Sunday, November 05, 2006

The long and windy road

14 hours in the saddle is a long time, but the Bendigo Bounty now has a tick next to it in my rides list. 300km is a long way, but now one of the four rides I need to complete before April to qualify for the Paris-Brest-Paris is done.

We started at 9am, so I was aiming to finish by 1am. As it turned out, I didn't get back to Bendigo until 2.30am, thanks to a couple of longer breaks I took along the way. The main thing was that I was inside the 5am cutoff. My riding time was 14 hours and 7 minutes, for an average of 21.6km/h. The ride was flat, but strong winds made it hard. The highlight was riding through the Mallee country under a full moon and a big sky full of stars. The bike didn't miss a beat all day either.

I can admit to one moment of despair. I was riding along into the wind at the 240km mark, giving my all. I noticed on my speedo that I was doing 10km/h. I stopped and told my riding companions that I wasn't going to make it at that speed. They pointed out we were going up a hill. It can be hard to tell in the dark. I rolled on and 30 seconds later the downhill on the other side dispelled all thoughts of quitting.

Surprisingly, I'm in reasonable condition today. Some slight stiffness and soreness, but far less than normal. Eight hours sleep and a good meal seem to have restored me like new. Now to find a 600km ride.

5,688km so far this year.

Twisted bike image from Flickr.

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