Sunday, May 16, 2010

First 50 mile bike ride

Yesterday was my first 50 mile bike ride. I went with the group that goes out every weekend, Saturday and Sunday, knocking out probably 70-80 miles in the course of the two days. So they are experienced and tough! The group includes a plastic surgeon, vein surgeon, philosophy professor, occupational therapist, computer scientist/entrepreneur, and usually a cellist (who was not along for this one). I like to join in when the training calendar allows because this group pushes me a bit and they are a lot of fun.

I'd been hearing about this "Bradshaw loop" and the uphill switchbacks up Old Catawba and frankly I was intimidated by it. But I signed up for the 58 mile option of the Wilderness Road Ride in two weeks and wanted to get a longer ride in and build up some confidence. So when I heard they were hitting this route and at a "leisurely pace" I figured the time was right.

It was a great ride, but I would not describe it as leisurely. We averaged 16 mph and most of the time my HR was in the threshold zone (150-155 bpm). I was solid up the switchback climb, led the ride for a chunk of time, and my endurance held throughout. However, for some reason I was toast the rest of the day. Today, I feel fine, my legs and body feel normal, but I'm taking a day off so I can start the coming week off strong.

Now that I've conquered this, I see Mountain Lake as the next thing to tackle!!

Ride route (top); Switchbacks (bottom)