Approaching the end of the Mohawk Hudson Marathon
Yet with biking the length of the ride seems to have nothing to do with a race. I have only recently started racing through triathlons and my longest distance was 16 miles in a race. Yet I repeatedly ride 30, 40 and 50 miles. My most recent weekend rides have been 46, 50 and 38. If I had more time I would be going even longer. Why? Because I love it!
I love the effort it takes to go on a longer ride. I love the scenery I see with the miles I cover. I love the exhausted feeling I have when I have put that effort in. I love the feeling of accomplishment. I love the joy in the moment of the ride which is the difference between long rides and runs for me. There is no need for me to ride these kinds of miles to get ready for a cycling race. It is purely a choice. But personally I would NEVER choose to go out and run 20 miles for the pure joy of it. I haven't done that since my last marathon training cycle.
This summer one of my goals was to ride a century. This hasn't happened and at this point I don't think it will. When I started riding last spring I did a 50 miler in April and again in May so I was well on my way. Then there was the whole broken wrist thing that got in the way. First I couldn't ride at all, then there was the gradual reintroduction to riding. It is only recently that I have gotten the longer distances in. I'm where I was earlier last summer when I worked up to 60+ miles. I do think I would have reached the 100 without the injury but for now this is next summer's goal. A lot of my friends say a 25 mile ride is all they care to do but I love pushing the envelope and going as far as a day and training allows me to on a bike.
This Saturday's ride was less than the two previous weeks but a much harder terrain. It went up into the mountains and then back down. I'm not talking crossing gaps here but decent foothills. I did this ride last year with my friend but today I rode it solo. I had intended to do a different ride but I listened to the weather forecast (a mistake) and put it off. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride I did and can't wait to get out there again next weekend for a longer ride. I dread the coming of winter when I have to put my bike away.
Approaching Camel's Hump
An alpalca farm
Fall colors starting to show