So a new mountain bike challenge has been put forth and I have decided to do it. A couple guys who regularly do endurance rides have proposed a 100 mile a/k/a a century mtb ride. It’s an informal thing, not a race. And there are planned stops en route for lunch and then ice cream along the way. I mean, how cool is that?
This ride will be comprised of about 40 miles of single track, 40 miles of double track and 20 miles of greenway to hold it all together. And the majority of these trails will be unique for me because it will be the first time I have ridden them. Ever. I am not even sure I can do this with such limited training time, but I will try. It’s the least I can do....for Ben and Jerry.
So on April 14th, one week after 6-WC and about 6 weeks from today, I will be heading East to attempt this “event”. I have already recruited some locals who have said they plan to try it as well, so I will know some riders in addition to meeting some new faces.
I am really excited to try it because I have never actually ridden that many miles on my mountain bike in one ride. Plus, I am stoked to ride some new trails with no pre-set expectations or idea of what they’ll be like. No negative predispositions to get in my head about what’s coming up and telling me it will be hard. Just lots of pedaling. And trying to keep up. Of course there are always the usual scary thoughts running around like:
a) I will get lost
b) I won’t be able to finish in the 12 hours time cutoff
c) I will forget my ice cream money
On a related and good note, I have been trying to ride more and more to increase my mileage every time I go out. In fact this week, I did some endurance rides of 5 laps of one of our “hardest” trails, elevation wise. Due to lots of rain, this trail managed to be the only one open each time I was able to ride. I did it last Sunday, and had to break the 5 laps up doing 2, then stopping to eat an egg bagel for lunch and then going back for 3 more. Then Thursday, I did the same ride, but did all 5 laps without a lunch break, just a fast snack stop for some gels. And, then I did the same ride today, but in less time. Not only did I just have the short snack stop for gels, but I reduced my accumulated ride time by 15 minutes and increased my average speed by a total of .7 mph from 8.2 to 9.0. So that tells me I must be getting stronger. Yay! I like tangible progress I can quantify.
And now, instead of just training for the 6WC race, I will be preparing for this new event. And sure it isn’t exactly a race, but there are supposed to be participant finisher awards for anyone who completes it. Rumor has it that they’re shiny. I do like shiny, so let the “training” begin.