Toward the end of yesterday’s bike ride I woke up to the idea of what I was actually doing and began to wonder what in the world I swallowed to make me think that riding my bike from my house in Orlando to my mom’s front door NW of Tampa was a “fun” way of spending my day off.
Well, break out the crazy pills. Not only did I ride my bike across the state but I also set a new PDR (personal distance record)! The farthest I’ve gone in my saddle was 112 miles for the 140.6.
The ride wasn’t about training. It really began as a challenge. I frequently make the 2.5 hour drive to visit family and often wonder if I could ride it. I would work myself up about the unknown- what will the roads be like? what if I get lost? what if I get a flat tire?- that I talk myself out of it.
Yesterday was the day. More nervous than before an open water swim, I set out at 5:30am. I rode through the sketchy part of town while it was still dark out… so i rode fast. The course was a mix of small bike lanes on busy roads, then country back roads, then a long time on a busy two lane country road with a small bike lane and rounded off with about 20 miles on a bike trail.
Ironically enough the country roads scared me the most. There was so much gravel and it reminded me of where I had my accident. I went so slow! No thanks to gravel.
About 30 miles into the ride I realized I didn’t have my (very detailed, very comforting) directions and turned back to try to find them. A kind stranger left them like this to make sure I could find them. They must have known they were important with all the nervous notes written on them!
Somewhere in the middle of the gravel roads I misread directions and found myself at a dead end. I eventually found the main road and caught that but ended up skipping over several directions and adding mileage.
Long rides = a lot of food. I don’t recommend M&Ms but I took one for the team and finished these so you’d have a visual on what not to do.
Overall the ride was great. There were kinks in the directions that made me have to stop a lot to pull out maps on my phone and re-navigate, but those are lessons that’ll make the next trip so much smoother.
Totals: 119 miles/7 hours 30 minutes/15.8mph
I am so happy I took this challenge. I hate not taking risks just because of fear and each time I accomplish a self challenge, I feel so much stronger. Shout out to all the courteous drivers who didn’t hit me!
What scary challenge do you want to accomplish?