Sunday, March 25, 2007

March Century

One of these months I'm going to do a century in the first half of the month. It just seems like weather and scheduling make me put off the century until almost the last weekend.

I prepared for this ride by going to a friend's house and drinking beer and eating pizza until after midnight. That's carbo-loading, right? I got up the next morning before 6 and was on the road by 6:30.

My original plan was to take the long way out to Sunset Cyclery in Chesterfield, do their ride, and then add on as many miles as needed to make a century. Unfortunately, Sunset's website was not up to date and the ride that I thought started at 9:00 actually started at 8:00. Oh well, another solo century.

Since I was near Creve Coeur park, I decide to join up with my St. Charles-Afton loop. Since I already had extra miles, I figured I could cut out the bonus miles at the end and come out not too much over a hundred miles.

I was using my brand new handlebar bag. I was hoping that this would reduce the number of stops that I would need to make. It seemed to be working out fine. The first 80 or so miles passed relatively uneventfully. I realized that my route would be longer than 100 miles and estimated that I would end up at about 110.

After crossing into Illinois and turning south, I encountered a moderate headwind. Nothing too bad, but it seemed to be slowing me down more than I would have expected. When I reached the old Chain of Rocks bridge, I was feeling a little bit nauseous and wasn't drinking enough. I stopped on the bridge for about 20 minutes. I continually took small drinks of water to try and settle my stomach. After resting I decided that I felt as good as I was going to feel. I was a little worried about my prospects for the 200K next month because I had only gone 90 miles and was feeling whipped.

I found salvation a few miles later at North Riverfront Park. As I was riding through, a ice cream truck appeared. I bought a Klondike bar that was quite possibly the best ice cream that I ever had. This energized my enough for the rest of the ride. While riding through downtown St Louis. I noticed that I felt much better in the shade than I did in the sun.

I decided to stop for a recovery meal at Del Taco. This is only about a mile from my house, and it's on the way home. I had a bacon cheeseburger, french fries, and about a gallon of soda. Please keep in mind that this was for medicinal purposes. By this point I had figured out why I felt so bad. I had been riding all day without sunblock. I hadn't needed it yet this season and, since it was dark when I left my house, I hadn't even thought about it. I end up with a pretty bad case on my arms, and a milder case on my face and legs.

The first 80 miles were at over 18mph. I end up with 112 miles at 16.5mph which, considering the sunburn, is not too bad. I learned something that should help on the brevets, and that is one of the reasons that I am doing these rides. So I guess this was a successful ride.