I'm feeling very "officially back in training for my century ride" tonight. You might recall if you've been hanging around the naked blog awhile that one of my ambitions for this year is to ride a 100-mile ride in August in Chicago. It's not a race - not competitive at all. It's just a bunch of bike enthusiasts driving around to various points of interest in the Chicago area. They go slowly, stretching the ride out to something like 12 or more hours. They stop for a number of breaks, and there seems to be a generous amount of alcohol involved for many. There is even (gasp) a spot where many of the group skinny dip. Now, mind you, you already KNOW from reading me that I'd rather die at the end of a sword than get naked in front of...well....others! But I'm thinking if it's a slow ride and everyone else's objective is to have fun and get some level of drunk and possibly naked, then I should be able to keep up with them, in my fully sober condition (and get to enjoy some Chicago highlights along the way). Right? Then in 2013 I wouldn't mind trying to ride Ragbrai, perhaps (another non-competitive ride, btw). At 472 miles - from one side of Iowa to the other - over a 7 day span - well....let's just say I want to be still quite a bit lighter yet for that than I am now before I attempt that.
So anyway. Yesterday I was mostly busy with my mom, and it was rainy anyway. I was thinking there would be no bike time. But late in the day on an impulse I checked the weather, and while it was overcast, there was only a 10% chance of precip. It was nearly sunset, so I hurried out and squeezed in a quick 8 miles. That's how far it is if I ride over to Credit Island and take a spin all the way around it before coming home. Nice ride.
Today I joined my church, and my family came to celebrate that with me and enjoy a meal at my house. Everyone left around 3. By 3:20 I was out on the bike trail. Wilma and I got 33 miles in! That was a nice, slow, easy pace (generally around 12 MPH) with plenty of breaks and took exactly 4 hours, right down to the minute. While I no longer need breaks for bike seat pain issues - the Hobson EasySeat is a DREAM and I cannot possibly speak highly enough of it - my carpal tunnel tends to rage on the bike. I ride 1-handed some of the time, opening and closing my "off" hand to revive it, but every 7-10 miles it accumulates to the point that my fingers feel like fat, overstuffed, inflexible sausages with that icky combination of numbness and tingling that makes basic things like operating the brakes a near impossibility. So I get off and spend some time moving my hands and massaging my wrists and getting back to functional. I am toying with the idea of trying out riding with my wrist braces that I sleep in during high hand-activity times like canning and such. I wonder if it would help.
Anyway the ride was GREAT. So this was a 41-mile weekend. I think I'll shoot for 75 next weekend (that's just 2 good rides instead of 1 short and 1 long - I have plans for Friday night, or I'd make the goal 100 - absolutely do-able when stretched across 3 days...) Gotta stay after it...the plan is to return to my max ride of last year - 54 miles - by May 1. Then I can spend May through July working up to be ready to do 100.
I'm thinking between that bike ride and sleeping with the windows open - I'ma sleep like a baby!