I thought it might be nice to ride to the park and read a book. So, I loaded up my handlebar bag with my Kindle and a snack, and rode the 8 miles over to Adam Ricci Park. I found myself a nice bench, had a snack, and read some Sophocles (I’m still working my way through the Harvard Classics.)
I finished reading Oedipus and was feeling good, so I decided to ride on down to City Island before diving into Euripides. A bike ride is a nice way to clear your head between Greek Tragedies.
I got to City Island, but the whole park was full of noisy people, because there was a baseball game underway.
I can’t read the classics while the drooling masses are whooping it up, so I decided to cross the river and find a quiet park bench. Riverfront park was crowded, too, so I decided to just keep on going to Fort Hunter, and make a nice long day of it.
I didn’t bring along much of anything for lunch, so I stopped at a gas station, and scrounged up what I could.
I ate my strange lunch, and sat there looking across the river. My Garmin said I had come about 23 miles already. My all time longest ride is just shy of 50. I was still feeling pretty good at this point, so I decided to go for a few more miles and try to break my record.
I pointed the bike East, and rode up to Boyd’s Big Tree Conservation Area.
About half way up the climb (and, coincidentally, at mile 25), was the nastiest, most overgrown cemetery I have ever seen.
The whole place gave me the heebie-jeebies, but I was exhausted, hot, and sweaty, so I sat down to rest – just outside the cemetery gate where the ghosts couldn’t get me.
I sat there for a while, but didn’t really feel any less exhausted, so I decided to get on with it. I had the 25 miles I needed, so I pointed the bike towards home.
Everything was ok until around the 40-mile mark where the road climbs up from the river. This is when things got miserable. I pushed down on the pedals, but the bike didn’t want to go. It was like pedaling through molasses. I had the presence of mind to realize that I was bonking, but my brain was getting muddled enough that I didn’t think to stop at a gas station to buy more food.
I geared down and spun; that worked for a while. Then I got off and pushed. That worked, too.
I eventually made it home, got some food and water in me, and sat down with my spiritual adviser to think about what went wrong.
My Garmin tells me I burned 5,000 calories on this ride. I’m guessing I ate maybe 1,000. So, I bonked.
I need to remember to eat and drink more next time, I guess. I’m going to have to figure this food business out if I want to go on rides much longer than 50 miles.
Suggestions are welcome.
On the plus side, I made it home under my own steam, and set a PR for longest ride in a day and one for most miles in a month.