I had a great time at this year's Ironman ride. The weather was nearly ideal, at least as ideal as you're really going to get in late April in MN. According to Kevin's fancy bike computer, here's what we rode:
Riding time: 6:52
Avg Speed: 15.2
Max Speed: 33.8 (whee!)
Feet Climbed: 3054
I'm sure that our stats varied somewhat, but we rode together enough that it's probably pretty close for me as well. Here's a few high points that I remember from the ride, in more or less a chronological order.
Kevin, Doctor Bob and I headed west toward Belle Plaine and even though the wind was fairly stiff we made good time. After the first rest stop in Jordan we felt good, and decided to skip the Belle Plaine stop. I think we had met up with Mark and his friends at this point, but it's a little hazy. Mark kept joining and leaving and rejoining us through the day. Somewhere near Belle Plaine we met up with Doug of MNBicycleCommuter fame. I'm realizing now that I've somehow become unsubscribed to his blog, but I've corrected this error now. It's worth a read so check it out.
As we went through Belle Plaine Doctor Bob and I were riding a bit ahead and breaking wind for a growing peloton. After about 5-10 miles the route changed and the wind became a fantastic tailwind. About the same time two of the guys who had been drafting behind us offered to take over. So we ended up in the perfect sweet spot and were getting sucked along at around 26-27 mph. It was amazing.
The amazing part only lasted until the next rest stop. For the rest of the day, the wind was shifty and unpredictable. We ran into a whole lot of nice people throughout the day. I met Lynne, though I didn't know it at the time. We also met a few less than nice folks along the way. I'm not sure why, but there were some crabby people out riding. It's not the norm, but whatever.
I don't know why, but this was a hard ride report to write. Last year was my first century, and with the weather I really suffered. I think last year there was a part of me that wondered if I could really do 100 miles. This year I knew it could be done. And the conditions were much better. I could tell I was fatigued for the last 30 miles and was going slow. But looking back, I never felt like I wouldn't be able to make it. I knew I wouldn't make it quickly, but I knew I could grind it out.
I don't think the fatigue was physical as much as mental. The next day my body felt good. While I was riding I felt fairly strong, albeit slow. I think the fatigue was mental. After we turned west I was expecting a tailwind. We got it, but not all the way. I need to figure out how to mentally say "It is what it is" and ride the ride, regardless of conditions.
Date: April 29
Ride type/Bike: Ironman/Jamis
April mileage: 379
Year to date mileage: 1288