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When It’s Acceptable to Make a 100-Mile Pre-Ride a 100k…


August 2022

My wife and I have had a limit of about 50 miles on the tandem. Once we got over 50, we run the risk of one or the other of us (or both!) bonking. That said, there are a few longer rides that we both love that go over that mark. Some by a lot. Well, this year being the year of the tandem for Jess & Jim, we decided to break our 50 mile limit rule and expand our horizons a little bit. We completed our second 100k yesterday, to much fanfare. Well, not so much fanfare, really. I bonked almost exactly at 62.5 miles. We hung on for a bit after, but I sat up with almost two miles to go and said, no mas! Our average dropped almost three tenths in that mile and change.

While that may be the end of the story, I’ve left out 62.4 miles of absolute awesomeness on two wheels – and that just won’t do.

We were set to roll at 8am but the weather report was sketchy. All week long it showed rain on Sunday, but in true Michigan fashion, the rain kept creeping into Saturday evening so by the time I checked at 4am Sunday, the rain had been called off… and sure as s#!+, when I walked out to see if the asphalt was wet, I felt a light mist in the air. But the roads were bone dry and whatever misting had happened dried up before the sky started to show signs of morning.

Which was good, because I’d taken the fenders off the tandem.

We packed up the tandem in the car, along with all of our riding gear and headed out for the middle school parking lot. We unpacked, got ourselves ready, turned on blinking lights and computers and mounted the tandem to ride.

The morning was perfect. Overcast, cool and barely a breeze to speak of. We started out in arm-warmers but I quickly regretted having chosen to wear them. They were too much, and came off at our first stop. We had a really tight group that morning, probably twelve to fifteen of us and we were all very used to riding together. The speed was controlled on the hills for the tandems and everyone played nice, kicking the average up to a 19.5-mph pace before we hit 15-miles.

The ride was a fantastic display of social cycling. People talked and caught up, we laughed and told jokes, and had a massive amount of fun. Though the skies looked liked they’d open up a time or two, we stayed dry the entire ride… and we absolutely rocked it. Right up till the aforementioned bonk with just a couple of miles to go.

And just like that, our 50-mile limit on the tandem was blown out of the water – and my wife asked if we could do a few more longer rides before the year was up, that she had a few that she liked on the single bikes but wanted to try on the tandem.

In a way, I let my buddies down on the 100-miler to ride the 100k with my wife. They’re used to me letting my wife do her thing while I hang with them. As my wife and I have learned to love riding together, things have had to change a little. And almost all of those changes are for the better.

1 Comment

  1. Dave Talsma says:

    Yup, I had a good time for sure.

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