And I rode my bike 500 miles… And I rode my bike 500 more… Part 1

By | August 27, 2013

I almost always have a song in mind for my blog posts, but often they don’t seem appropriate to share! Today, however, it seems that a tune that will put you in the proper mood for a distance-inspired blog post.  I can think of nothing better than the Proclaimers.

I have been what I consider a roadie for about a decade. I started in Seattle riding a mountain bike with slicks, mostly just commuting to work. Every now and then I would do something crazy like ride the 40 mile round trip to the Redhook Brewery. Then  I rode around Lake Washington with some 50+ year old guys. It is an 80 mile loop and those guys kicked my 27 year old butt. They had to stop and wait for me A LOT, and I was a hurting unit by the time we were done. Clearly unacceptable.  The next spring, I went out and purchased a 2004 Giant OCR1. When I first started riding it, my goal was to be stronger, faster and not get dropped- and while I am much strong and faster than I was 17,000 miles ago, I still want to improve. The best way- miles, miles and more miles. Seattle’s damp weather, a full time job and bouts of laziness can make this difficult, but I continue to strive for maximizing my miles for the day, week and month. The pinnacle for me has always been riding 1,000 miles in one month, but that’s never happened….until this year!

RAGBRAI…  This year I chose to fly halfway across the country to ride RAGBRAI from July 21-27.  In tracking my daily results for this blog and looking ahead at the calendar, I realized that I had a shot of reaching this long-standing goal. Officially, RAGBRAI is 406.6 miles, although I heard the actual number was around 423. Between using my bike instead of official shuttles to run errands and getting lost a few times, I ended RAGBRAI with 455 miles. I was also riding RSVP (Ride From Seattle to Vancouver and Party) August 16-17th which is about 200 miles. These two rides put me within 355 miles of my goal. Could I get to the previously unattainable 1,000 miles in a month?
Between Rides…  The day after RAGBRAI, I was back in Omaha with a day to kill before my flight back to Seattle, so what did I do? I got on my bike and rode, of course! Only 17 miles, but it all counts! I commuted every day to work and I rode on the weekends. Between July 31 and August 10th I rode 300 miles. During this time, I experienced incredibly sore hamstrings but managed to fight through it. I had only had two rest days in three weeks. The ride on the 10th of August was a social ride leaving from Tacoma Bike. I needed the miles, but I was tired so I thought some company would be motivating. Between some rough roads (where my favorite water bottle bounced out of its cage and was lost to a car tires) and a long climb, my legs lacked their usual snap. It was excruciating! I needed a break, so between the 10th and the 16th I only rode once. I spun a lazy 10 miles to keep my legs loose.  I was at 782 miles.
RSVP…  Day one of RSVP would be the longest ride of my 1,000 mile goal. This was my 9th RSVP, and I’m not afraid to admit that I have struggled mightily this day. I didn’t usually do a lot to prepare, but this year, I was a bike-riding fool! I was hoping to blast through the ride like a bat out of hell. But alas, I just kinda loped along at my normal pace. Luckily, I did notice that climbs seemed a lot easier and shorter than I remembered. I was tired at the end, but not exhausted. Sadly, my legs were very sore when I woke up to start Day 2.

When I returned from RSVP, I had 980 miles on the odometer. I rode past my goal with a 21 mile ride the day after I returned from RSVP. I took the time to explore and enjoy my ride, although for some reason I threw in a lot of climbing. What in the hell was I thinking? But I did it! 1001 miles with two days to spare….it’s time for a BEER!

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