Every now and again, you have a ride where the miles roll by effortlessly, and you feel like you can go on forever.
It was like that last week when I rode my age on my birthday Ö 65 mi. At the end of the ride I could maintain the same speeds and cadence as when I started. I felt strong and not the least bit tired, stiff, or sore, and, if darkness hadnít set in, I believe I could have easily gone on for another 35 miles.
Iíve been looking at why it seemed so effortless to see if there are things that I can duplicate on future long rides. Here's what I came up with so far.
I was very conscious of keeping a cadence in the mid 80s, slightly higher than usual for me. For the most part I cruised along at 14 to 18 mph. Whenever it got the least bit hard to pedal, I downshifted and upped the cadence a bit. Being a solo trip, I didnít have to change my most comfortable speed and cadence to stay with other riders.
I drank a lot of water, and ate often. There was a half hour break, half a power bar and a few handfuls of gorp at 16 mi. Lunch was 45 mins long with eggs and pancakes at 35 mi, and short 10 min breaks with more power bar and gorp at 45 mi and 55 mi.
Other relevant factors were:
The bike was a Giant Cypress DX, a hybrid with a fairly upright sitting position, 700x40c tires, and platform pedals. It has bar ends and a 22/34/44 set chain rings rather than the stock 28/38/48 set. The trunk bag and handle bar bag had 10-12 lbs. of absolutely essential stuff.
I was wearing a typical cycling getup Ö cycling shorts, long sleeve jersey, helmet, gloves, UV protection glasses. I used Chamois Buttír and reapplied it at the 35 mi break.
There were a pair of convertible pants and a fleece top in the trunk bag. The weather turned out perfect, with temps ranging from the low 50s to about 70, and a fairly constant 10-15 mph wind, so I never had to break out the pants or fleece.
The route was roughly Ĺ on bike trails and Ĺ on suburban residential and arterial streets. Half the trip was into the wind; half was with the wind. There were a couple of rolling hills, but nothing more challenging than an interstate overpass or two. Other road traffic treated me well, with no notable close passes.