Being fairly new to biking any significant distance (Usually going no more than 5km in one sitting), I decided to start testing my limits.
One day I rode out to a park and back home, went 6.7km.
I figured I could do 10, so I mapped out a route and tried to bike it. I ended up having to take a detour and the whole trip was done at 11.3km. My butt was really sore by the end of it, but my legs were fine.
Then I decided to bike several cities over to a friend's house. I had no intention of riding back, since the trip there alone is 53.1km. I was almost certain that I wouldn't be able to make it the whole way, but I wanted to see how far I could go before giving up.
Now, I'm a pretty stubborn guy, but what trumps my stubbornness is my appreciation of being alive. I wasn't going to ride until I collapsed, because on a busy road, that's pretty much suicide.
Admittedly, I made a number of bad decisions:
- I was wearing my halloween costume, which includes a longcoat that quite liked to catch every little bit of wind.
- Riding a mountain bike.
- Wearing a backpack.
Nevertheless, I set out on my quest to ride there or reach an unbearable amount of pain trying. My route was fortunately worst at the start:
But that downhill looking part is very deceptive looking. Such is the result of cramming 50+km into a few hundred pixels. Despite having to shift into granny gear for a few hills, apparently not one of them was even a category 5.
As for the result of the trip, my butt was incredibly sore after like 30 or 40 minutes of riding. My wrists and neck started to hurt about an hour in, and then my shoulders really started feeling the backpack after about 1:20.
Oddly enough, even though my shoulders were the last thing to start being uncomfortable, they were the ultimate cause of giving up. I was able to stand on my pedals (And blessed by the occasional red light) to take my butt off the saddle for a few seconds and give it a bit of relief. My neck was more of a strain from being a little hunched forward and tilting my head back just to see forward. Wrists, probably just bad form or something. Shoulders though... That was constant pain once it started. When I called it quits, I quite literally couldn't hold onto my handlebars for more than a moment without the pain coming back.
By the end of it, I'd made it 39.6km/53.1km. Just under 75%, and the ride went for 2:29:33. I slowed down considerably near the end due to pain from every angle.
I'm pretty sad about not making it the whole way, but I still went about 3.5x further than my longest distance ride prior to that. That's definitely a nice accomplishment, so despite my failure I'm still proud of myself for trying.
tl;dr - Tried to bike 53.1km, only made it 39.6. Hurt a lot.