Right on, ride on

Ceci n'est pas une vélo

Countdown to 30 starts with 30

Posted by @teeheehee on April 12th, 2009

This June I will be turning 30, one of those benchmark years that suddenly makes me no longer a 20-something by simple definition.

Since turning 29 I have been trying to think of things to do that would somehow cap my 20’s much like graduating high school and moving to Boston did for my teen years. Graduating college counts towards that, but I wanted something more recent to feel that I am continuing to grow and define myself.

I lagged through about half of my 29-hood without coming up with something. I said to myself: “Self, I need to have a personal achievement that I can attain before my age becomes evenly divisible by the first five values of the Fibonacci sequence.”

And so at the start of winter I decided it was high time I rode a Century – my first personally propelled 100-miles in a single day.

This, I knew, would be a challenge for me and I’d need to improve certain personal aspects in order to achieve it.

All throughout my life I have had such poor endurance. I have been more of a sprinter than a pacer, so to speak, and for the most part riding a bike in downtown Boston is perfectly in sync with this preference of mine. Periodic red lights and relatively short distances to travel gives me little chance to build up an ability to travel longer distances.

I need to do more than just ride around my city to prepare for this pre-30 event. I’m loosely following a training plan which will get me physically where I want to be. This week I started my training by riding short but power-building rides in the morning along the Storrow Path, and today I went for a 30-mile ride to begin working on my endurance.

For my first beyond-Boston foray I chose a classic: the Minuteman Bikeway. I’ve been on it before so I’m familiar with the route, which helps. It’s generally still cold out so I figured it wouldn’t be overrun with too much traffic. This means I had a more enjoyable ride as it’s difficult to push myself if I am constantly slowing down and speeding up as I approach and pass people with oncoming traffic.

View 30 Mile Ride, Minuteman Bikeway in a larger map

Part of this incremental approach that I want to capitalize on is having the chance to find all the things that would prevent me from being able to make the Century.

Today’s lesson: wearing proper head and foot gear to match the temperature as early into the ride as possible. My morning rides allow me to get away with less-proper equipment because they are fairly short, wearing the same thin socks today was not a good idea. I brought a pair of smartwool socks in my pannier so I was able to put them on, and they helped, but only after my toes had already gone numb. I brought full-finger gloves and a winter hat which I had to eventually wear as well. I was mostly prepared and comfortable except for my toes which remained numb from about mile 7.

Oh, and I took some pictures. Here is the slideshow:

3 Responses to “Countdown to 30 starts with 30”

  1. Right on, ride on » Blog Archive » Countdown to 30: A Marathon Interjects Says:

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