This weekend was quite the ride! I decided to do a metric century (100 km) at a wonderfully organized ride called “Blazin’ Saddles” organized by the North Shore Cycling Club. The ride itself was organized extremely well, and I cannot speak more highly of it.
However, the ride itself didn’t start the way I would have liked. I woke up at 5:45am, grabbed (what I thought was) all my gear, and drive an hour to the starting place in Byfield, MA. I put my cleats on, and was ready to warm up when I realized I forgot my helmet. After 30 minutes of asking every volunteer if they had an extra helmet, one of them – Victor- came to the rescue! I was so lucky he was willing to loan me his, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to do the ride.
After that drama, I set out on the ride. Initially I was riding alone (and we all know that doesn’t turn out very well…) but around the 10 mile marker, I started riding with three other people, and they made all the difference. Susan and her new husband are training for their bike-tour honeymoon, and our speeds matched up very well. They and their friend welcomed me into their pack, and really helped me keep a good pace. They were great to ride with, and I am confident I wouldn’t have been able to make it through the ride without them!
By now, you’re probably wondering about my title. It turns out Fig Newtons are a fantastic ride food. I ate one every 15-30 minutes after the 3o minute mark, and they managed to keep me from hitting a wall. They gave me the energy I needed, and helped me along those tough hills. Who knew?!
As far as the rest of the ride, I was pleasantly surprised at my speed. For the first 48 miles, I managed to maintain a 14.9 mph average which, considering all the hills, wasn’t too bad! The last 14 miles were pretty bad though. I expended way too much energy in the first 50 miles that the last 12 were really rough. I’m talking 12-13 mph rough. Quite the lesson in pacing!
tl;dr: Susan and her husband were wonderful to ride with, and I probably wouldn’t have been able to get through the ride without them, fig newtons are an amazing ride-food, and I need to seriously work on pacing myself.
Next week is another 65 mile ride (this time, about half of the H2B ride route). Here’s to forming more habits!
STATS: 62.3 miles, 2,967.8 ft elevation gain, 5:05:54 ride time, 4:14:15 moving time, 30.6 mph max speed, 14.7 mph average speed, 12.2% max grade, 2:17:24 ascent time, 1:56:51 descent time