On Wednesday morning I set out for what I was planning on being about a 25-28 mile bike ride. I’ve been sticking in the 20-22 mile range since hitting the road again, so I thought this would be a nice step up. My first few miles flew by, and I was feeling really good. I decided to try a new-to-me part of the trail, and ended up going about 14 miles before deciding to turn around, which would put me at home around mile 28. I enjoyed biking alongside the corn and soybean fields- I think they’re beautiful and really peaceful. The trail had people biking and walking on it, but there were plenty of times I didn’t see people for a few miles. (I do bring pepper spray with me though!) I listened to a few Jillian Michael’s podcasts, a podcast from How To Blog, and enjoyed a few miles of silence in the middle of all that too. When I hit mile 26, I decided I was feeling good, so I kept going on the trail in the other direction. At some point, I think around mile 32, I realized that I was feeling great, didn’t want to stop biking, and could easily beat my bike PDR I set last August at 40 miles, so I kept going!
That’s when I realized that I definitely wasn’t prepared. I had brought enough fuel to easily get me through about 30 miles, but not much beyond that. I hit hills around mile 32, and that, combined with it being the longest ride I’ve done since August 2013 and the lack of fuel really caused me to start bonking (although not nearly as bad as this ride!). Around mile 38 I stopped back by my place, grabbed about 14 ounces more to drink, ate a string cheese and two more shot bloks, and finished up my last 12 miles. Those miles felt strong, and I was able to maintain a pace fairly similar to my first few miles, which I was happy about!
I loved getting to spend so much time in nature! I loved seeing the fields, the flowers growing alongside the train tracks, another muskrat running down the trail, birds chirping, and chipmunks playing alongside the trail. The sun was shining (I have some awesome lines from my bike shorts now), there was a gentle breeze (but not bad enough to make it difficult to ride except for maybe 2-3 miles)- all in all, it was a fantastic day for a ride!
I definitely could’ve kept going, but had to shower to head in to work for the afternoon, so I cut my ride at 50… which is probably better for my body anyways!
Here’s what my nutritional breakdown looked like: I started the day by eating a bowl of oatmeal with almond milk, blueberries, and a handful of life cereal on top, with 10 ounces of orange juice. Then while riding:
- mile 6.5: 2 fruit punch (extra caffeine) shot bloks
- mile 14.8: half of a gel
- mile 21.5 other half of a gel
- mile 38ish: 1 cheese stick, 2 margarita shot bloks
- To drink: 20 ounces water w/1 camelbak elixir electrolyte tab in it (orange- w/caffeine), 12 ounces water w/half of a nuun tab in it, about 6 ounces of plain water.
I definitely would’ve liked some fuel between mile 21 and 38, but I’m glad I had something other than water with me, so at least that provided me with something! I’m definitely getting my nutrition down more and more each ride that I do. I actually was thinking about a PB and honey sandwich at some point along the way. Would that be weird to bring a sandwich with me?
I use runkeeper to track my mileage and pace, and I enjoy that it’ll talk over my music at regular intervals! I put one earbud in my right ear, but leave my left one out so I can hear my surroundings better. All in all, this bike ride was one of my favorite rides I’ve ever done. The time flew by, I felt strong (minus the few miles when I ran out of fuel), and it was really peaceful.
Now it’s your turn to share! Tell me about one of your favorite experiences outdoors? What’s your favorite fuel for a long bike ride?
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