May 4th, 2008

Shiner GASP Ride - Best ever

I have to say, this was my best ever ride, best scenery, best roads(mostly), best weather+temps, and without a doubt best time! 4hrs, 11-mins for what I clocked as 84.99-miles.

I left the house at 6:20am to cycle to the start, it was about 8-miles, so perfect warm-up. I was glad to offload my backpack with fresh clothes and not have to cycle with it. Before I knew it the ride started. My ride plan had been to keep a steady 18MPH for the whole ride, but the start was so scary, a huge mass of riders, way too many riding with MP3 players, many riding on tri bars in a huge group, so off I went.

I clocked 16MPH for the 1st mile, and then having had enough, clocked 22, 21, 18, 20, 20, 23, 20, miles 74 and 75 I did 27.5 MPH, and coming in to Shiner at the end, clocked 31, 28, 26, 21, 29, and finally 20MPH as I sat up hands in the air for the picture. The graph has the splits by mile with my HR data overlayed.(click for larger version).

Interestingly, looking at my HR data, I should have been able to go faster, but I'm not sure where, my normal HR Max for the bike is about 148bpm, I only ever twice broke into the 140's, and only once for a sustained period when we were riding on a poor road surface directly into the wind.

I hit a few rough spots, where I was either riding with someone or a small pack where I just didn't think I could keep up, my two slowest miles were both the restarts after rest stops. I mostly blew through the odd number rest stops, only stopping twice. I drank two 800ml Ultra Replenisher bottles before the first stop, refilled one with Replenisher at the first, the other with water, and the second rest stop I refilled the water bottle with replenisher but never drank.

On the way into Shiner I was starting to tire, got passed by a woman who'd been sat on my tail for a few miles, and she said "come-on" as she went by, I initially couldn't respond but on a slight gradient stood-up powered up and past her and just kept going. I have to say, as the owner of a Zipp 606 wheelset on my tri bike, I absolutely love the Mavic Cosmic Carbone wheelset I have on my road bike, they are fast, aero, and really responsive, especially on hills!

And so that was that, fantastic ride. Highlight of the ride, Flatonia. A genuine piece of beautifully preserved Americana. Am definitely going back one Saturday when not training for brunch and a look around. Also spending time chating to alkaloids who was even faster. cam_ray was playing Soda-pop girl, I still have no idea what Mr Pibbs is. And finally a big thanks to cruisergirl for bringing me home and for standing and cheering everyone in for at least 2-hours that I saw. It was a fantastic ride, the organisation and volunteers fantastic.

I was finished, showered, 20-mins massage, 1-beer and food all before I estimated I'd finish, can't beat that!

NEXT-UP: Easy run tonight, couple of swims, hard run Tuesday and then the Rookie Triathlon Saturday!
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