Friday, December 27

The Brief Return of Ramming Speed Fridays

It was folly: 44-45 miles one way, uncertain routes, winter temperatures.  I mean, we're only a week out from the solstice for crying out loud!

Technically I didn't meet the criteria.  What was it?  17 mph for fat tired bikes and 20 mph for road bikes?  I don't know, it's been over a year since I put Ramming Speed Fridays to rest. 

For those that may not know, or those that don't remember, Ramming Speed Fridays came about as I blazed home from my job in Golden, Colorado trying to escape and forget the memories of a bad week.  Which one?  Well, almost all of them.

From Golden--sitting at 6,000' in elevation--it was downhill on my home commute each day.  It was much easier to go super fast on my 10 mile commute with about 600' of elevation loss.  It didn't take long before I was trying to break my own records.

Finally I had to establish some solid numbers to determine what constituted a bona-fide Ramming Speed Friday, or RSF as I was wont to abbreviate, and I chose 17 mph for my "slower" bikes and 20 mph for lighter and faster steeds.  These numbers weren't arbitrary.  I chose them because at the time those speeds were attainable but not easily so.  I intended to adjust them as I got faster.

It's hard to have a Ramming Speed Friday when you don't ride your bike to work on Fridays.  I've been itching to bike my (45 mile one way) commute all year.  I've come close a few times.  I've never screwed up the gumption.

I found myself at the confluence of desire, opportunity, and compulsion yesterday.  I would take my new Revelate bags, put them on the Dogrunner, and ride my freakin' bike to work.  And hopefully ride back.

What you don't know is that I set up a built-in fail-safe into my scheme.  I asked Mac if I could catch a ride back with him if I was not up to the full challenge or if work dictated that I not leave at 2pm to beat the sunset home.  I beat it to Clay City.

Thanks Mac!

Dave L. texted me as I realized my first wrong turn on the outskirts of Winch City.  I hadn't intended to return there but a miscalculation...

Dave offered an opportunity to refuel.  I took him up on it and truncated my visit begging off so I could get on home before dark.  On Ecton Road I made my second wrong turn and ended up on Ironworks where I didn't want to be.

Not for the first time today I settled into a blistering pace.  My overall average speed was 16.3 mph for the 50 mile ride only because of the few hard climbs along the way.  My first half hour I averaged 18.6 but dropped off to 16.3 mph after I traversed Boonesborough and climbed out of the Kentucky River valley immediately after.  I managed to maintain that speed the rest of the ride.

On Ironworks I pedaled like I was racing Death herself.  I watched the sun sink and the rednecks gun past.  I felt like I was out in front of the RAAM.  Maybe I could be a contender for the Trans America Race.

And so I rammed...and so I sped.

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