Back on New Years Day I decided for ****s and giggles to go out and do a 100 miler, it got cut short due to bike problems but I still managed 82 miles in the lovely slush of a New Hampshire winter. It was the longest ride I had did since 1995 by a long shot. I remember as I was heading back home asking the question 'Is this a sign of things to come'? I should killed myself then and there for being stupid enough to ever ask that question.
The rest of the winter I suffered through bike problems of kind or another and flat out didn't trust the bike worth a darn to try to do any kind of a long ride from home. Finally spring arrived and in mid May I went out and did the century ride plus a little extra due to forgetting the turn I was suppose to make. A couple of weeks later I went out and did a 123 miler. I looked at the weather as I knew I had been mapping out some rides already that I was thinking...like an idiot, of doing. I knew the one ride had a major requirement attached to it. I had to do before the kids got out of school in mid June. I wasn't about to be anywhere near the seacoast when everybody and their brother was going to be there. After I got home from the 123 miler I looked at the weather forecast and it looked gorgeous for the day after Memorial Day. Everything was perfect except my biggest ride thus far had only been 123 miles. The ride to the seacoast and back was going to be 207. To make a long story, short, the day after Memorial Day, 6 days after doing the 1st 123 miler I did the 207 miler to the seacoast and back. 5 days later I did another, different, 123 miler that I cut short due to weather and a bit of fatigue still left from the 207 miler and the other 123 miler before that.
On the second 123 miler I started noticing bike trouble once again and finally ended up breaking down and upgrading from a 7 speed system to a 10 speed system and the bike has become massively much more reliable for the first time since I stopped driving back in May 2010. Now if I could only get rid of the noises it would truly be grand.
Now more recently I knew I was running out of available daylight for doing long rides this year so on each of the past two Wednesdays I've did two separate 200+ mile rides that I had also been thinking about doing since mid May. The second trounced the first one and made me realize I have started to get in shape finally.
On the first double century I was out of it when I got home...actually I was out of long before I got home simple because it was the first real warm day around here all year and after the first 80 or so miles I also had blistering sunshine to deal with as well. I wasn't used to highs in the mid 80s. It had been quite a while since I had last seen temps like that. The two doubles in the past week and a half have been a breeze, considering what I was expecting. The first one had two decent climbs that ended up leaving me rather unimpressed to say the least and the most recent one had one climb that was rather unimpressive as well. I finished both of the doubles with plenty of daylight and plenty of energy to spare. Yes, I was noticing some cramping but as to energy, I had plenty and could have easily kept going if I would have had a reason to and had the daylight available.
This brings up a rather interesting question:
What are the normal long disance hurdles that occur? Aka, the stumbling blocks that generally act as a barrier to a cyclist? For example, a real bad one at that, would be the 20 mile marker for someone running a marathon.
I know you always hear build up slowly. You always see these training schedules for doing your first century, yadda, yadda, yadda. After doing the century where is the next 'normal' 'breakpoint'. Most people don't have the time time to go out and ride 100 miles once a week. So how do they normally make the jump to double centuries, triple centuries, something like RAAM? Is there a point in the 'cycle' where it's truly just 'repeative'(?sp) and you can add on the miles without even trying and you don't have to 'build up to it' anymore?
I hope my question/s makes sense.