So I thought I should mention that I did my first 100km ride a couple of weeks ago. Well it was actually a few km’s short of that but I’m going to take the liberty to round up. The funny thing is that it was unintentional. I live around the corner from the gears bike shop in Mississauga, and often see the group rides set out on their rides Saturday morning and often thought I’d like to join them. The website mention that they have two groups that go out, one that goes at about a 26 km/hr speed and go a distance of somewhere around 70km (I can’t recall the exact distances), and then there was a much faster group that goes over 35km/hr and who go ~140km. Well, I thought that the first group sounded like it would be right up my alley, so I showed up bright eyed, bushy tailed and completely oblivious about what I was about to do.
I was hoping there would be an out and back route so that I could chose my own turn around point. Well, it turns out that there was construction on the route that originally had been planned so there was a decision that the group leader would think up a route during the first 30min warm-up part of the bike and then we would take it from there. I was quite shocked during that first 30mins that we were going at an average speed of somewhere around 32km/hr. I kind of figured the two groups were meeting in the middle and then would break up after into their respective speeds. I was right accept for the part about meeting in the middle with the speed. The “Intermediate” group kept going at the 32km/hr which was putting me on the edge of my comfort zone, bordering on blowing up. Who’s kidding who, I did blow up after going over my lactate threshold many times. It was my first experience ‘hitting the wall’ on a bike ride and was shocked how I was relegated to meagre speeds well under 20km/hr as my body recovered.
I did manage to recover and eventually caught up to a couple of guys from the group who had stopped for a while on the side of the road. The three of us decided to keep going to do a major climb then turn around to return home. Speeds on the way back were fast, often over 40km/hr since we must have mostly been downhill and with the wind. This was a very nice change compared to the ride out.
Needless to say, I learned some lessons on the bike today. The most important lesson was the importance of staying within your limits on a long ride. Once I get my lactic threshold tests done, I will work to keep my heart within those limits even if I have to let the group go on ahead. I also realised that I don’t have much power in my legs and will have to work on that during the next year.
Even with all the suffering, I felt very good that I had completed the ride. I’m actually starting to enjoy biking more than running.
That’s all for now...