing.

  13. #13
    Senior Member JimF22003's Avatar
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    Nice report, and completely irrelevant comment from me, but I had to mention that I grew up in Aurora, and rode my bike EVERYWHERE as a kid. Haven't been back in 40 years. Glad to see that there's a good biking scene in that area. Maybe it's time for a road trip down memory lane?
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  14. #14
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    A ranger! Jim, if you want a trip down memory lane September 8 is a ride called Tour of Cuyuna, starting in the Deerwood area and again going through the woods and around the lakes. http://cuyunalakestrail.org/index.cfm/pageid/20 If you just visit, there is a 112 mile paved bike trail from Brainerd to Bemidji. And close to your old area is the Mesabi trail, which I think starts in Aurora (or maybe Hoyt Lakes) Or ends there, depending on your point of view. http://ironrange.org/sites/default/f...esabiTrail.pdf Parts of these are pretty flat rails to trails but there are plenty of interesting winding sections with some hills as well.

    That said, I think a good part of the northeast Minnesota biking scene are people from the Twin Cities coming up on the weekends. Everyone I talked to on yesterday's long ride was from that area and there sure were a lot of Minneapolis bike club jerseys around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    A ranger! Jim, if you want a trip down memory lane September 8 is a ride called Tour of Cuyuna, starting in the Deerwood area and again going through the woods and around the lakes. http://cuyunalakestrail.org/index.cfm/pageid/20 If you just visit, there is a 112 mile paved bike trail from Brainerd to Bemidji. And close to your old area is the Mesabi trail, which I think starts in Aurora (or maybe Hoyt Lakes) Or ends there, depending on your point of view. http://ironrange.org/sites/default/f...esabiTrail.pdf Parts of these are pretty flat rails to trails but there are plenty of interesting winding sections with some hills as well.

    That said, I think a good part of the northeast Minnesota biking scene are people from the Twin Cities coming up on the weekends. Everyone I talked to on yesterday's long ride was from that area and there sure were a lot of Minneapolis bike club jerseys around.
    Hell I would travel just for the food!

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    Congrats on your ride, Goldfinch. It sounds like you had a great time!

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    A belated congrats on completing your metric ride.
    You have a gift for writing lady. Wish my rides could start out as cool as yours did - lol.
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  18. #18
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    Good job on th eride but I would have left the knee warmers on. I do all I can to protect my knees and if it's anything under 15c I have them on, you will notice that your kness will be the coldest spot and is noticiable on rides, mine go cherry red form the cold and they do stiffen up. Again great ride for the op.
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

  19. #19
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Nice job and write up! Looks you did a smart ride!

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    62 miles.....don't worry about the brownie.....you should have had two, you earned them!

    Great job!!!

  21. #21
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Very nice. Maybe someday, I will head up up to Minnesota and try that riide.

  22. #22
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    Wow! Just saw this thread. Congratulations on the ride, Goldfinch, and on the great write-up. I hope I don't gain weight from reading it - I could almost taste those brownies,
    L'asino di Buridano...

  23. #23
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony_merlino View Post
    Wow! Just saw this thread. Congratulations on the ride, Goldfinch, and on the great write-up. I hope I don't gain weight from reading it - I could almost taste those brownies,
    Yeah really! I've been scanning the forum for interesting topics the last few days and totally missed this one. She needs to spice her titles a bit!

  24. #24
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Great blow by blow. Organized rides out here are usually PBJ, bananas and clif bars at the stops. Just as well. This will be my first metric nest September. http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1138871
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
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    I've also just seen it. Congrats Goldfinch! Impressive average speed for your first one. What is your next step?


    Mark

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