I was looking at the my choices for permanents for my August R-12 ride. I wanted to do a route that I hadn't done before. I considered doing a 300K but I didn't want to spend that much time on a ride. My wife is getting a little annoyed by how much I've been gone.
I decided on Miles's Project 145 route. It was the hilliest of the 200Ks in Marion. I had ridden part of the route before. The 300K that I did in March followed the same route from Creal Springs to Metropolis.
The weather on that Saturday was forecast to be in the mid 80's with very high humidity but very little wind. I started the ride at 7:00am in Marion. After about 20 miles I got onto the Tunnel Hills bike trail. I am not a big fan of this trail but it was in good condition. It was also easier because I got on the trail at the high point and there was a very slight downhill for most of the time I was on the trail.
The section from Vienna (where I got of the trail) to Metropolis is fairly hilly. But it seemed easier than it did in March. This could have been because my conditioning got better or because I reached these hills earlier in this ride.
I reached Metropolis (mile 42) around 10:30. I was making a pretty good pace and was hoping to finish under 10 hours. I figured nine hours would be out of reach because of the heat, humidity, and hills.
Most of the next section was on Illinois 145, which is where the route gets its name. I had not ridden on it before and I did not like it. It is hilly and has no shoulder. Drivers seemed to not worry about oncoming traffic when passing me. Several time cars crossed a double yellow line to pass me near the top of a hill. I was scared that they were going to get themselves killed if another car came over the hill as they passed me. Fortunately it didn't happen.
The second control was in Mitchellsville (mile 93). I took a break and had a slice of pizza and a coke. I also bought another bag of ice for my camelback. I did not buy any water this ride, just ice. After this control I backtracked for a short distance and then got off of 145. The hills here didn't look tough but they sure felt tough. Maybe a was just tired.
I made a relatively quick stop at the next control in Creal Springs (mile 112). This just left the last 15 miles. I finished at about 4:30 for a nine a a half hour time. I felt good but I might have been a touch dehydrated. After all the riding I've been doing, a 200K should be a piece of cake and this one was.