Woke up before dawn, ugh so gross but I did it. Turns out I didn’t need as much as I thought I did, for instance I ended up not changing at all because it stayed nice and cool out the whole time (60-70s °F). I also didn’t really need as much food or extra water but was glad to have it just in case. Better to have and not need then to need and not have.
The ride from my house was a little bit longer then originally thought, adding over a mile to my total distance completed.
When I got to my ‘start line’ I had already biked 4.5 miles.
The first loop was pretty great. The only noticeable physical ‘soreness’ at this point were my hands/ wrists from the bumpy trail – normal – nothing a little stretching and shaking out couldn’t handle. I was also able to bike out ~15 miles instead of the initial 3 I originally thought I was limited to, which was a great surprise.
Getting into some mud!
Farther out I went on this part of the trail the more muddy, rocky it got.
I traveled out another few miles before making a U-Turn back.
I hit the 25 mile goal in under 2 hours (3 = time limit for the quarter century). Based on the time of day I had been pacing at ~13 MPH. Luckily the trail out this way was predominately flat with very subtle hills if at all and not much traffic apart from the occasional runner or fellow biker and the gaggles of geese making it great conditions for speed.
Felt really good at this point so I only took a 10-15 min break and decided just to eat, drink and take some pics but not change clothes.
Break time over! Back on the trail, heading in the other direction. At the start of my break I had been biking for a little more then 2.5 hours.
Made great timing on the other end of the trail since it was shorter; I could only bike out a little over 3 miles before having to turn around and head back. This part of the trail was mostly cement and finely crushed gravel or compact dirt so I was able to pick up speed to ~15 MPH (really pressing hard here). This loop took me ~24 min to bike, which brought me to ~3 hrs by mile 36-37. It was at this point that it started drizzling.
Around mile 50 and beyond was about where I started to feel soreness in my neck and quads plus more of the same in my hands/wrist. Overall still felt good enough to press on after some stretching and shaking out the upper limbs. I slowed up some the closer to 50 miles I got but maintained some of that momentum from earlier. At this point I had been riding for roughly 4 hours and still had another dozen miles left to complete my goal plus another 4.5 to get home. I’m inside the home stretch. Since I did 50 miles in less then the allotted 6 hour time frame, it totally counts.
I freaking did it!!! The remaining 12 miles were pretty intense but I finished the trail ride of ~62 miles in just under 5 hours and I finished strong. I was so glad to head home for a much needed shower. Again since it stayed pretty cool out and had only rain a little I saw no need to change before heading home. Less laundry yay!
The ride home was actually not that bad, all flat until I reached the end of my street. I don’t have a cool GPS watch for biking to record my mileage and pace etc. so there was some guess work here based on the time of day with the mileage based on landmarks I had checked out and mapping my route. I recently order such a watch for running so when I do my 50K run I’ll have that to keep an accurate record. I manually log the miles in mapmyrun, below are my stats for the entire ride including the travel to and from the trail.
Roughly 29 more miles to go for the century ride that is apart from the times I did so on week long bike tour. I have actually completed all the ride categories but I want to do so not just as a trip.
For my ultra I’ll prob run the trail heading eastward, out & back then another mile westward for 31 miles. It would be better/ smarter to do this with a crew but it is doable solo. I’d need to set up a ‘base camp’ at the starting line & have some drop off/ fuel stations strategically placed along my route. My camel pack was full with water & food for the ride but for the run I’d only carry essentials for maybe the first 10-15 miles.
Trails involved during ride: The GAP Trail (150 mile rail trail -> 335 mile long trail experience), the Three Rivers Heritage Trail (25 miles long), and the North Shore Trail (6 miles long) – Chateau Trail (most westward trail)