I completed my first 42 miler this morning....on a bike.....not running. Before this morning the longest ride I had ever been on was 25 miles. I know 42 miles on a bike is not a great accomplishment and that many of you have gone a lot farther, but for me, it was an accomplishment. About this time last year, I started riding a bike again for the first time in over 10 years. I purchased a road bike, and was learning to ride on those thin tires for the first time ever. I was scared and timid. I would ride a trail near my house for 7 miles and thought I was really doing something. I was probably averaging around 10 mph. I was scared to death most of the time. Then I started riding with a group around Longview Lake and I did a 12 mile ride. Wow, I couldn't believe it 12 miles! I rode that same 12 mile loop last year probably 20-30 times. I never really pushed myself much farther than that. I think the most mileage I did last summer was 15 miles. This summer, with my Olympic Tri training I've had to push my cycling a bit farther and I have been doing about 25 miles on the weekend, so to make the jump from 25 to 42 was pretty big.
This morning, I got out and rode with probably at least 500 other riders in the Tour De Lakes. I was nervous, I had never ridden a bike with that many people around. However, I knew this was the type of thing that would make me stronger and push me outside of my comfort zone. I was going to ride farther than ever today; I was going to do a route that was unfamiliar; I was going to have to clip in and out of my pedals at least a dozen times; and I was going to have to ride in a "pack" of other riders. I am happy to say I didn't fall.....I almost did once, but clipped out just in time. I was really happy with my riding ability today. I wasn't fast, but this wasn't a race. The course was hilly and hills really take it out of me, but I got through it and really felt great until around mile 35 or so.
The day turned out to be pretty awesome. I picked up my girlfriend Michelle, and then we met up with another friend Susan and her son Jake, and another girl from our Tri 102 class Sunita. So the 5 of us set out together. For all of us, it was our longest ride ever. Although it was pretty humid out this morning, it was only in the 70s. The sky was overcast so we didn't have the sun to deal with. It was really just about perfect, but then about 10 miles in, it started to rain pretty hard. None of us were very experienced "rain" bikers, but we pushed through and it stopped raining after just a couple of miles. We were all soaked though and a bit chilly. But at the end of the day we completed 42 miles and we were all pretty happy with ourselves.
I realize this wasn't a terribly exciting post, but it's still nice to share small accomplishments with my bloggy friends!