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The Long Slow Distance Century Isn’t A Bad Way To Ride!


August 2020

With the prospect of a second century in as many weeks, Chuck and I figured we’d have more than a few of our friends show for the century add-on. We were mistaken. I rolled out alone from my house at ten to seven yesterday morning to pick Chuck up. Two miles later, he was ready to roll when I got rounded the corner.

The ride to meet everyone should have been terrifying. Most of the ride was down a five-lane highway with stretches posted at 55-mph. Instead, because motorists had a lane to go around us, Chuck and I, riding side-by-side, got our own lane. No angry honks, no hammering the gas to cover us in exhaust… nothing. It was also early enough there weren’t many cars on the road, anyway.

The entire 17-1/2 mile ride there was inconsequential and we pulled into the parking lot with ten minutes to spare – only to find my wife, Mike and Phill were the only one’s in the lot getting ready. It was going to be a hard century with only five of us sharing the load. But, out of the blue, Chuck said he wanted a relaxed pace… and everyone else agreed… so we actually took it easy the first 60 miles. Unfortunately, it got hot toward the end and Mike was struggling. He asked Chuck and I to go ahead and my wife rode with him while Chuck and I hammered down the road toward lunch.

We hit a Subway at 84 miles and sat outside against the building and ate our lunch.

We had something like 16 miles to go and it was beyond warm, right into freaking hot (close to 90). We took a couple of miles to wind our legs up and we put the hammer down for home. We each took two-mile pulls into the mild breeze at between 20 & 22-mph but we relaxed going up the hills. This proved to be an excellent strategy in the heat of the day. As we crossed 100 miles, with a few left to get home, we were both feeling exceptionally spry for the final miles of a 100+ mile day. I didn’t have any signs of cramping and was riding happy. Chuck and I split off a mile from each other’s house after saying our thank you’s and whatnot.

I pulled into the driveway with 103.7 miles, an 18.1-mph average, and a smile on my face.

Until this year, I’ve never been much for the whole “Long Slow Distance” thing. After COVIDcation and yesterday’s relaxed century, the idea’s really growing on me.

535 miles to my 6,000 outdoor mile goal. I should be able to hit that before the middle of September. Hate to cut short and run, but I’ve gotta go get the tandem ready for Sunday Funday!

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