On my past two group rides with old and new friends, I have been asked questions about how many centuries (100 miles) rides I have done. I have also been in discussions about how I navigate on long rides by myself and if I ever get lost. These questions got me to thinking about my past rides so I decided to dig into my Garmin stats and review them. Below are some of my personal best cycling data. I like to keep track of my rides to encourage me to be my best.
Distances 120+ miles
Distance 100+ miles and Elevation 4k+ feet
The last 100-mile ride that I have done was the BRAG Bike Fest in 2015. Shortly after that event, I broke my hip on my mountain bike and it has taken me longer than expected to get back into the cycling condition to ride long distances. I could produce a long list of excuses as to why it took so long, but I always say it is my motivation that allows me to accomplish my goals. In 2019, I have the motivation to do long distance cycling.
Last weekend I rode 77 miles in the Tour de Forts and I had a blast. I was not tired and could have ridden another 25 miles, but my goal was met and I was happy. Yesterday on a Saturday morning ride that usually is about 25 miles, I decided to ride a longer route halfway into the ride. The route to Newton was a route that I use to do when I was bike commuting to the ASU East campus from my home. I had not been on the route in a long time. This ride is my longest self supported ride this year. I was riding with my friends Hilton and Alan and we had a great ride out in the Georgia countryside.
Because I have previous experience in riding long distances by myself it is easier for me to get back into shape to do it again. Recently I have been in several discussions on physical conditioning and muscle memory. I sometimes forget or do not consider the fact that I have been riding a bike on and off since I was about seven years old. I really love being on a bike and I do not dread the experience. No matter what the condition I am in or what the weather is like, if I am on a bike I am happy.
One of the key things that I use to measure my endurance when I ride is how long I am on the bike. Sure my speed is always a fact for me, but during this part of my conditioning I am focusing on how long can I be on my bike and be comfortable making the wheels go round and round. Once I get comfortable being on the bike for 5 to 10 hours, then I can start focusing on getting faster. To be clear, I am not focusing on getting faster than anyone. I am focusing on getting faster so that I can ride further in less time.
One of the key motivations for me to ride self-supported long distances is that I can meet my wife at hotels. Riding in a loop is fun for training rides, but I get bored easily so when I get a chance to ride to Tallahassee I get inspired because I know that when I get there, I do not have to ride back and I can hang out with my wife at a movie or get a nice dinner.