The big endurance ride of the year is only a hundred days or so out now, time to fine tune the bike and get some serious saddle time, this is the year we go for the big one, the hundred mile course. And we are going to do it with a team of at least 5 people, so we have to be serious about our cadence and especially our rest stop discipline. We cannot stop every 10 miles or even 20 like in years past, the cutoff for the 100 mile course is closed at 11:30AM or earlier, depending on the weather, which gives us about 4 hours to get the first 70 miles done making ‘Hell’s Gate’ before the cutoff.
We all have camelbacks and know how to use them, we should probably try to make the first stop at 50 miles, somewhere to the west of Burkburnett on the way back from Electra. Getting 5 people to adhere to that sort of schedule will be tough but the alternative is to leave the stragglers behind and go for the gate without them. The start will include about 14,000 cyclists and we will start in front of maybe 12,000 but still, passing up the first three rest stops should seriously thin the herd in front of us so that when we do stop the lines will not be as long, keeping stops short is key though. Rest is for after the ride, stopping is for hydration only, and then back up and ride. Since we rode together last year I know that we have 3 strong riders and me and the rest can keep up, practicing taking the lead and rotating through the pack practice would help us immensely, both with drafting and keeping our minds off of the road and the monotony of pedalling, which can be mentally draining especially into the wind.
It will be interesting to see if my training this year will serve me as it has in the past, I am getting better at hydration too, I think, which should serve me extremely well, we are due a real scorcher, the last two years were pretty mild for the end of August(the ride is always exactly 9 days before Labor Day). I have been drinking at least a gallon and a half of liquid a day, some days two, this seems about right as the temperatures here are in the 100’s most days and I work outside in it all day.
I plan on taking as much advantage as I can of the community rides we have here every day and getting out on the bike trails as much as I can, I have to wear in the new Brooks before August. Yall be good and watch for cyclists when you drive.