I am thinking about bumping down from the century to a half century. I just haven’t been riding enough. Well hardly at all. Tons of running though. And with the Rochester Marathon 3 weeks later, I am concerned that I might not be fully recovered. I am targeting a fast pace at the marathon, somewhere between 3:30 and 4:00. I would hate to screw that up.
After long consideration, I email the people at the bike store asking them to bump me down into the 50 miler instead of the 100 miler. The century ride has almost 8000 feet of climbing. The 50 miler has only about 2000. I am just not ready for that much climbing. So I will take the more leisurely ride. Hey, maybe I will wear my new cycling jersey from Primal Wear: Leisure Ride (looks like a leisure suit).
I have been looking to buy a pair of cycling shorts. Wearing my denim shorts on long rides is just not going to work well. I know I have a pair cycling shorts in a storage box around the house somewhere, but I haven’t been able to find them. So I need to buy a pair.
I went to the local sporting goods store and found a variety of cycling ranging from $20 to $80. But I didn’t know what the difference between the different shorts was.
I went to the local bike shop and they also had a variety of shorts in a wife price range. They even had much more expensive bike shorts. The guy start telling me about 6 panels vs 8 panels, flat seams, and the padding, etc. It seems like Pearl Izumi is a good brand. But it just bugged me to pay $80 for some cycling shorts! That’s a lot of money for some sewn fabric!
I went back to the sporting goods store. I didn’t went the $20. They didn’t have the flat seems, and didn’t have the rubber stuff in the hems of the legs to keep them from sliding up. The $70 Pearl Izumi’s looked good, but I didn’t like the draw string aroudn the waist. It seems like it would constrict as I bent over. I found a pair of Canari cycling shorts that had flat seams, 8 panels, and gel padding. And they were only $40. That price was easier to stomach than the $70 or $80 prices of the similar Pearl Izumi shorts. So I bought them. I will wear them for some of my training rides.
I needed to run an errand when I got home from work last night. I got home at 5:30, and the store closed at 6pm. I decided to take my bike. I changed quickly, jumped on the bike, and headed off. The store was farther than I thought. It was close to 5 miles away. I could have sworn it was clsoer. But I got there at about 5 minutes to 6, and managed to buy the sewing machine belt that my wife needed. I threw the belt into the pocket of my shorts, and began the ride home. The ride was hilly. But there was a big downhill at the beginning, which translates into a big climb at the end. Up until the big climb, I did the entire ride on the big chainring, though I probably should have shifted down to the small ring in a few places.
I got to the big hill, and shifted into the lowest gears. I slogged my way up. I just looked and saw that I only actually climbs 225 feet on that last hill, but it does it in about half a mile.
I am going to die on that 100 mile century ride next month! I need to ride my bike more! This weekend I am running an 32.6 mile ultramarathon (an extreme trail run through the Adirondacks). But next week I will start riding my bike more. I need more saddle time. I will start riding my bike for trips to the store and such.
I signed up for the Century next month on my 44th bday (August 25th). My wife and I went for a nice relaxing drive along the course this last weekend. Some of those hills look frigging scary. I might have been better off going in with my eyes closed!!! The 100 mile distance doesn’t bother me much. But those hills AND the 100 miles…!!! There are some nice downhills, but often they end at stop signs, and where you lose all of your momentum!!!
I had planned on taking my 1990 Trek 1000. It’s relatively light with an Aluminum frame. Nice skinny tires (700×23). I need to overhaul it sometime though. But not sure how friendly it will be on those hills with it’s gearing. I was thinking today that I could possibly take my homemade cross bike (converted from a 2000 Trek 700 multitrack hybrid). I currently have 700×32 tires on it. It has a heavier ChromeMoly frame. But it has a triple chainring on the front, and a Shimano Megarange freewheel on the back. So nice low gearing. I could always put skinnier tires on it.
I got some maps and descriptions of the 100 mile century course that I signed up to ride next month. My wife and I went drove the course today. I have never ridden a century. I haven’t even ridden half the distance. The longest rides I have done in recent times have been about ten miles. I haven’t had any problems with those though. Most of my time has been spent running. A week from today, I am running a 32.6 mile ultramarathon in the Adirondacks. I figured if I can run 32.6 miles, I can ride 100. I am pretty sure the distance wont be a huge issue. It will be tough. But the 7500 feet of climbing is going to be tough! Some of those hills looked steep and long. And so many of them! But there are also long down hills. Annoyingly many of the downhills end at stop signs where I will lose all that momentum! *grumble*
The last 30 miles are relatively flat. I may need those flat miles! There is a cut off at the 52 mile mark. I have to be there within 5 hours from the start. So I will need to average at least 10mph. I hope that won’t be a problem. But looking at some of those biggest hills, I am thinking I might have to get off my bike and walk the thing up. But then I get a fast downhill!
It is going to be tough!!!