I think I've posted before about one of the local bike clubs putting on an informal 100 miler every Saturday in December. They've been doing it for over 20 years. It's a great way to cancel some of the holiday calories and build base miles. I've found that if I can do as many of these as I can it really helps to jump start my riding the next year. I did the route the last 3 weekends and I can really feel the difference. It's probably also helped that I've worked in some shorter but higher tempo workouts during the week as well.
The weather here in the Carolinas was great for riding today so we had a good turnout. There were probably 60-70 people with 25 doing the 100 miler and the others doing a shorter 70 mile route.The 70 mile route leaves the Century route at about the 35 mile mark. At about the 45 mile mark a dog ran directly into the pack and took down several riders. No one was seriously hurt nor was there any bike damage so good news there. I've done this route a lot and I don't recall a dog running out into the road in that area before. We were riding in a very rural area where everything runs wild......
The group rode at a really nice even pace for the first 85 miles so I just sat in and enjoyed the drafting. I dropped off at about the 85 mile mark when we hit a few hills that spit me off the back. Lots of good conversation along the way. I could tell that I was somewhat stronger than the first couple weeks as I was able to easily stay with everyone even on the hills.
I think I finished in 5 hr 18 minutes which is not my fastest time for this route but probably a little faster than normal for me. It's not a really hilly route but it does have 4500 ft of climbing. I never got hungry but I did eat a banana at the 70 mile mark just for insurance. I drank about 2 1/2 bottles of fluid and never had any cramping issues. Today was certainly a lot better than last week when I was out there 7+ hours. But that ride marathon while tortuous really helped in a lot of different ways.
I hope to complete the sweep by doing it next Saturday as well.