Toughest ride ever

Note to self: When going out for a hill training ride south of the city, remember to put the hills cassette on the bike.

Forty-six miles and change tonight, rode to and from a 23-mile club ride rated as very hilly. And I did it with my flats cassette.

I guess, on the plus side, I only had a 0.15 mile walk of shame up one hill around mile 32, but the whole ride would have been a lot easier with climbing gears.

I’m going to feel this one for the next several days.

And did I mention it was 46°F and drizzling?

The drizzle made it difficult to see. A nice ride through country roads may have had some nice scenery. But drizzle is even worse than rain on the glasses. I’d get a minute or two of vision whenever I could stop and wipe them off.

Still, I didn’t do too badly for my first real club ride. There’s a different ride every Wednesday night from Mendon Ponds Park. It’s exactly 12.00 miles to the parking lot where the ride meets. I finally realized how silly I was being, whining about how all the rides start out in the suburbs, and then whining that the rides are too short, and whining that there are no hills to train on.

Jeeze, ride to the ride, and a 22-mile ride instantly becomes 46. And that’s what I’ll be doing for the next several weeks as I train for the very hilly century at the Great Finger Lakes Bicycle Tour coming up on June 8.

Next week’s ride is a 28 miler with a 20 mile “cut” (to make the ride shorter) and the map includes the warning, “Significant hills”, including a climb up to the highest point in the county.

Anyway, I got dropped twice at tonight’s ride. First time was about three miles in to the ride. Then one guy took pity on me and we rode together through some of the trickier sections (navigation-wise.) Had he not done that, I’d still be out there wandering around trying to find my way home. Once we were back on a part of the map I could follow easily, he dropped me too.

It was humbling, it was frustrating, and it was worth every foot of climbing.

I’m hoping to do similar rides on Sunday too between now and the GFLBT. I figure if I can do hilly 40-50 milers twice a week, I should have a fighting chance at the full century at GFLBT, and the metric century should be a cakewalk.

That’s the plan anyway…