YMCA Morrison Metric – 80 Miles or Bust!

It’s been a long time since I last went out for a long “group ride”. In fact, it 2 years ago. I’d been on a pretty good roll, but one ride really took the legs out of me, quite literally. It was a damn hot day and I was struggling before I even completed 40 miles. My goal had been 100, but I fell staggeringly short. Even though it was truly disappointing, I did make amends on a ride a couple weeks later, but that was it. I sort of hung it up for awhile.

That’s not to say I haven’t been riding. Quite the contrary. I’ve been riding like mad in my trainer. As you may recall I’ve even worn out parts from all my riding. On my days off I easily complete 30 miles so when the Morris Metric came along and offered an 80 mile course I thought it might be time to try again. 100 mile rides are a bit of a rarity; it’s a lot to ask a group of volunteers to stand around for 8 hours while people pedal around on bikes. They have other duties to perform on a Saturday I’m sure.

It was cool morning that turned into a pretty warm day, but overall it was very nice. And so I complete the longest bike ride I’ve done to date. I’ve completed a few 65 miles rides, but this 80 extends my long range riding and I’m pretty damn excited by that.

I freely admit I was nervous as hell doing this ride. 80 miles is a bloody long way so I loaded up on protein shakes before hand, had a hearty breakfast, ate plenty of bananas and Powerbars along the way and had a different mindset to this one. Previously I looked at these rides like a workout – I should ride hard, ride fast and try to burn as many calories as possible. That’s not so good. For this one I constantly changed gears to make it as easy as possible on my legs, ate quite a bit, stopped at every rest area and made sure I planned for the long journey.

It seems strange to say, but it was actually kind of easy, relatively speaking. My legs great the entire time and didn’t feel strained at any point. I coasted on the downhill, set an easy pace for myself and just pedaled along at whatever speed was comfortable. If the group dropped me, then so be it. I just wanted to ride and rack up the miles.

I took 5 and a half hours, but I completed my goal. I rode the entire 80 miles and kept pace with plenty of other riders. And there were quite a few of us as well. A lot more people signed up for the 80 than I expected. We stayed together until the first rest stop, then who knows what happened to them. Nobody I know will go out and ride with me. For some reason, none of the IT people I know think riding 60 miles is a way of having fun. Cowards!

Anyway, I’m quite pleased with the effort. Unfortunately, the bike will need to go into the shop tomorrow. It developed quite a serious clicking noise somewhere in the pedals or crank bearings. I’ve either worn something out again or something is horribly out of alignment. Nothing looks broken, but some repairs will be needed. Not to worry, BikeSource will fix it and then it’ll be ready for the next ride.

And I think that next ride will be the Pedal for Pediatrics.

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82 miles and 5:14 minutes.

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