Like many others, I keep records of my rides, and sometimes look to see how I did over a given route from one ride to another. Harder to quantify is how a ride feels to me. Today's ride was no special outing performance-wise (which only became apparent after coming home and downloading the Garmin) but it felt really good. Instead of mashing up the hills, today I spun. In 95F heat and strong Sun, I spun in low gears, but I spun. I often looked down and saw #'s between 16 and 20 on the cyclometer MPH readout. At the end of the ride, I was coming in at 17.5. I was not all spent energy-wise after the ride. No cramps, and when I tired along the way, recovery came fairly quickly once I slowed down a bit. I drank 180 oz of fluids on the ride of 70 miles (and just after when I drained the balance of the Kelty hydration pack in the parking lot).
Just 4 of us today. Frank, Tom, Joe and me. Joe looks like a shadow of his former self, having dropped 50+ lbs, but looks very fit. He brought his Rivendell Sam Hillborne again today and I was on my Rambouillet. They look good together. Frank said he wasn't feeling super perky, but managed to pull away at 20+ mph on several occasions. Tom was fast, like always, but he would double back a time or two and rejoin us. Calm air early, but a stiff breeze later, first from the West and then the South, so we had it in our faces in two directions. Un fun. Plenty of climbing and some of the hills have not seen us and our bikes in some time. I first rode this route in May 2008, but only rarely since then. It's a great workout if you are in shape, not a fun one if you're not.
We had fun with ice today. Frank, as usual, bought a jug of water and a bag of ice at Bubba's Pit Stop in Marbury. After some cajoling, we got Joe to (shades of another rider on the Selma ride last year) dump some down his shorts. That lasted less than 5 seconds. He found it less comfy than the other guy did, I guess. Frank got Tom to put a few pounds of it down the back of his (Frank's) shirt, and Frank found that very comfy. Picked up his pace on the bike immediately.
We also got into a discussion of whether we should wave cars around us when the road looks clear ahead. Being courteous vs. being open to lawsuit in case all does not go as planned. No definitive answer on that one yet.
I wore an old US Postal red/white/blue jersey to mark Independence Day, and the later dark blue/yellow team shorts to note the current TdF underway.
Hope you enjoyed your ride wherever it was. Did it feel good? Regardless of fast or far you rode.