Today I went for the longest bike ride I recall ever taking. It was 30 miles. The intent of the ride was to exceed the distance (25 miles) that I’ll ride in my first Olympic triathlon (on July 9). My hope was to complete the ride in just over 2 hours (14 to 15 MPH pace). That didn’t happen. I left the house at 7 AM and returned around noon. Why?
- I started out sluggish. By the 3 mile mark, I was rationalizing why I should bother with 30 miles. I was pretty convincing.
- By the 5 mile mark, any hope of maintaining a 14 to 15 MPH pace was lost. With my ambitions killed, I rebooted my focus.
- I tend to ride in one gear. I don’t even know the gear number. Through trial and error, I found it to be the most robust gear on both flat and hilly terrain. I decided to experiment with different gears.
- I’ve never attacked hills. In conjunction with experimenting with different gears, I decided to attack hills.
- I’d rest as needed.
- Miles 5 to 13 were fun. Between switching gears and going all out on inclines, I was tired. At mile 13, I stopped at Starbucks for an ice coffee and ice water.
- Miles 13 to 26 were equally fun. I figured out gearing that works for inclines. This will be useful as my first Olympic triathlon will have hills.
- The 26 mile mark was another rest stop. I met my family at the local 4th of July (big, national holiday in USA) parade.
- After the parade, I finished the miles 26 to 30 in a flat parking lot.
That was my 30 mile ride. With a stops at Starbucks and a parade, it didn’t go according to plan. However, I got it done and learned enough about gearing and hill riding to inform my first Olympic triathlon.