Today I wanted to do a long ride to Thomasville Georgia. My last recorded ride along this route was my What-A-Burger Tour on 2/21/2015. Back then I was younger and bike commuting to work almost every day averaging 250 miles (402 KM) a week. now that I am retired I do not have to squeeze in a long ride on a weekend, I can go whenever I want.
April is a special time of the year for me. One reason is that my birthday falls on the 16th day of the month, but is more important to me than a birthday party is a chance to ride my bike double my age. This tradition to do a bike ride based on your age was instilled in me for a group of cyclists that I met when I lived in the Portland suburb of Beaverton. The game when like this, during the month of your birthday you had to ride double your age until you were “old” then riding your age was OK.
As I have gotten older I have made an attempt to remain in shape so that I could carry on this tradition by myself when I lived in Texas and now Georgia. One benefit of playing this game is that when you train to do this ride throughout the year, you are in fact staying relatively healthy. In 2015 I rode my First Double Century from my home in Albany to St. Mary’s Island on Georgia’s coast. In 2015 I was 63, so triple my age was 189 miles (304.166 KM). My ride to St. Mary’s Island was 205 miles (330 KM).
This year I have been training for long-distance rides of 100 miles or more. My last ride over 100 miles was on May 23, 2015. There is no valid excuse for why I stopped riding my bike regularly after 2015 other than work-related stress. Then in October 2016, I snapped my right femur riding my mountain bike on a simple trail. It took me almost one and a half years to complete recovery from that accident and start to ride my road bike like I am used to doing.
This ride is the first cycling adventure where I ventured south of Albany to get to some hills. All of the rides that I have been doing have been in the relative flatlands of southwest Georgia. When I ride south of Camilla into Thomas County I encounter rolling hills. I wanted to test my hip on these hills, and I am happy to say that everything is working fine.
I did have some surprises on the ride. I encountered seven dogs that rushed out to chase me during the day. I had forgotten one location near an intersection south of Camilla on HWY 3 where there were four pit bulls five feet from the narrow Dixie Highway. Keeping alert and always having my afterburner legs ready to sprint at any time is always a good thing to have on these country roads.
I altered my course on my return home. Instead of riding back up HWY3 to avoid two spots with dogs, I decided to go up SR 200 and cut over to Camilla. It was getting hotter as the day went and without the cooling shelter of all of the trees along HWY 3, I started to get dehydrated. I started to have leg cramps in both legs. I stopped for a bit and stretched. I grabbed a Snickers bar that I bought at Sam’s Club a few weeks ago and ate it. I started riding again at a slower pace on the hills to let my legs take a break.
A few miles later I was riding past a cluster of houses that looked really nice. Then I saw three dogs running across a lawn that was about 200 feet from the road. Here I go again, stepping on the pedals as fast and as hard as I could. I just wanted to get away from the dogs and I hoped that my legs were ready to go.
On the way home, as it started to get dark, my night shift showed up. There is something that changes me when the sun goes down during a long ride. I get a boost of energy when it gets dark and cools off. Tonight I was very pleased to have the energy to ride and not be tired. For me finishing a ride with some energy left is my goal. I am pleased with my ride overall as far as my energy is concerned. I will work on getting my speed up as I continue to ride 100 miles (160 KM) or longer rides.
After I got home I took a shower and I sprayed Activation Products Ease Magnesium Spray on both of my legs. My wife Sylvia, my crew chief. She turned me on to Ease when I started having leg cramps after an intense riding adventure. The idea for Ease is that your muscles are cramping because they are magnesium deprived. Ease prevents me from getting cramps after a ride when I try to stand up from a chair or push back in my recliner. Sometimes my legs will cramp hours after a ride and wake me up when I am sound asleep. Pure Magnesium is for joint and muscle pain, leg cramp relief and as a sleep supplement for restless leg syndrome relief
Strave April Gran Fondo Status 4/7/2020
Have a long day in the saddle on a 100km ride.
April 1, 2020 to April 30, 2020No month is truly complete without a long ride. Complete this Challenge simply by riding at least 100 km in one activity – as fast or slow as you like. Whether you ride for the badge or just ride for yourself, enjoy a big day out.
I was amazed to see this event on Strva’s website. I was equally amazed to see that I am fourth in my age group.