I'm just finally getting around to posting a few pictures from last Saturday's ride. What I had originally planned to do was ride up County Hwy 44 to Spring Lake and then turn around for a total of 40 miles. I was feeling pretty good by the time I got to the turnaround point, so I thought I would stretch it out into a longer loop that would include a bit of gravel.
I had two route choices. A 70 miler, which I had done before, or a new to me 80+ miler, which would mean riding further than I ever had in a single day.
Choosing was actually pretty easy. I didn't have enough water with me to last either way, so I went with the longer route since I knew that it would take me past a convenience store on the way back.
I passed these young bucks early on. I was pretty amazed they let me get this close without running off.
The first 40 miles of the ride were on very smooth pavement. I was able to maintain a 16 mph average on that stretch, which is pretty impressive for me. I must have had a good tailwind.
Things changed quickly after turning onto Brimson Rd. The dirt road was pretty saturated from the recent rain and I was headed into the wind. Within a mile I had to stop for a rest and a water break.
The weather had changed too. When I left the house the temp was in the mid sixties and it was drizzling, but now the sun was shining and it felt like the temp was pushing 80 degrees.
The road conditions did improve further up the road and I was able to pick up the pace once again. Normally I'm not in a rush when I ride, but I didn't start my ride until after 2:30 and I wanted to be home before dark.
I stopped for another break at the Sullivan Lake C.C.C. camp which is 2 miles from the intersection with County Hwy 4. There aren't any buildings still standing, but there are informational signs throughout the camp, along with a couple of picnic tables and a vault toilet.
Sullivan Lake is in the background. It's a small lake with several cabins on the north side.
After 15 miles of gravel, it was pavement time once again. This was also where I finished the last of my water. It would be another 15 miles until I could stop for a big bottle of Powerade and a Snickers bar. In this neck of the woods places to stop and refill water bottles and buy food are few and far between.
The final tally. My longest ride ever by 8 miles and also my fastest average speed. This was the first long ride this year where I wasn't in any pain by the end. I think if I would have had another hour of daylight I would have tried to push for a century. I've never been so close.