Today the goal was to ride fast. I decided to ride my own 100 km permanent route.
First I warmed up with 11 miles to the start.
I signed up for my first 24 hour race in Florida next year. It was time to start practicing. Like right now !
Like Greg Lemond says:
” It never gets easier, you just go faster”.
The start was in Dunkin’ Donuts at 9:22 am. Got a coffee and a few baby donuts. Then quickly poured the coffee in my water bottle and finished my food. It was already 9:30 am, and I should be biking. Time to quickly get on the saddle and start pedaling.
My fastest time on this course was four hours and twenty-five minutes. It’s really not the perfect ride to set any records. There is plenty of traffic lights , as well as decent climbing with almost 4000 feet in 65 miles. I quickly passed by the airport on Brock Bridge Rd. After many traffic lights, my speed was still at 19 Mph. Going up Whiskey Bottom Rd was not as fast as I would like. Narrow road, traffic circles and cars were slowing me down.
Soon afterwards, I crossed MD 108 and entered Clarksville. More traffic on a major road. After a busy one mile I was happy to turn left on Sheppard Ln. The road becomes so scenic.
I soon reached Dayton , Maryland. Familiar grounds as I was training in Columbia,MD a lot.
I was ascending on Folly Quarter Rd soon enough. About 200 yards before my control I recognized cyclists going the other way. It was Crista and Chuck my from DC Randonneurs. Right behind them were Mike Walli and Bob Counts. Just quickly yelled “hey I know you guys” and continued my way.
That was my first stop in 22 miles. All I can think of is – ” Make it quick and go ”
It was already hot as I started at 9:30 am. I got chocolate milk that lasted 5 seconds, and poured some cold water on my head. Ready, go !
Next stop was in another 22 miles. The crazy speed continued, and somehow I was still maintaining 18 Mph. I don’t know if that’s good speed or not , but considering the headwind and the climbing in the last part – it is okay to my standards. I even had time to take few pictures.
As I approached the second control I was feeling a bit tired. It was hard to keep up good speed.
It e was time for another bottle of water and some chocolate milk. I then poured more ice water over my head. Best feeling of the day … It was time clip on to the pedals again.
It was nice to see the new pavement a mile after this control. After speedy calculation it looked like I will be very close to get under four hours for 100 km. That would be awesome ! Except , with the approach of the finish line fatigue set in. The sun was also beaming very hard.
The last 6 miles were fun. Almost completely flat. I was even able to make up some lost time. My average speed was well above 20 Mph. Then, there was the last little hill. I had about seven minutes to finish under four hours and 2 miles to go. Except, I had to cross the busy MD 197 before reaching the last control. I made it After less than a minute wait. The last task was to patiently wait behind 5 customers , so i can get a receipt to show prove of passage.
I just completed my first 100 km (104) in three hours and 58 minutes. It was really a fun day with a bit of a pain, but it is a good start. Now I am considering a power meter and possibly a different frame. Why not even changing the wheels.