Our company sponsored a team for this year’s ADA Chicagoland Tour de Cure. Since I’ve never done a charity ride, I signed up as it’s for a good cause (my dad had Type 2), it would be a good little test for doing longer distances on the M5 M-Racer and trying out the T-cycle “Double Century” bag set up with a 2L bladder. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the whole day, so I just did the metric (100k). They offered a century , a metric and a couple of shorter rides with a later start time.
A couple of things to note: despite my best intentions, I’ve done no long distance rides this year- just 20k and 30k TT’s, and my short commutes. I also have a 53/43 front and an 11-32 10 speed rear. The weather was fairly windy (NNE) – headwind going out and quartering wind coming back.
Got up a 4:30 to drive out for a 6:30 start (UGH!). It was chilly so I wore thin Smartwool tights under my bike shorts and a wicking t-shirt under my jersey . I also started with my windbreaker over the jersey. Met up with a few folks I knew at the start and got into position towards the back. The ride starts down the Fox River trail and I had some creepy moments as the M5 doesn’t really do “slow” too well, but soon after we were on the road and things opened up.
I moved up the pack to catch up with the lead group and followed them for about 15 miles at 20 mph or so. I was getting too warm with the windbreaker, so I stopped to take that off. I found that my speed didn’t really line up with the other riders so I spent the rest of the ride slowing up to chat with folks for a while and then “movin’ on”. At about 40 miles the “fast” group that had turned off at a rest stop caught up with me on one of the larger hills. I had just about gotten to the top and was doing about 8 mph and getting wobbly. One of the guys said “ watch out for that wind!” figuring that I had been knocked out of line by a gust. I told him “ it’s not the wind, this bike just doesn’t like to go slow!” just as we crested the hill and I went tearing down the other side at 30+. They were laughing at that one.
I got a lot of comments: from the joking “Do you fall asleep on that?” to “Looks comfortable!” Not one snotty comment from anyone.
Even with all the chatting and having to stop for lights etc., I still averaged 17 mph for 65 miles without working all that hard. The T-cycle bag worked great with just a little intermittent rubbing of the cross straps against the rear tire- easily fixed. The 2 L water bag was more than I needed- by a lot- I wasn’t too thirsty and didn’t sweat much. The temp was in the low 70’s and it was breezy. (glad for the tights).
As far as I could tell, I was the only person on a ‘bent.