This write up is from BIKEIOWA.com. I run the site and did my 1st century on an upright bike and my 1st double century ever! Here is a recap of our ride from June 28th 2007! Enjoy...
If you know me very well, you know I've been an avid recumbent rider for 12+ years. I've done several centuries on a bent, but never one on an upright bike. for the first time in 12 years, I've got more miles on uprights than on my recumbent. I guess I need to start up therapy again ?!?
Ed Veak and I had been talking about riding up to the Okoboji ride this year. It looked to be around 200 miles and we thought we'd just take a couple of days to get ride it. As the date got closer, we started to joke about doing the 200 miles all in one day. Ed and Jen have been taking Farrell's Extreme Body shaping for the last year and I had been getting some decent miles in this summer, so we decided to go for it! Julie's bike was out of commission else she would have come with us.
A double century has always been on my list of things to do, but I never had tried it.
We had mapped out a route on my GPS the night before and wanted to stay off trails and stay on country roads and to try to go through some news towns we have not ridden through before. Sounds easy enough 'eh ?!?
I knew my "recumbutt" would be hurting since the furthest I've ever ridden an upright in one setting a was 65 miles and we were shooting for 3 times that distance. On Tuesday, I stopped into Irwin's Bike & Sports for a good pair of biking shorts and some "butt butter". Kyle insisted that 3 sample packs of "butt butter" would be enough, but I opted for the big $16 tube. I did not want to run out. I was out of the store with new Pearl Izumi shorts and my tube of buttery goodness.
In bagger terminology, we were packing very light. In roadie terminology, we were loaded down. I was taking my Lemond Poprad cyclo-cross bike. I had put a rack on it for commuting purposes and decided to leave it on and take a rack bag. We also were taking one change of cycling clothes and a pair of regular shorts just in case we had to stay somewhere if we couldn't make the distance in one day. I also took my phone, camera, GPS, toothbrush/paste, contact solution, light jacket Bike Lock and several Hammer GU packets and some recovery powder for post ride pains. I had a small seat bag with my tools, patch kit, 4 C02 cartridges and two tubes. I have not had the best luck in the past with flat so I always pack extra C02s, patches and tubes.
Well, last Thursday Ed, Jen (his wife) and I took off from Johnston at 6:00 am heading northwest for the promised land called Okoboji! We had planned on doing it all in one day, but secretly, I think we were all a little concerned with the mileage we had planned for the day....
We were surprised by the north headwinds once we got out on the open road and knew drafting would play a big part in the day's ride if we wanted to make good time and save energy.
We went through Ogden and stopped at the convenience store where there were 10 farmers having their morning coffee. Two bananas and a Propel later we were back on the road. We wanted to stop by the Bike Barn, but it didn't open up for another hour so we kept pedaling...
At Mile 60(ish), I was following Ed and noticed what looked to be a wobble in his rear tire. We stopped and found that his tire bead was coming unseated by the valve stem. Another mile or so, and he would have definitely had a blowout. We let the air out of the tire, reseated and filled it back up and did not see any other tires problems the rest of the ride.
Ed and I were switching off leading every mile while we were heading north and every 3-4 miles when we were heading West. The headwinds kept our northbound speed to 14-17 mph and our westward speed to 17-23 mph. We wanted Jen to conserve her energy so she stayed in our draft.
Mile 70-ish - We stopped off at a Casey's and had pizza and Gatorade. that was the best pizza ever!
Mile 100 - Jen's and my my first century on an upright! We stopped at a farm for a break and of course there were two mean barking dogs. I had to keep the bike between me and the dogs until the farmer called them off. We stayed for 15-20 minutes talking to the farmer after that. You could tell that He thought we were crazy... We all high-fived each other, took a few "Happy Face" photos and started our 2nd half of the trip... Another 100 miles to go...
Our next stop was Twin Lakes which was about 12 miles from the farmer's house. We knew we would stop there for some hearty grub and enjoy the scenery. We stopped at this little restaurant right on the lake and chowed down on burgers and fries.
We were all feeling better than expected. We kept our speeds down for the next 10 miles for a little recovery, and we decided to stop every 10 miles for a stretch whether there was a town or not. Ed and I were still switching the lead every miles on the north bound roads. I tell ya, there is nothing worse than watching your odometer every mile, but we couldn't have kept our pace if we held the lead any longer than a mile. We noticed the headwinds were getting stronger too...
We had somehow managed to pick a great route! Very flat except for a few hills early in the day. I guess the headwind was making up for the lack of hills. The only nice part about the wind was it kept our sweating to a minimum.
Somewhere around mile 130 we all kind of hit our low point. We didn't bonk, but we just didn't have as much energy as we needed. We stopped along the road and I handed out some Hammer Electrolytes. Ed had a Snicker and Jen and I had GU packs and some Reeses Pieces with some Gatorade. We stretched and took off again. Within a few minutes the sugar-high kicked in and we were back!
We ran into a detour where a bridge was being repaired. I scouted out the bridge and we were still able to cross the bridge without taking the detour. According to the map, the detour was about 10 miles out of our way. We got lucky!
We soon hit 150 miles and were again congratulated ourselves. I think were were actually riding faster now than we were earlier in the day. We knew time was against us and we really didn't want to be riding in the dark.
We hit Terrill just as it was getting dark. I think we were at mile 186. We had turned on our blinkies and front lights as soon as the sun was dropping. There was nothing in Terrill to eat, and we knew we would lose too much time if we went into the bar, so we stretched out at an intersection, ate some more GU and took off for Milford which was 8-9 miles away.
We got lucky all day with cars. Everyone was great and got over. Even the 2 miles stretch on highway 141 by Woodward. We hated that. We did see a red camaro blow through a 4-way intersection in the middle of nowhere earlier in the day. I had lost a blinkie coming down a big hill so were were all pulled over at the time he went by. Blind luck? I don't know...
Mile 193-ish.... We got to Milford and were looking for the trail head into Okoboji. We knew it was on the outskirts of town, but was not sure where. We eventually saw the sign and hopped on the trail. We stopped on a bridge to gaze at the moon over the lake. I tried to take a picture, but it was nothing like seeing it person. Very cool.
Over the trail we went... We popped out at the marina and decided we would go to the Ritz for a meal and celebratory beverages! We pulled into the Ritz parking lot and my GPS had just turned 201 miles!! It was 11:00 pm. We had done it in 17 hours! We had 12.5 hours in the saddle and our meal and stretch time totaled 4.5 hours over the course of the day.
Two large orders of quesadillas, an order of Nachos and 3 Fish Bowls later we had to make a choice. We had plans to camp outside of Fluffy's RV by Arnold's Park for the night, then we had a hotel room for Friday and Saturday night. All three of us said if the hotel had an open room that night we'd stay there. A hot shower and a real bed sounded much better than a sleep mat on the ground! Plus we all had the chills to the bone after walking outside. Our body temps were dropping from all the heat all day.
We were in luck, the room was open! We got ground level and was able to roll the bikes right into the room from an outside slider.
We all showered and were out for the count around 12:30 am... We planned to sleep in until noon but for some reason we were all up around 7:30 am... WTF!?! We got up and got a hearty breakfast and then walked to the Okoboji Expedition bike shop to check it out.
We ended up getting another 12 miles in On Friday and 25 on Saturday. Thanks to Fluff for bringing us home Sunday morning!
What I learned in 200 miles
- Keep hydrated and eat well
- Hammer Perpetuem and electrolytes are your friends
- numb "man parts" regain feeling again in 48 hours no matter who touches them
- headwinds suck, but at the same time are challenging
- stretch some more
- Chap-stick, eye-drops and sunscreen are a "must have"
- Sometimes pressure points on the ass come more than they go
- Chamois butter is soothing in a strange way
- Milestones miles are mile 50, 100, 150, 190 and 200!
- listening to music with one ear bud on low volume can make the time fly
- Any travels over 100 miles should be done on a recumbent (no ass butter, padded shorts, neck or wrist strains needed)
- Spend your change first - It's easy to end up with 1.5 pounds of change from gatorades and food along the way.
- Drafting works
- Stay away from onions, even if Ed has eaten them all.
- Garmin GPS's rock!
- "Shut up and Keep Up" - The motto that worked for Jen.
In one day I had obtained two of my biking goals this year; a century on an upright bike, and a double century. We didn't kill ourselves, but didnt take it slow either. Anyone can do it with a little planning and some time in the saddle.