I hit one of my goals, which was to do a 200K brevet ride, which is an organized ride with a time limit of 13.5 hours and some other fiddly rules. That's a minimum pace that's a little faster than bike tourers usually go, but isn't as fast as most group rides and other organized events. Obviously, you can go faster, but as a goal, it worked for me. The 200K is the shortest distance; they get longer from there. I decided I wanted to do the first one, and then see how I felt about longer ones. (I'm planning to do more, though I need to get lights first and either get stronger on hills or continue to pick less hilly ones than the Boston series.)
We started in Burlington, Vermont, and went north, up along the shore of Lake Champlain and then across it on bridges connecting islands. One last big bridge, and we were in another state.
Then we went south, and started scraping the edge of the Adirondacks. I had to get off and walk twice, and a third time should have and didn't, which would make the last bit a lot tougher than it should have been. The descents were entertaining, though, and 44.9 miles per hour on a bike is freaky. Especially in the light rain we were having, which turned into little wind-propelled daggers of facepelting. Only one of the descents was long enough and straight enough to pull that kind of speed, at least with my handling abilities and the weather conditions, but I can now say I've broken a 40mph speed limit.
And then we cut across the lake while the people doing the 300K instead went all the way around to the first bridge on the south end. The weather had been wet the whole day, but at least it kept us cool. Even with fenders my legs resembled my bike:
We were back in Vermont for some rolling hills -- as long as the ground was flat, I felt like I could go forever, but I was pretty done with climbing. Some of that was the stupid choice to not walk one steep section but to prove I could do it, some of it was just not being strong enough. (There is another post I'm still thinking about about body image, weight, cycling, and climbing, but not today.) Lastly, my bike chose the perfect time to have a flat tire -- on the way out of the parking lot of the finish back to where I'd parked (a mile or so away). It was fairly hilarious at the time, even more so now that I'm just looking back at it and not sitting there trying to pry off a tire with tired hands.
Now that I've hit my big goal, though -- anyone want to go riding? I'm going to be a lot less training-focused and more about just riding around for the rest of the summer. As long as you're OK with a max speed of about 14mph average -- I'm still not a speed demon.
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