The current mileage on my free road bike is now sitting around the 500km mark which was achieved in about a month. I’m really chuffed with the way everything has progressed and that half millennium of kilos was some of the toughest, most challenging and also amazing kilometers I’ve spent on a bicycle. Plus, a fifth of that was done in a single ride!
Up until recently, doing a Gran Fondo was always just outside of my reach, with many rides ending around the 80-90km mark on more occasions than I could count. Everytime I neared the end of those long rides, I only had one thing on my mind: I wanted to go home. I was always out of energy with my legs on the edge of cramping up and my water bottles drying up. All this changed on May the 8th when I woke up on a cold and misty morning with a white hot choc cappuccino.
Okay that cappuccino may not have been the best pre ride meal but it sure was delicious and was the main reason I actually woke up at 5 am that cold morning (I chose not to wear a base layer as I was sure it would warm up, but nope I was denied such a luxury). It was a public holiday (national voting day) which meant there was a club ride that morning. I was also yearning for a long ride as I had been out of action for about 2 weeks, due to flu and a programming semester test (yes, programming is continuing to traumatize me).
The ride was like all other club rides I’ve done before sans the slightly different route we took that day. It was relatively uneventful other than a wicked headwind on the return that sapped much of my energy. One slight problem I had was that the ride was only about 70km, which isn’t much of a Gran Fondo.
So, with my legs aching in protest, I decided to push on. It was about time I achieved another goal of mine and a tired body wasn’t going to stop me this time. Due to safety concerns, I did the last 30km through my usual training route as cycling alone on the freeways isn’t ideal in any scenario. I continued on, each kilo passing by, some slowly but some of them were thankfully fast. It was still frosty cold and on some descents I let out some long groans to show my dissatisfaction with the drop in my skin temps. This of course was quite audible to the casual observer who would probably be quite alarmed and think I am mad, which of course I am. While I was stuck in my own head for most of those last few kilometers, I had time to think of what I was doing and I thought yeah it’s 100km, not really a big deal. Regardless of that, I pushed on. There was no harm in reaching 3 digits on my trip computer. I was actually very happy after seeing those two zeros appended to a number 1. Luckily no one was in sight at that time or they’d see me celebrating as if I’d won a stage of the Tour de France.
After a shower and nap, I ate an entire bag of chips (far from ideal, I know) and sighed contently while watching some some television. It was not only my longest ride ever, but I managed some personal bests and a 10th overall on one of the climbs. All this done well before midday and it all started with a cappuccino. It’s also fair to say that I had basically no more productivity that day.
Next goal: 150km!