Well, after a 15yr absence, I went back to ride the Ride Across INdiana this year. My goal was to beat my time in 1992 of 8hr 43min. which was all in time with only 15min for rest/nature stops. In '92, I rode with a co-worker, and was SAG'd by several of the women from our office.This time I was riding with my brother-in-law and numerous of his friends who had motor coached from Chicago. I had driven in with my bride, who was going to support myself, her brother, and help out with the others as necessary. We hooked up Friday for pasta, fellowship, and stories before starting out Saturday morning @ 7.
The day began cool (58deg) and clear, as approx. 1200 rides began their own personal "One Day - One Way" trek across the Hoosier State. The pack was orderly and we started out on US 40 through Terre Haute with police escort and traffic cleared thru town until we were out on the main 4 lane divides portion. I started with my group until about 5 mi. in when there was a break in the pack ahead. I turned and looked at the group, said "Let's go, boys!" and promptly lost them all. They'd told me the night before to ride my own pace, so off I went.
Got to the first rest stop, approx 40mi out, met my wife and sister-in-law, who had bottles of HEED and Perpetuem mixed cooled, and ready to go. I also scarfed down a banana and a couple of fig bars. Unfortunately, had to make a nature call, so lost a bit of time there. Along the way, hooked up with various groups, did my pulls, shared a draft (not beer) and continued to make good time.
At the second rest stop, one of the support folks called out "45 minutes behind the lead group". Again met my support, got new bottles, and yet again answered nature (at least we know I was well hydrated). Forgot to "pause" my Polar, so probably added 7-10 min of non-riding time to my overall total.
As we came out for the run to the lunch stop (95mi) we began to get some wind, cross and tail. but continued to run alone, as well as hooking up with various groups and individuals to share drafting duties and make the it in for the lunch stop. Felt good and was keeping close to my targets on cadence average, HR, and time. Got to the lunch stop, looked for my SAG, but nobody was there.and again, Attended to 1st order of "business", then grabbed a few bananas, two granola bars, some water, pounded those down, and called on the cell to see where my bride was. They had gotten stuck in traffic on I-70, and were about 7 min. away, so, I waited. They arrived, I grabbed my bottles, and off I went.
The next section was the rest of the ride south of Indianapolis, then back north to US 40. By now we had a decent cross / tail wind from the W/SW at probably 7-10mph, sometimes gustier. Temps by now in the mid 80's. Just continued to knock it out and traded pulls with a couple from Columbus, OH on a tandem, after they had hooked on my wheel and drafted for several miles. I would add that, with the exception of one other rider from Bloomington, IL who was on his first RAIN ride, they were the ONLY two who, after grabbing my wheel, offered to let me ride in behind, and not just jet by after sucking wheel. Still felt good at this point, and knew I was well on my way.
As I ran along US 40 to the 4th stop (132mi), mostly rode alone, the the tail wind, and not getting ahead of myself earlier, kept me on pace. Came on one rider who looked a little shaky as I came up from behind, so I asked if he was OK. Said he was cramping, passed him some electrolyte pills, and headed on down the road.
Last rest stop, no SAG again, so stopped, got Gatorade and water, and headed for home. We had one last detour off US 40 for construction, which put us into the teeth of the wind for about 3mi, as a little payback for being on our tail. 25mi out from the finish, as I unclip at a light back on US 40, cramps on the backs of my thighs! If I have to stop now, I'll just lie down in traffic. So massage the muscles, clip back in, push thru the cramps, stand on the next small roller, and drive to the finish.
Hit the Richmond, IN limit, get my last wind, and push to Earlham College. Hit the finish with 3:30 EDT as the time on the Polar. So the tale of the tape is as follows:
Riding Time: 7hr 50min 28sec
Avg Speed: 20.405mph
Avg Watts: 234
Elevation Gain: 3,018 ft
Avg HR : 145
Avg Cadence: 89
It was a rush to be back and do it again, do it well, and do it over 50! Sorry to go on so long, and thanks for listening. Those interested can find more posts on the Regional Great Lakes forum under RAIN ride reports.