Over the weekend I did a little different type of riding for the cause, breast cancer awareness. The best part was I talked my family into donating five dollars each and covered most of the sixty dollar entry fee. A win win for everybody.
This was a 24 hour ride held at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapid, Iowa on a banked half mile asphalt oval. I was in town for family business so I couldn’t spend a lot of time riding. My plan was to ride for one continues hour nonstop to see if I could do it with an average of 18/19mph. Somewhere during the hour I came up with this silly idea of one hour plus a lap.
I rode to the event about five miles to get warmed up so I would be ready to go. With my support team (thanks Shelley!) at hand I clipped in and rolled on to the track. Oh, did I mention the 20+mph head/side wind for about half the track? No? Heading down the back straight wasn’t too bad but banking in to turn three and four I got the full brunt of the wind. Than as you come out of four the front straight has a slight rise until the start finish line where the grand stands would block the wind. Pass the start finish line was a dip leading into turn one that was slightly downhill then the wind would kick you in the butt and you could really get some good speed built up to get ready repeat it all over again. I learned in short order to sit up in that part to get the full benefit from the wind and get a little rest time in.
On the track I quickly fell into my normal cadence and thought the two guys in front of me might make a good pace line. I soon found out the only thing they had in mind was staying on my wheel, not that I really cared because I had my own agenda. After 15 minutes or so Merle had enough and peeled off to ride at his own pace muttering something about I have a good pace going. At about the half hour mark my half full water bottle ran empty and I tossed it to Shelley as I went by her standing in the gate. I felt this smile come across my face as I watched the bottle skid across the pavement and then laugh as I thought to myself, that looked so Pro. A few laps later Shelley is jogging to hand off the now full bottle of ice water and I take a big swig happy to have it back.
All of this time I have really no clue of my average speed since I have the computer in clock mode only. I do catch a glimpse of the pace arrow at times but can only tell I’m close to my speed goal. The hour mark comes up as I’m heading into the back straight. Pulling around turn four I raise my left arm in the air with one finger held up. I hear these two ladies sitting with Shelley and her give me a great big cheer and it really give me a big boost. I apply rule #5 and pull as hard as I can for the last lap, no taking a rest in turn one this time around. I’m going to give it every last bit of effort I have left and stomp this last half mile. I’m not quite sucking wasps as I turn into the wind of turn three one last time but I’m really starting to suffer!
Crossing the finish line I sit up and throw my arms in the air thinking I did it as I hear the ladies clapping and cheering. I hit the brakes and pull into the center grass as I unclip and stop laying the bike and myself in the grass. Several minutes go by as I lay there wondering if I hit my speed goal and if my legs would work to walk. I stand up to take a look at my computer.
Total time was 1:01:28 with an average speed of 18.84mph and a top speed of 26.6mph which if you do the math means I did 37 or so laps. I feel that smile cross my face again as I look at Shelley showing her the results to which she says “good job!” Walking on limp legs and still breathing deeply I say to her, “damn that was fun!”
Later in the evening we go back to listen to some of the bands that are playing and to watch some of the other riders. Standing there I say to Shelley I should get the bike back out and just cruise around for a while to which she replied “you should.” I think about it for a minute than I look at her and say “I better not, I know me and that cruise would turned in to let’s see if I can beat my last hour.” At that point the music comes back in to focus as I bask in the satisfaction of my effort as I think once again, damn that was fun!
I’m the one in the black still going…