54.89-Mile (86.90 Km) Belated Birthday Ride. Boom! Still Got It.

No clip in shoes. No shorts (well, no padded shorts; I may do my small part to Keep Austin Weird, but my mother didn’t raise no idiot). Just started doing errands and since conditions were perfect I Just. Kept. Pedaling. I had several extended stops as is obvious from the elapsed time, including getting refreshments, soaking up the sun (sitting on a park bench) sending emails, two short meetings plus a stop at home to recharge my lights and Garmin vivoactiv hr watch.

Still, I was pretty happy to meet my goal, even if I was a week late due to the rain, wind and cold on my actual birthday. And it was pretty good for a 9-speed heavy steel bike with non-skinny tires. I didn’t even have to get out of the saddle and stand up on the pedals on the very steep Highland Hills Drive, either. I probably could have kept going, but as the farmer said to the pig in the movie Babe, “That’ll do. That’ll do.”

All About That Base (Miles)

I’m not prone to tooting my own horn that much. But I did manage a pretty big ride and thus far am up to 120 miles for the week, which is respectable by any standards. For a fathlete of my age and condition. I attribute the success of the ride to the previous seven days in a row, aka base miles, which also equalled 120 miles.

Strava captures the map, elevation, photos, distance, time, and calories.

Anyway, no one else is tooting my horn, so I may as well. A recent ride was titled “No tengo piernas ni prisa” which translates to “I have no legs nor hurry.” Today’s speed wasn’t exactly quick, I averaged 10.5 miles per hour moving, with a high approaching 30 (downhill). There were a few steep hills, some longish inclines, sidewalks and the inevitable slowing that comes near the end of a long (for me) ride. So today I did have the legs.

When the watch clicked over to 40 miles, the corners of my mouth turned up a bit. After deciding to go for it and passed 50, I was even happier and a bit proud of myself. I figured my comeback would take a few weeks. So it’s good to know that there is some level of fitness still there. And that’s the thing; I’m not racing or competing with anyone except myself. I didn’t get any personal records today, a few third bests, but that’s OK. It’ll do.

This Is How You Work It (No Diggity)

If there are takeaways from this ride which may be of use to you, Dear Reader, it’s that hard work really does pay off. But so does:

  • going with the flow
  • recognizing a good day when you’re having one i.e. carpe diem
  • taking ‘er easy (just like THE Dude)
  • hydrating and nutritionificating sufficiently — but not too much
  • asking for help (the free limeade and fruit wasn’t the deal but the manager hooked me up when asked)
  • and simultaneously holding a goal in mind while also not really giving a whit about it and just enjoying the day.

The weird thing is that today would have been not a big deal for me back when I was riding Sookie, the Fuji Silhouette. Ever since her forced retirement, I’ve resigned myself to biking with less speed on the heavier — sorry, big-boned — steel Sophie the Fairdale Weekender Archer. But I had to look way back to October 8, 2017, for the last time I passed 55 miles (that was 56.3 in a day — not even one ride, but four separate ones). The last single ride of a longer distance, 65 miles, was September 23, 2017, my second Mamma Jamma Ride. So without too much effort, preparation, rest and so on, today I did a ride that was way up there in terms of quantity. But qaulity is also key; I enjoyed the ride and didn’t overdo it.

In summation, I’m awesome. Also, you’ll notice that I’m quite modest. Plus, after editing this 12 hours later my butt still hurts because of the no padded shorts or cream used with bike shorts to alleviate the ass-hurtiness. Even with Sookie’s seat with the cut-out center, I had some issues with the nether regions. Butt in the, ahem, end, it all worked out alright. No punctures, traffic tickets or crashes with cars or by myself. Even with some legs left had I needed them. That’s all to say, as I believe Stephen Colbert did when titling his satirical book, I Am America! (And So Can You). I just mean if I can do it, you can too.

So get out there (or stay out there) and keep givin’ it the ol’ college try!

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2 thoughts on “54.89-Mile (86.90 Km) Belated Birthday Ride. Boom! Still Got It.

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