Similar to a professional bike racer I have now officially put in a full work day on my bike. About 8 hours in the saddle over, what my comp recorded as, 147.68 miles. I took in 3 states leaving from MA heading to VT by way of NH.
The terrain was great. Most of the roads were in good shape, the two major climbs were tough (I passed lots of riders walking their bikes up the second major climb) but they were suited to my style...longer and gradual. I was able to set a good tempo and I never ran out of gears and probably only got out of the saddle twice during climbs and that was more to stretch my legs and back.
All things considered I am very pleased with my ride. I felt like a managed my nutrition perfectly, I never bonked or even really felt like I was close to bonking, and I always felt hydrated even in the heat we hit heading north into NH and VT. I kept my heart rate where I wanted it and I don't think I went anaerobic the entire ride. I averaged just over 17 mph, didn't have any major mechanical issues and made it to Windsor, VT with some energy to spare. Basically all goals were met and two days later I feel 75% recovered.
But you might be saying to yourself...thats all well and good, everything went smoothly, blah blah blah. But where is the adversity? the toil? the hardship? the epic struggle? Because everyone knows thats the real reason people do these rides. Whats the point of trying something bigger than you have ever done, pushing your body to the limit...and then just having everything go perfectly, no big deal, see yah next year. Its almost a waste of a personal challenge.
Luckily for me though my ride wasn't all perfect. Sure, I finished and met my goals, but I met those goals after having hit, not one, but TWO parked cars at about mile 35 while I was traveling at about 20mph. I was coming into Groton as part of a very large group of about 80 riders, I was towards the back of the group and for anyone who has watched helicopter footage from the Tour knows...when big groups ride into roundabouts or narrow roads they squeeze together very quick and orderly. Unfortunately I am not in the pro tour and we did not squeeze in an orderly manner and I was the odd man out when push came to shove and didnt quite have room to squeeze into the flow of traffic.
Hit the first car with my right brifter to driver's side mirror...thank god for those space saving folding mirror designs because it just folded out of the way on impact. But I still didnt have room to squeeze left and the impact jarred me enough that I lost control and I slammed into the back left corner of the next car leg/knee first and then got sort of wedged underneath it. I was towards the back of the pack so I didnt get run over or anything. Long story kinda short...neither car was damaged (not sure how that happened) the impact hurt but thanks to adrenaline it wore off enough that I got on my bike and worked things out and was able to finish. Unfortunately my adrenaline wore off on the car ride home and my knee stiffened right up and started to swell a bit. I think I stretched/strained some ligaments on impact as I slid underneath the car my leg didn't have anywhere to go and the knee took some of the force as I got jammed under the car.
So I have to sort out that last 25% of recovery over the next few days, but hopefully that goes well because I have lots of MTB racing to do starting this weekend.