I’m finally catching up on some old news that I should have posted long ago….
When I first started cycling, one of longstanding goals (bucket list) was to ride a 200km (124.3 miles) brevet in under 8 hours. Most brevets I did were in small groups or solo, so drafting was not always possible. Finally, after about two years of riding, I managed to finish a few solo 200s in under eight hours. One season, I did two or three back to back 200s where my time as 8:03 or 8:04, but I usually did one or more under eight hours per season.
This past fall, about two weeks after finishing the 200-mile LoToJa race in under 12 hours (another item off the bucket list) I was riding “my monthly 200K.” I had no intention of setting any personal records, but just to finish in perhaps under eight hours. This is the link to this route, which has about 5,000 feet of climbing. As the day progressed, I noticed that the wind seemed to always be in my favor (or lack thereof) and that this ride was going rather quickly. I only stopped twice for hydration and some snacks at convenience stores. Towards the end of the day, after making the 45-minute climb up Salt Creek Canyon and as I was dropping into the town of Fountain Green, it appeared that maybe if I did keep pushing, I might get a sub 7-hour ride — something I had never done before…solo or with a group. So I mustered up all my remaining strength and for the last 40 minutes of the ride. I kept down in my aerobars and focused on keeping good form and not slowing much for nutrition and drinking. Nearly totally exhausted, I made the final slight climb up to my last turn at the light in Mount Pleasant — my timer showed I only had about 40 seconds left on the clock. I blew through the light (right turn, red light I think) and sprinted the four blocks to the Maverik c-store, which was my “finish” for this ride, punching my GPS as I passed by the store. I DID IT, leaving only six seconds to spare!
Since I rarely “race,” I find beating personal goals a means of improving my fitness. This is a prime example of such an event. I was totally spent, but took a 15 minute break before making the 400-foot climb back to my house.