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Old 02-12-06, 10:42 PM   #1
Digital Gee
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Taking the advice of people on this forum, I set out today for a long ride, without a specific destination, but knowing I'd ride out far enough that I'd have to find my way back and in the doing, I would rack up the miles.

My goals were: at least twenty. That was easy. Why not fifty? That was harder. If I could do fifty, then I had to do fifty six, and get that challenge out of the way (birthday's not until October but why not be proactive?). And, if I got 56, then by all means do another six and get the metric.

Alas, it was not to be. The light was too feeble to try another six miles, so I had to give it up at 56.1. I am trying not to get too worked up over this, but I always feel that by gosh I was SO close, I should have gone the distance.

Anyway...

Some highlights: stopped for a beverage at a little snack shack, and after ordering a deliciously cold peach Arizona ice tea, the guy comes out, says he's closing, and offers me a free sandwhich because they'd made too many. Not bad! And later, pausing to rest on a bench, I found 32 cents.

The ride took me all over the place -- downtown, out to Harbor Island, around Mission Bay, etc. My only mistake was miscalculating what the mileage would be when I got back to my front door -- I still had like five miles to go, which i did on an amazingly boring loop around a few blocks in the neighborhood.

Beautiful day, 71 degrees, too much wind (but more exercise that way!), wearing only shorts and an orange tee shirt.

Now, having taken 4 hours, 55 minutes and 54 seconds to complete this little chore, I am puzzled as to how I'm ever to complete a full century (at least on this bike). I don't think I could handle ten hours on the saddle and i'm not sure how I'm going to increase my speed very much. Yes, some of today's ride was on MUPs and I had to slow for peds, but still... Maybe I'm not cut out for long distance?

Anyway, feeling good, and it's bath time. Woohoo!

PS: Sorry about all that snow in the northeast. Must be a nightmare and I'm (seriously) not gloating. May it melt soon!
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Old 02-12-06, 11:04 PM   #2
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Apparently, you forgot your ride to Panama last year.

Glad you're doing great on the saddle again.

About the weather, it is knock-out great up here in Northern California as well. I NEVER enjoyed cycling as much as this weekend and had my best weekend on two wheels ever.

But, I didn't get a free sandwich or pocket change. What's up with that?
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Old 02-12-06, 11:06 PM   #3
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Gary, if it wasn't late, I'd go back and dig out some months ago where you were "woohooing" over riding much less than half your age. 56 miles then would have seemed like the dark side of the moon-- and here it is only mid February. Most beginning century riders start very early AM, stop often for snacks and, above all, do it with someone else to share the butt pain and the glory. Gotta find you a riding partner(s).
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Old 02-13-06, 07:09 AM   #4
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Alright!! Terrific going!! It sounds like the wind did not make it any easier either. And the treasures you found along the way, too.

Believe me, if you ever get a more "aero" , lighter bike, you'll better understand how well you're presently doing-AND really appreciate all the training and effort you've invested.
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Old 02-13-06, 09:24 AM   #5
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It was a lot warmer in the East County, more like 80 + yesterday, as least you had the bay and the ocean part of the time to keep you cooler. It's impressive you did that kind of mileage. How many people around where you live and are your age even cycle -- probably not many and when you tell them how many miles you ride, their jaws drop or they think your crazy.
Gary -- the furthest I have ever ridden in one day is 67 miles and I treked all over East County having to do some hills too, but mostly flat. I know I will never to a century but I really don't care much right now. Maybe some day I will try for 70 miles. After having done the 67 miles I was disappointed that I hadn't done 3 more miles (but didn't realize it until it was all over). It's the fun that counts . I will never own a road bike but I'm happy where I'm at, it's just great to be able to join friends once in a while to ride and be glad I can climb on a bike to do it.
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Old 02-13-06, 12:15 PM   #6
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Way to keep pushing this year DG!
A question I have though is how did this ride compare to your previous set routes with repetition. Did you enjoy the change-up? and change from your normal route?
Your miles must be climbing steadily!
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Old 02-13-06, 01:03 PM   #7
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Way to keep pushing this year DG!
A question I have though is how did this ride compare to your previous set routes with repetition. Did you enjoy the change-up? and change from your normal route?
Your miles must be climbing steadily!
That's a great question. I liked this method better. I was familiar with the whole route, but had never done it all at one time. (In fact, parts of the route I used to DRIVE TO and then ride. It was really fulfilling to gete to those spots and know I'd gotten there under my own power.)

At several points along the way, I could have cut the ride short and headed for home. Home was never more than five-ten miles from where I was, which was comforting to me. Having the option to quit fairly easily worked for me, because I then just kept going, knowing I could "drop out" if I had to (for instance, my knees started to hurt a bit, so that became a question). I'm pretty sure I would have been a bit overwhelmed or intimidated if the ride was 28 miles out, and 28 miles back.

The fact that the weather was so pleasant helped as well. No issues with clothing or wicking or freezing my butt. Add to that the occasional moments of passing by a pretty lady in her bikini (I was down near the beach for a while) and it was almost all a delight.

Last, as I think about it, I needed fewer rest stops, and for shorter times than the last birthday ride. I remember taking a break at about 40 miles that time, and nearly falling asleep on the bench I was so tired. This time, I was tired, but not like that. I remember only having a weird sort of rubbery sensation in my thighs as I pedaled toward the end. Of course, my legs were quite stiff last night, and I didn't sleep too well.

But I'm ready to ride again! May do a quick ten or a moderate twenty today and take advantage of more good weather!
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Old 02-21-06, 10:05 PM   #8
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{Quote "Believe me, if you ever get a more "aero" , lighter bike, you'll better understand how well you're presently doing-AND really appreciate all the training and effort you've invested."**

I'll second that!!!! After riding mostly MTB, I got used to the drops on a Cdale roadie I bought last summer. While visiting a relative in Phoenix last week I took his Trek hybrid out for a ride. The upright position seemed VERY odd- and taxing due to wind resistance at any speed. Had me wondering "where's the anchor"?? Give a light road bike a shot. Try an upright stem. The miles will be ALOT easier!!!!
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Old 02-21-06, 10:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
Taking the advice of people on this forum, I set out today for a long ride, without a specific destination, but knowing I'd ride out far enough that I'd have to find my way back and in the doing, I would rack up the miles.
Gary,

Almost missed this thread, but let me congratulate you on the accomplishment and on your birthday! Just think, that old axiom is true - you're not getting older, you're getting better!

Take care,

Steve
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Old 02-22-06, 10:19 PM   #10
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Gary,

Almost missed this thread, but let me congratulate you on the accomplishment and on your birthday! Just think, that old axiom is true - you're not getting older, you're getting better!

Take care,

Steve
Thanks, Steve -- and better looking too, right?

I can't wait to find out what these long rides feel like on a light bike. One of these days!
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Old 02-23-06, 10:07 AM   #11
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Gary, congratulations to someone my age!! I have not ridden a metric or full century, but have ridden my hybrid Marin 45 miles 2 weeks ago in N. California (and numerous 30-35 milers). I finally found some "extra" money and just ordered a new Bianchi Eros. As stated above, the upright position of a hybrid/mtb is nice for the first 10-20 miles, and after that it becomes apparent that the aerodynamics are nada (and at 6-2,220 I am not aero..lol). I say you get a light road bike and you and I push each other to finish a metric...heck, who knows...maybe the full century. Keep on trucking!
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Old 02-23-06, 07:00 PM   #12
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Gary you just have to get yourself a true road bike. When I was still riding my hybrid I did a couple of those all day metric centuries and even with the Huntington Beach scenary it was a little much. I just took my Medone out for a little 60 mile spin and finished in exactly 4 hours. That includes a long long time watching beach volleyball played by nubile college girls. At least I was smart enough to get off the bike to watch ! You might also want to invest in some good shorts and at least one form fitting jersey. Believe it or not they aid in comfort and wind resistance.
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Old 02-24-06, 01:59 AM   #13
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Gary you just have to get yourself a true road bike. When I was still riding my hybrid I did a couple of those all day metric centuries and even with the Huntington Beach scenary it was a little much. I just took my Medone out for a little 60 mile spin and finished in exactly 4 hours. That includes a long long time watching beach volleyball played by nubile college girls. At least I was smart enough to get off the bike to watch ! You might also want to invest in some good shorts and at least one form fitting jersey. Believe it or not they aid in comfort and wind resistance.
Why get a lighter bike????? It's almost like cheating. If Gary can do 50 miles or more on a heavy cheaper bike that doesn't work as well as a lightweight road bike- Just think how fit he is to be able to do what he does on his beastie. Same with us mountain bikers. A bike that weighs 10lbs more than a standard road bike and then you take it over tracks that resemble a washing board, and uphills that you struggle to walk up let alone get grip!!!!!

Definitely not knocking the road riders, as they can go at speeds that I would never dream of doing, can do more milage in a day than I can think of, and do it with a lot more ease. Then on top of that- I can do trails that the road bikes cannot look at- Can hit trees and fall down at speed without worrying about damage to the bike- and my bike is a prettier colour than most (I like Mud coloured bikes at this time of year). The only point I will make is that a Mountain bike should see mud occasionally to find out the real fun of owning one. (Hint to Gary to try a few lumpy trails to see what they are like)

Will agree about the shorts and top though. The shorts are a must to show off the legs that are beginning to look slimmer, and the form fitting jersey will show how fit most of us are to be able to carry all that excess baggage. Now as to the Volley playing Collge girls- They are great. Improves my body form no end- as my stomach muscles start to resemble a 3 pack (The 6 pack went years ago) and I visually lose about 5lbs round the waist whenever I see them.
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Old 02-24-06, 07:16 PM   #14
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I like seeing people's goals increase in just a few months. Here's your post from Last July 4: "I was thrilled to do my first twenty miler (in twenty years) today."
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Old 02-24-06, 07:40 PM   #15
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Congratulations!!! I, too, get a big kick out of following everyones progress hereabouts.
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Old 02-25-06, 05:03 PM   #16
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I like seeing people's goals increase in just a few months. Here's your post from Last July 4: "I was thrilled to do my first twenty miler (in twenty years) today."
First of all, i'm astonished that anyone can remember something i said so many months ago. Second, i'm flattered that you would take the time to dig it up. Third, i'm feeling rather good with my progress, and this 'blast for the past' has helped immensely. So...thank you!
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