200k Calendared Bike Ride
Today I got up at 3 AM so I could drive over to Parkesburg in Lancaster County, PA and be there by 6 AM. The drive took about 1.5 hours. Very pleasant since there was no traffic to contend with going through Philadelphia. It was still dark at 6 when I departed on my ride. I was using my old Schwinn track bike with a 60 inch fixed gear. The air temp was cool – probably in the mid-50s. There was a fairly strong wind blowing from the north and northwest. Traffic on the roads was minimal, and the roads were smoother than I’m used to riding on.
Andrew M had sent me an email two days ago with a link to a RWGPS map and a copy of the cue sheet as an attachment. So my Garmin eTrex 20x was primed with 5 segments of the route, and I was feeling good. I followed the breadcrumb trail depicted in my Garmin and saw no hazardous situations or problems with the route. I saw no road signs informing me that there was going to be a detour in the near future. At the end of my ride I came to the conclusion that the course was in good shape and would work well a week from tomorrow when the club will be using it for an event.
It has been some 5 years since I did a few rides on my old track bike. And I’ll bet I’ve never done a fixie ride longer than 55 miles. So today’s 127 mile ride on a fixie was a new experience for me. The weather was pretty good today for a long bike ride – some sun, some cloud cover, and temps that never got above 75. The only reason I won’t say the weather was ideal is because the wind was probably blowing at 12 to 15 mph, and I had to face it for the first half of the ride. Since I was on a fixie I could not really take full advantage of it on the return leg.
I felt pretty good for this ride. It’s been a while since I felt good on a rando ride. I’ve either been undertrained for the event, or trying to recover from a previous event and thus riding on stale or heavy legs. I was doing well today for the first 95 to 100 miles. Then I started to fade a bit. I guess I should have expected that since I was spinning along on a 60-inch fixed gear. However, being tired for the last 20+ miles did not turn the ride into a chore. I had a great time today, finishing in 9 hours and 35 minutes. Click on the map below to see the route at RWGPS.