My goal for today was an enjoyable 104 mile ride, plus maybe a couple. I knew I was in for some climbing from our recon drive yesterday but I wasn’t too worried about it. I started promptly and 8:30. It was cold, but not all that bad. I picked up some Pearl Izumi toe covers recently and they did the job well. I had thought about using my full boots because it was so cold, but I was ecstatic that the P.I. toe covers did so well… Less to carry when it eventually did warm up.
I started out well and settled in quickly. I wanted to keep a 17.5 mph average till I got to the trailhead and I exceeded that. The climbs went exceptionally well on the way out. I’ve got my pace and cadence down pat and muscled up every hill easily – and there were hills on this ride. Climbing these hills reminded me somewhat, if North Carolina… Not as long, but very similar in terms of grade… And I didn’t struggle at all with them. I was quite excited about that.
I was nervous about only one thing – I only had one Gu Roctane, one Clif bar and 2 bags of Jelly Belly energy beans. Not a lot for a 100+ mile ride. On the other hand I had plenty of electrolyte tabs to add to my water and a few bucks cash so I figured I’d be ok.
The first 24 to the trail went extremely well. The people of Harrison, Michigan are incredibly biker friendly. I’ve only experienced better drivers in North Carolina. The closest anyone got was a half a lane. I started the trail leg out pretty fast. I realized, about 7 miles in that I had no reason to push it so I dialed it back a notch… That went well until mile 20 of 30 on the trail, or mile 44 overall. I started to feel famished and that is not a good sign. I’d eaten my Clif Bar at mile 34 and was down to One Gu and two bags of beans… for 64 miles.
Wind up to this point really wasn’t too much of a factor, as was forecasted, but it started to pick up – and push me. This was also not good.
I almost turned around right there, four miles to go to Midland. I should have.
I pulled into Midland a bit before noon, 54 miles in a bit less than 3-1/2 hours overall and I was tired. Not, oh this next 54 miles is going to hurt, tired, I was already hurting. I was in for a gut check. I stuck to the one Gu so I could save the beans for the rest stop in 20 miles. I sat on a park bench and sucked out every last drop from the foil bag and drank a bottle of electrolyte infused water.
Part two later – my WordPress app ate the other half so I’ll have to rewrite it…