I went out on my 35.5 mile ride this afternoon and had a blast – up until about the 27th mile when I started to feel a bit fatigued in the shoulders. The weather was incredible, sunny and 60 degrees, so I only had to wear a blue Under Armour shirt, rockin’ my USA jersey and thin tights over cycling shorts – if I must say so myself, I looked pretty fabulous. Starting out there was hardly any wind to speak of, a rarity lately and at 20 mph I felt perfectly comfortable – not too hot and not cold. About 7 miles in, I approached a four-way stop, slowed slightly and checked for traffic. There were a couple of cars approaching from the distance so I gauged their speed to make sure I would have the right of way and blew the stop sign…about a quarter-mile through the intersection and fella in a pickup sidled up along side and asked if it was all of a sudden legal for cyclists to disobey stop signs. I explained as well as a winded fella could, that I did indeed check to make sure the right of way would be mine and that I kept my momentum through the intersection for my safety and to keep from clogging up the intersection for the drivers… To my surprise, he accepted my explanation, nodded, said OK, gave me the thumbs up and sped on his way. This time around, my trip through Linden was uneventful and quite enjoyable.
I’ve been working quite a bit on pushing a little harder up hills, where I used to push from the saddle, I’ve begun standing a lot more to pick up speed as I climb while trying not to gas it too hard and wear myself out and it’s really been paying off. I’ve felt a lot stronger over the last couple of weeks – and some of that is definitely attributable to my new minimalist (chuckle) racing saddle – my butt’s never been so happy on a bike. As I approached Grand Blanc road to head into Swartz Creek, I thought about cutting about five miles off of my ride for about a quarter of a mile – the justification went like this, “your shoulders are feeling it and you’ve really hit this ride hard, there’s no shame it cutting this one short and heading home”…I told the committee to suck it up because there’s never much traffic on the extra mile and pushed on… I wasn’t quite sure where my time was, with my phone mounted on my stem it’s a little hard to hear my Endomondo chick tell me where I’m at so I just kept pushing… and pushing but I couldn’t shake the idea that I’d felt a little slower this time around. Finally, my curiosity got the best of me and with four miles I checked my time – 1:40 and change… That gave me nineteen minutes, in four miles to beat my last time on that loop. I bared down, best I could after 31 miles and beat my last time by a little more than 8 minutes.
I just love kicking my own butt – and I was definitely happy that I was mistaken about being slow. Final average was 19.26 mph. 35.66 miles in 1:51:14. Total calories burned: 1,954. Max speed: 27.96 mph. Cycling Challenge on Endomondo: 503 of 13,181. Calorie Challenge: 1,104 of 20,068. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about baby – my gut hates this stuff!