Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Century a month -- sort of

So far I've ridden every day this year. But as you might notice the year is only one day old. Considering how my legs feel I suspect that my streak will end quickly...although I should probably spin tomorrow to loosen up my legs.

So today I dragged my butt out of bed at 6:00 am and headed down to Hains Point in East Potomac Park - that in itself was a bit of an accomplishment.

The reason for my early ride was that some of the folks from BikeWashington and Potomac Pedelars have decided to challenge themselves to do at least one century ride (100 mile bike ride) a month. I thought maybe there was a possibility that I might be able to log 100 miles today so I headed down to Hains Point to join folks. But beforehand I came to the conclusion that I wasn't quite ready to log 100 miles and I didn't have enough time today to do it, but I did want to ride today so I figured that I would head down and put in some miles and see how things went.

There is a bit of a tradition in Washington that riders come out on New Years Day and head down to Hains Point and do laps around the 3.2 mile loop. I met up with Geoff the organizer of the Century a Month Challenge and after getting all my cold weather riding gear on we headed out for laps.

When we started around 7 a.m. ish the gates to the loop hadn't opened quite yet, but were opened within a few minutes of getting there.

There's not alot of exciting details to report about the ride - if was basically 20 laps.

Hains Point (right) is basically just two roughly 1 1/2 long straight flat drives that meet at one end. For the first 10 or so laps the wind was blowing in from southeast so the we had a tailwind as we were heading down the backside of the point. For a while the wind switched up and started being a crosswind.

At roughly 10, Tim from my office joined us for some riding. By the time Tim got down there the wind had started to switch to be coming from the NW and was now a headwind when you were heading down the backside of the point.

We all jumped on with the local racers for a little riding in the peleton. I was able to hold on for about 3/4 of a lap but was eventually spit out the back of the pack. Hopefully if I drop a bit more weight and ride regularly this year, I'll be able to hang on a bit longer next time.

The last couple laps of the day were quite a workout. The wind picked up to quite a strong headwind on the second half of the loop and I was pretty pooped.

I rolled in with 62 miles. A metric century (100 kilometers). I logged a halfway decent pace of 16.5 mph for 3 hours and 43 minues of riding. That's not a blistering pace, but I feel really good about holding it for 62 miles.

I think I will try to kick up the mileage in a couple weeks and see if maybe I can get things ready to that I can still log my January century.

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