On Tuesday the 25th I had 272 miles for the month. I thought I would easily bust 300 and most likely beat my 2013 “record” of 335 miles set in May. Five days to ride 64 miles is cake. Right?
On Friday the 28th I still had 272 miles for the month and it looked like that number would stand through Saturday as we had a campout planned with our church group Friday night and a subsequent day of rock climbing and hiking on Saturday.
I blew three increasingly fantastic mornings on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday by not riding. Friday was especially gorgeous around dawn, and while I didn’t completely squander my opportunities, I did choose a 2.5 mile run over riding my bike on Friday.
I considered taking my bike with us camping to get in a ride early Saturday morning. But it was beginning to look like the burden of miles was going to fall on the last day of the month as usual, and I always hate making a claim of big miles in a month when I was out riding around the block right up until midnight on the 32nd of the month trying to reach my goals. I finally decided it was too much trouble to subject the bike to the indignity of being hauled on my car along with all the camping and climbing gear and kids and all their accoutrements.
On June 7th, on my way to the LAMPO BPAC meeting in downtown Lexville, I turned the old cyclocomputerator over 1,000 miles. That would be a good annual milestone to pedal for: how early in the year can I crack 1,000 miles? We’ll see if I can remember that goal come Jan. 1. 2014.
The rock climbing expedition went well, but left me tired, sore, and somewhat demoralized. Yeah, I used to be able to do those particular climbs with little effort and no after-effects. Those days have waned for certain. Gravity, it seems, has decided it’sgoing to repay me for all those years of fighting it tooth and nail.
I wasn’t going to give up my mileage battle without a fight though, and as you’d expect, I foolishly abdicated my spot in a comfortable bed for a narrow saddle and the resistance of moving my flabby body through space. The resistance was great. My legs were sluggish, my ample form caught the moisture-heavy air and slowed me, and my mind was heavy with thoughts of my impending mortality.
What I intended to do (though it wouldn’t give me enough miles to exceed last month’s number) was to ride from my house to the top of Slade Hill which is about 17 miles one way. To the bottom of Slade Hill (Slade proper) is only 14 miles and change, but there and back would give me 300 miles.
On my eastern push from Stanton I kept my gearing low and my cadence high. My right knee was sore enough that I just didn’t want to push things even though I wanted to push things. I knew there were Strava segments out there that needed attacking. I’m the King Strava dork in the realm and by golly! I should be KOM all over the place.
I was averaging about 18 mph when I rolled into Slade at 7am. However, I was feeling the effects of my weekend, so I decided to let an ascent of Slade Hill wait until another day. I just wasn’t feeling up to an all-out effort on the long steady climb. It’s not super steep, but it just never seems to end.
I swung around and faced west on Highway 15 and headed back toward Stanton. I wasn’t feeling any more energetic, but I did recognize that in theory I was riding downstream, and therefore downhill, all the way back to town. I settled into my drops and started pounding out a slower cadence in a higher gear.
Of course I wouldn’t know until later when I had a chance to review my Strava track, but I was actually ratcheting up my average speed on my return. I managed a 19+ mph average on the return for an overall average of 18.5 mph for the entire 28 mile ride. That’s pretty good for me, especially considering my weary beginning that morning.
On the 11.6 mile “Hwy 11/15 Slade to Stanton” segment I averaged 19.3 mph. I would have been KOM (1/2) except a Mr. Benjamin Page of Burnsville (ironically), North Carolina rode the segment THE DAY BEFORE and managed a 21+ mph average. C’mon Ben, couldn’t you have come into town next weekend and given me just a few days of being KOM?
I’m not sure why this was a stinging blow. Only he and I and one other person have tracked this particular segment. I still have a strong and desperate need to be KOM. My training will begin forthwith.
My early morning ride did put me over 300 miles for the month, but just barely. The final count was 301.05 which brings my monthly average for 2013 to 187 miles. Weep.
Since this obviously means everything to me, I have decided to leave my family, quit my job, and pester the bejeezums out of every bike company I can until someone sponsors me out of pity or disgust. When I have achieved perfect KOM-ness I will return to my “normal” life.
Nah, I think I just need to drop about 20 pounds and those local KOMs will come to me like worshippers to the feet of a cycling deity.