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Old 09-04-10, 04:06 PM   #1
bobthib
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115 mi ride around Lake Okeechobee. I bonked at 105. 8^(

Well, today was the day. The long waited ride around Lake Okeechobee. I think I trained well, prepared, ate properly, and kept hydrated ok. But I bonked anyway. I think I know why. Read on.

We arrived at John Strayer Park at 6 AM. About 50 actually showed.

The mosquitoes were having a field day. The humidity was 99%. It was pitch black and the stars were amazing. We got ready and started at about 6.30. The bugs were pelting us, but we were outrunning the mosquitoes. We slowly got up to th 20 - 22 pace, but every 10 mi or so there were barriers that we had to slow down to a crawl and pass single file. It really slowed the pace and strung out the group. Strong riders in the front took off and the weaker riders in the back had trouble catching up.

I flatted about 4 mi before the first rest stop. Overall the group had 9 flats. Lunch came at mi 65, and I forgot to fill up my water bottles. About 8 mi before the next rest I ran out of water. Mark, one of the guys from my club, shared an extra bottle with me.

The final stop came at mile 95 so there was 20 mi to go. I thought I was the oldest rider on the ride, but there was a guy, Tom, 66. He got a slow start after that stop, so I pulled him up to the group after about 5 miles. That kinda wore me out. I did good on the center of the peloton, but after the gate at mile 105 I couldn't catch up to the main group, so I dropped. I rode the last 15 mi solo, and slowed the pace down for the last 5 mi to get my heart rate down and cool off.

I finished about 15 mi after the main pack, but still head of about 10 of the riders.

BTW, there were about 10 members of the 50+ club, and Tom and I were the 60+ reps.

here's the link:http://ridewithgps.com/trips/99795
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Last edited by bobthib; 09-04-10 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 09-04-10, 04:13 PM   #2
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What ever it was I think you did good. Helping that 66yo might have been it, who knows, but all in all good job.
Hey you didn't finish last! Not that there is anything wrong with that.
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Old 09-04-10, 06:21 PM   #3
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Sorry you bonked, but there are worse things to face after a bonk than 10 miles of flat road. I wish I didn't know that so well.
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Old 09-04-10, 08:47 PM   #4
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Sounds like you did just fine. Not too long a ride at 20 mph, but what did you have to eat during the ride? It may be that in those weather conditions your body was focused on cooling versus digestion.
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Old 09-05-10, 06:06 AM   #5
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We stopped for lunch at 65 mi. We had pre ordered subs. I had a 6" sub. I also had 5 oz of home made goo (honey, molasses, peanut butter, cinnamon, nutella) and 3 gallons of fluids.

Perhaps the digestion was a factor, but after lunch I was fine. It was after the stop at 95 mi. If you look at the ride profile you will see that my heart rate got in to the high 80% and 90%. That's because I was trying to pull "the old guy" back into the peloton. Once we got there I was fine. HR was down to 70% or so. But when we mounted the levy for the last time and snaked thru the gate, I was too far back to catch the peloton, and just didn't have any thing left if the tank. There was no one behind me stronger to pull me up.

It was a strategic mistake to let my self fall that far back in the peloton. I had been staying in the front 10 for most of the ride.
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Old 09-05-10, 06:34 AM   #6
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Good for you - you made it, bonk be damned. Now that you have ridden the whole thing maybe you can give me some advice. I will be passing through the area in November. I plan to do some rides on the Withlachoochee (sp?) and could try Okeechobee but I will want to keep the rides around 40 - 50 miles. Was there a particular side of the lake that seemed nicer for a couple of out and backs with a decent place to stay and some restaurants available?
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Old 09-05-10, 07:35 AM   #7
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You would have made it if you remembered the Deep Woods Off.
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Old 09-05-10, 09:04 AM   #8
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The "bonked at " line in the title made it sound like you didn't finish the ride, but from the article, sounds like you did, so good going.

One thing I have learned riding 200k's is that I'm not fast enough to keep up with the peloton in the first place, so even if I start with a group, it's mostly a solo ride. Which is okay, if that's what you're expecting. Of course, I'm riding 200k's with people that think nothing of a 600k, and have been doing this stuff for 10 or 20 years, too.

The heat has a big effect on me, and I notice the effect is variable on different people, so I've really been slowed down on some hot rides. Very humid rides may not be that hot, but can still suck the sweat out of you, and have a similar effect. So you just have to go your own pace and deal with it.

I've not done enough drafting to know for sure, but it seems to me that drafting someone (or a group) when it is hot, cuts out part of the effort, but also cuts out a lot of the cooling breeze, and may actually make it worse for riding in the heat.
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Old 09-05-10, 10:11 AM   #9
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Hey, you ran out of gas at mile 105!!! So what you made it. That's a long way on a bike. Congratulations.
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Old 09-05-10, 10:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff View Post
Good for you - you made it, bonk be damned. Now that you have ridden the whole thing maybe you can give me some advice. I will be passing through the area in November. I plan to do some rides on the Withlachoochee (sp?) and could try Okeechobee but I will want to keep the rides around 40 - 50 miles. Was there a particular side of the lake that seemed nicer for a couple of out and backs with a decent place to stay and some restaurants available?
Don, I'm going to have to defer to people more familiar with the area regarding the best places to ride 20 - 25 mi one way.

Part of the problem is that the are always doing work on various parts of the levee. With a group of 60 riders who were circumnavigating the Lake, the organizer had us riding roads on some areas. Those areas may have been perfect places for a 40 - 50 mi out and back levee ride, but since you can only access the levee at certain points, it was not appropriate for our ride.

The other issue is that that part of FLA is very rural with only a few larger towns, hence amenities are scarce. South Bay, Clewiston, Okeechobee, Pahokee, and Belle Glade are all large communities (but not big by any stretch) with access points and a modicum of restaurant choices. If you google Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (L.O.S.T.) I think you will probably find some good resources.

In November you are likely to have great weather. I should not be too cold (by Fla standards) and it could be fairly hot. The likely problem will be winds, but since you are doing an out and back, plan it right and you will have a nice "push" home. I like to rely on www.wunderground.com for their Wundermap and the hourly weather forecasts to plan my rides.

I have not done the Withlachoochie trail, but my club is planning a 92 mi (out and back) for the fall. Other friends that have done the ride recommend it.

On either ride, don't expect to do a lot of climbing. Except for mounting the levee or the occasional bridge (if you road ride in some of the areas) the ride is dead flat. Riding over the sun baked "adobe" raccoon poop on the trail is the only other elevation change.
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Old 09-05-10, 10:23 AM   #11
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the ride is dead flat. Riding over the sun baked "adobe" raccoon poop on the trail is the only other elevation change.
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Old 09-05-10, 11:24 AM   #12
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Congratulations. It sounds like you had an adventure and those are always good.
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Old 09-05-10, 11:42 AM   #13
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Great job-your intuition is correct on the reason you didn't have that much left at the end. It takes a ton of effort to pull someone up like that so that is what did it. That is a really high HR that deep into the ride-usually reserved for the finishing sprints!
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Old 09-05-10, 08:02 PM   #14
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Congrats on finishing the ride and helping out a fellow rider. Losing a group draft late in a ride is frustrating, but you still finished and that is all that is important. Thanks for sharing the ride with all of us. I am really looking forward to the cooler weather here in FL and some long rides.

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Old 09-05-10, 09:11 PM   #15
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Here's some ride photo links in FB

Keith Harrods Photos.
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...=1458473275804

James Miller's Photos.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...&id=1141512014
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Old 09-05-10, 09:33 PM   #16
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Funny, I was just looking at Keith's photo album on Facebook, because it popped up in my news feed when Matt Kinsey was tagged (I know Matt from boy scouts). Is that a Motobecane you're riding in the photo Bob?
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Old 09-06-10, 11:38 AM   #17
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Funny, I was just looking at Keith's photo album on Facebook, because it popped up in my news feed when Matt Kinsey was tagged (I know Matt from boy scouts). Is that a Motobecane you're riding in the photo Bob?
Yup, see my signature.
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Old 09-06-10, 12:25 PM   #18
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Yup, see my signature.
Cool. I'm thinking of ordering a bike or two from Bikesdirect.com, I'm still working on deciding which one, I want an MTB and a road @ $1200 for both.
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