Hey there, fancy seeing you here! You come here often? No? Well, yeah – not much going on here, I get that! Well, I thought this is a good day to write something.
I have said it in the past, there isn’t too much weightloss related stuff going on in my life. I am happy to say that I pretty much live a normal life – the life of a woman who watches what she eats, but within a normal boundary and not the obsessive, compulsive dieter that I used to be. So the things I can write about are less about weightloss and more of the things that I can do after I have lost weight. Here is one of these things…
In February this year, I made a commitment to challenge myself, truly challenge myself. I decided to sign up for a bike event. This was not the only bike event I signed up for, nor was it the first. But it was the hardest. It required training, planning and working towards a goal. I signed up for the National 24 Hour Challenge, a “personal best” event where you ride your bike for 24 hours – Saturday 8am to Sunday 8am (or however long you make it) – and you see how far you get. The event took place last weekend, June 16/17
24 hours on a bike is a long time. I started to prepare for it and joined several longer rides coming up for this event. There was the “Ride Around Kent County” (148 miles), “Bag Balm” (2 day event, about 100 miles each day), “100 Grand” (140 miles but I stopped after 107 miles because of knee problems) and several regular rides ranging from 40 to 80 miles. I had raked up a total of 1685.19 miles before this event and felt that I was prepared…as prepared as I’d ever get for something like this.
So, approaching Saturday, I made sure my bike was in ship shape, tires pumped, chain and everything else lubed, 3 bike kits to change if shorts or jersey get just too filthy. There is one thing that everyone deals with on these rides and of course I have to pay special attention – and that is nutrition. It’s June and it is hot, so you need to drink a lot, but when you drink a lot, there isn’t much room to eat. I had planned it out well I think, good drinks with electrolytes and some calories, rice cakes (no, not the crappy diet cardboard version), and snack items that I usually don’t allow myself to eat, for example pound cake. And I have to say, my nutrition was working out, I didn’t bonk or dehydrate – at least not to a degree where it affected me, even though I basically had about 100 oz. of liquid every 2 hours during the day time – less at night.
The whole thing is separated in 3 loops, and you have to finish each loop before you can get to the next. Loop 1 is 121 miles, loop 2 is 24 miles and loop 3, the so called “night loop” is 7.5 miles and you just go around and around until you are done. Throughout there are checkpoint where you need to get your card punch, where you can replenish food and drinks (either provided or from your “crew”) and where you can just sit and rest for a bit.
I made the loop 1 once (I think that can only be done once, even by the fast people), loop 2 once (which I had hoped to do twice but mechanical stuff prevented that) and then loop 3 10 times for a grand total of 220.3 miles (counted), 225 miles for real because we got lost once. I made it until 4.30am, at which point my body was exhausted, but worse of all I simply couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. I kept wondering if you can fall asleep while your legs are spinning but even if not, I was simply not safe anymore. My eyes couldn’t focus, the few lights out there were getting blurring and I felt I could simply ride off the road if I don’t stop.
I am very happy with my result. My minimum goal was 200 miles which I exceeded. I was a little bummed that mechanical failure and fatigue kept me from getting to 250 miles, but it is a very respectable result for a first time participant and a newbie rider who basically took up serious cycling in October. I owe a lot of this to the crew which mainly consisted of friends from the bike club and my dear husband, but especially to my best riding buddy Randy. It is so important to have someone out there who rides at your pace, who understands what you are going through, who has the right words at the right time and even better if you can offer the same to him.
And guess what – I’ll do it again next year, that’s for sure! I’ll see if I can improve with the knowledge I have gathered this year
I don’t have too many pictures, I am hoping to find more