Warning for that 2nd distance ride.
Following on from my previous posting on your first distance ride- I have thought of a few points to cover the 2nd distance ride.
I am an experienced Mountain biker and have just started on a road bike. I have the Biking ability so at least all I had to do was adjust to the bike-or rather get the bike adjusted to me. Fairly soon after I got the Bike I did a metric- and that proved to me that there is something in this Road biking. I still class myself as a newbie though and the fitness was there and I wanted to do some more challenging rides.
It came about that I was going on holiday to a hilly area of France and decided to climb a mountain. I have never done one of those on a Mountain bike so Altitude riding was going to be something new to me. Well I have now climbed Ventoux and I can tell you it was an experience. I live in a hilly area so trained and trained and trained up the steepest hills in the area. 3 x 600ft hills at between 10 and 15% were still not going to give me any realisation of what a 5,000ft single climb was going to be like, but that was all I had to train on. Started doing repeats of the steepest 1 mile long hill and that gave me some idea- but still not enough.
Got to the Mountain for my ride- and I had my doubts of my capabilities. This was going to be a 2 to 3 hour sit in the saddle grind up a 15 mile long hill that had some steep bits in it- and some very steep bits to test me. I decided to take it steady and this was the way for me to do it. At no point did I feel that I was overexerting myself. I normally like to ride at around 140 to 145 on the heart monitor- with getting to 150/155 on the hills and will normally reach my Max of 165 somewhere in the ride. For Ventoux I would up my Norm to 150/155 and try to stay at that. It was all hill but 3 hours max and I should be OK. In fact- I did most of the ride at 150- and when the HR started rising- I knew it was time for a bit of food and a gel pack.
So in other words I realised my limits and I stayed at them. I Cannot say this ride was easy- but I did not find it hard either. I did not get sucked in to trying to stay with the other riders that passed me and I just kept MY pace and Finished the ride comfortably.
This is what you have to think of on your 2nd big ride. Although you have already met one of your goals- You will be pushing yourself to a higher limit on distance than you have before. The mistake will be to push just a bit too hard and lose energy. Don't do it- Save that for the next time you do that distance.