It’s finally the last month of winter here in Tasmania! It’s been WAY too long between 100km rides for me. After last month’s metric century ride I actually fell ill (not COVID) throwing a spanner in my cycling works. While I recovered quickly enough, my endurance took a big hit and is still not 100% back where it should be.
With the added early-morning daylight, I got up extra early on a mild Sunday morning to throw in a few km’s before meeting the SunDaze bunch at the usual spot. Leaving the house I had on arm and leg warmers, plus a gilet. I knew this was a mistake as I rolled down my driveway, so I quickly ditched the gilet in the letterbox and sped off. I say sped, but that’s a bit of a lie…
I tapped my way up the drag from my house and straight into a headwind as I hit the highway. My Garmin beeped at me to tell me I was in “fair condition” again. How rude. I’m not sure how it works this out, but I’m starting to wonder if we’re still friends. Maybe the Garmin was right though. The first 10km felt “heavy” and the 24km/hr average speed reflected that. Bleh. Thankfully I soon loosened up and got those heavy legs spinning up to speed!
Rolling up to the meet-up point I already had a decent 40km in the legs and was feeling “normal” again. As the rest of the bunch arrived I noticed that somebody was riding a full time trial rig. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good time trial bike, but I have a general rule that if somebody turns up to BUNCH RIDE on a TT bike, then I either ride away or make sure they’re on the front the entire time. That’s the ONLY safe place for them. Even then I’m wary. It’s almost impossible to point out obstacles when down in the ski bends. Time trial bikes are made to go fast without drafting, they’re for solo riding and they don’t belong on a group ride.
That said, they were there, so I just got on with it. I made sure they were stuck on the front and I duly tucked right in behind that TT bike, never once coming around for a turn. Nobody else did either and I “nervously enjoyed” the tow into Richmond.
After a very quick double espresso, I got back in the saddle and took off solo for the rest of the ride. First it was due north and bang into an ever increasing headwind. Grinding into a headwind may be great training, but it’s not always much fun! Hitting the u-turn and getting up to speed was much more satisfying. Soft pedalling back the way I had come, tapping along at 45km/hr with the breeze at my behind. The joy!
I knew the final 20km home were predominantly tailwind assisted and I was making great time. I watched as the average speed for my ride crept up and up. Just the way I like it. I rolled over the 100km mark as I turned for home, cooling down over the final few minutes to my door. I’ve missed these longer rides.
Distance: 101.8 km / 63.3 miles
Total elevation gain: 1049 m / 3445 feet
Average speed: 29.2 kph / 18.2 mph