Finally getting around to posting about my long bike ride yesterday. I did a 3 hour ride out the White Pine Trail past Rockford and back with a few laps around Reeds Lake to add on some distance. I got a late start to the morning; the prospect of being able to sleep in until 10:00 got the best of me, so I didn’t head out on my ride until around noon. When I started the ride it was cool and overcast, but the sun came out about a half hour into ride, reminding me that I forgot to put on sunscreen. I did get a little red on my shoulders, but it isn’t too bad.
This way my first ride with my new water bottle holder. I bought a Profile Design saddle mount water bottle holder the other week in preparation for Steelhead. I usually go through a water bottle per hour, so I figured I would need at least 3 bottles for the bike portion. This would give me an extra two water bottles – or so I thought. With the way it mounts, my saddle bag (which hold my spare tube, tools, CO2 cartridge, etc.) no longer fits under the seat. So, in order to carry the essentials, I stuffed everything into an old water bottle and put it in the mount. I still get the one extra water bottle, which is all I really need, so I am happy. Other than the issue with the saddle bag, the water bottle holder works great. Each holder has a rubber band around it which holds the bottles securely so that they don’t rattle around. The bottles are in there pretty tight and I didn’t attempt to try and pull one out while I was riding, but may have to try that this week.
My ride on the White Pine Trail was much busier than it was last time; probably because it was later in the day. I was very surprised at the number of people riding without helmets. And they were more than just casual riders. I saw riders on triathlon bikes in aero with no helmets. I know it’s relatively safer on the trail rather than the road, but still, there are quite a few cross streets (that no one stops at) and lots of other traffic on the trail itself. My biggest concern was the kids on bikes (or more to the point – their parents) who weren’t paying attention to others on the trail and would drift from side to side without a care in the world.
It was busiest the closer I got to Rockford, but was quite peaceful at other portions of the trail that were further from the trail heads.
In the end, it was a 50.14 mi ride in 2:52:37 averaging 17.4 mph. I felt pretty good at the end which is a good sign for next weekend. If I could keep the same pace for the bike portion, that would get me in under 3:15 under the bike. I’d like to get a bit closer to an even 3 hours for the bike, so I may try and push my average closer to 18mph. It may be fairly easy to meet that goal because I won’t have any of the traffic stops during the race, but I’ll just have to see how I feel.