Saturday, 8 June 2013

12.05.13 Longest ride of my life

It is Sunday.  The weather has been crap for the last couple of days however it has turned it on today.  I was busily checking the weather throughout the week in anticipation for a long ride.  Vic and Lachlan have headed to Auckland for a week so there is no rush for me on my ride today.  I decide that I really want to give Catalina a run for her money so there is a Haywards ride that I do that is around 80km and involves coming back home along a motorway.  This will enable me to be down on the aero bars and giving it my all to see how fast I can really go and how comfortable it will be for me.

I leave home and start the ride.  Today I am focussed on being down on the bars as often as possible.  I want to ensure that I get maximum time in that position to get used to it as well as maximise my speed for the ride.  I head past Tawa and as I have left a little later than usual (8:30am) there is a bit of traffic on the road however when I head out a little more there will be hardly anything.  I hit an area before Haywards Road which snakes around the water and is my favourite part of the ride especially when there is no wind.  I am down on the bars and starting to get used to the bars.  I am about to head to Haywards road.  It is a steady climb and was the scene of my crash about three months ago.  Haywards road is a steady climb before a descent back down to a highway.  It gets steep in parts but mostly it is a gentle climb.  I am riding along and feeling really good and strong.  I hit the main hill part and begin the climb.  As I keep mentioning this bike is not built for climbing but it just feels so much smoother climbing on this bike than my other bike.  It feels like me and the machine are one and all the power I am putting into my peddles is going straight into the wheels of the bike.  Before I know it I am at the top of the hill and I begin my descent down.

If this bike feels fast going on a straight, it is nothing compared to how it feels when it is going down hill.  It is scaringly fast!  Before I know it I am doing over 60km/hour.  The bike wants to go faster but I slow it down.  In no time at all I am at the bottom of the hill and back onto the freeway for my time trial ride to the turnaround point.  As per usual I am feeling really good and see the turnaround point but I decide that I am feeling too good to turnaround now.  We recently went and did some tree planting at the Kaitoke National Park which is only around another 5km away.  I decide that this will be the turnaround point today.  I am starting to get a bit hungry now so looking forward to having a break.  I make it to the turnaround point and pull out a couple of bars and chill out in the sun enjoying the fact that I have just completed 51km and am feeling sensational.

I begin to head back and in no time at all I have passed the turnaround point that I usually stop at.  I begin the long time trial back but the first part is now busy with traffic and the bike lane is not as big as it is further along so I am reluctant to get down on the bars.  Eventually I hit an area at about the 65km mark where it is a flat ride home.  I am down on the bars and sitting over 40km with ease.  I am back into town in what feels like no time at all.  I head to the old bike shop that I used to go too and order a nice coffee whilst sitting out in the sun.  It is the first time I realise that I am going to do close to a 100km ride.  If that is the case it will be the longest ride of my life.  I finish my coffee and jump back on the bike to complete the second last hill of the day.  I make it up the hill fairly easily even though it is a really steep and tough climb and begin the short ride home.  After the hill I suddenly realise that I am about to bonk!  I am all of a sudden really hungry and need to eat but only have a short distance to go home so decide to keep going.  I am closing in on home and know that I will be short of my 100km so decide to do a quick loop to ensure that I make the 100km mark but my stomach is telling me otherwise.  I don't listen to my body and complete the short loop.

I am starving now.  I still have one last hill to go (the hill of death). This hill has got me before and it will get me again today as I am struggling up it.  Eventually I make it home and I am ravenous.  I park the bike outside and come straight down to the kitchen to start getting something to eat.  I have not even looked at my watch to see how far I have gone.  All I am interested in is showing some bread with jam on it in my face as quickly as possible.  I have some more water and I am feeling instantly better.  I look at my watch and I have done 100.12km.  I am glad I did the extra loop as I would have been upset if I had just missed out on the 100km.  The amazing thing is that although I was starving, my body feels fine.  This bike has just done something to me.  It has made me realise that the distance I can travel on it is limitless at this point in time.  I have struggled through my Half Ironman races after doing 90km of predominantly flat courses yet I have done a 100km ride today made up of three to four good hills and I am still feeling good.  How far can I go on this bike?  Can I go 180km and complete an Ironman?  I am starting to think that I can...

Below is the ride for you to see.
Haywards Road Ride by IronmanBarefoot at Garmin Connect - Details

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