Century Ride (Week 3 & 4)

Another day, another ride!  Weeks 3 & 4 of my century ride training were just as fun as they were challenging.  My long ride for week 3 was 25 miles, so Bob and I rode north on the Hart-Montague trail all the way up to Rothbury.  We stopped at a pretty little spot along Carlton Creek where there is a small landing overlooking the creek, as well as a picnic table, which made a perfect halfway resting spot before turning around and heading home.  The trail north of Montague is kind of bumpy because it’s old, but overall it was a good ride.  I didn’t feel any soreness during or after this ride.

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My long ride for week 4 was supposed to be 30 miles, but the route I wanted to take couldn’t be cut down any less than 32 miles.  Bob and I rode around Muskegon Lake twice, starting on the south side of the channel, biking around the lake to the north side of the channel, and back around again.  My MapMyRide app says it was 32.78 miles round trip.  This was a great ride, but I was definitely sore toward the end.  My quads and backside were aching pretty good, and even though I made sure to eat and hydrate along the way, my energy was just about gone.

This is me before starting, on the south side of the Muskegon channel (Pere Marquette):

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This is me at the halfway point, on the north side of the channel (North Muskegon, Muskegon State Park):

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Took a picture of our van “all the way over there” on the other side of the channel (the first vehicle to the right of the yellow slide):

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And some of the scenery along the way:

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This is the end of the ride, back on the south side of the channel.  Whew!!

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Those red things by my ears aren’t ear muffs, although that wouldn’t be a bad idea between the chilly air and the wind.  I read that attaching faux fur to the front helmet strap greatly reduces wind noise while riding, allowing you to enjoy the sounds of nature and help you hear approaching vehicles.  It works!  Red is the only color I have, but I thought it wouldn’t look as bad as black or brown (um, Elvis?).

During each week, between my long rides, I do shorter workouts that include alternating hard and easy intensity as well as including hills and sprints.  The time of day I ride depends on the rest of my schedule with family stuff and work.  During week 4 I experienced my first rainy ride.  I knew the rain was coming, and the weather man said we would likely get strong storms.  So I headed out in a hurry so I would get done before the thunder rolled in.  Well, I got rained on PLENTY, but the thunder never came.

I also got my first flat tire during week 4.  Would you believe that all it takes is running over a rose thorn?  Yep, that’s what did it, although I didn’t know it until the next day when I went out to go for a ride and discovered my back tire was completely flat.  I had no time to buy a tube and change it before it got dark that day, so I missed out on that ride.  But I did go to the store the next day and bought two tubes and a portable pump in case I get a flat while I’m miles away from home on a future ride.  Now I carry tools, too.

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So, on I go to week 5.  I’m excited to rack up more miles, but I admit to being nervous about my next long ride — 35 miles.  I will be out of town, so the territory will be new and a friend (an experienced cyclist) will be showing me the best route.  That area is known by cyclists for its monstrous hills.  I hope to avoid those as they look plenty scary when driving on them with a car!

Happy Trails!