My Saturday really started with preparations on Friday for my 300K (190 miles) ride I’d been planning for some time! This ride is part of a series in the Boston Brevet Series which I participated in a couple of months ago with a 200K ride. This series is a qualifying group of rides for the upcoming Boston-Montreal-Boston (750 miles) ride and the Race Across America (RAAM).
After work on Friday I ate dinner at 5pm and hit the sack at 6pm in order to get some sort of sleep before the 12:45am alarm sounded! On the road at 1:50am I drove up to Bedford, Massachusetts about 1.5 hrs away for the 4:00am start. There were 12 other nuts…ah, I mean riders..who also showed up with lights and bikes. We started as a group in the black of night but as the sun came up around 5:15am I found myself with 2 other guys who had experience with long distance riding, reading cue sheets, and knew most parts of this course. We rode together for the entire event and were very compatible riders.
I had never ridden more than 130 miles in one day so I had no idea what I was in for after that mileage and the temperatures were well into the 90’s by late morning so hydration was key! To my surprise I felt great for the entire ride without any cramps or fatigue but by around the 180 mile mark my crotch wanted OFF of the saddle!
Checkpoints were at 43,88, and 145 mile marks and were perfectly serviced by the organizers with water, gatorade, fruit, chips, sandwiches, cookies, sodas, sunblock, bandaids, Tums. About the only thing missing was Bag Balm for my butt! Just before the 88 mile checkpoint Team Arc-En-Ciel came to the rescue by towing the 3 of us for about 10 minutes so we could rest some behind their draft- it was like the cavalry coming over the hill on route 49. The 190 mile ride had over 10,000 feet of climbing as we made our way from central Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and back to Massachusetts.
Feeling good after the ride I decided to join the team ride this morning for a hard 68 miles with lots of paceline speed work. Again to my surprise, I was able to hang in there so this weekend gave me some confidence that maybe my training plan is on target…but then again, there’s a HUGE difference between a 250 mile weekend and 2900 miles cross country!