Monday, August 14, 2006

8/13/06 Today's Ride -- Gran Tourismo

: 72.81 miles, to London via Pine Grove School Road route; then to Barbourville via 1189, 1803, and 11; then Woodbine route back to Corbin.

Weather: mostly to partly cloudy, 79 degrees, 10 mph wind.

Performance: average speed 15.6 mph, time 4:39:32. Average HR 136 bpm. link:

Comment: I hatched the idea last night to ride from London to Barbourville (on a route that doesn't involve 229, as I have no desire to die). The result was a new distance record and myself holding up surprisingly well. I planned on starting out early to avoid the heat but despite assurances by the weather forecast to the contrary the sky looked awfully gray and overcast for the first 30 or so miles. The ominous sky coupled with a brisk wind turned out to be assets, however, as they kept the temperature tolerable most of the way. The road was wet in several areas around London and it did sprinkle on me for about 10 seconds around the intersection of route 11 and 25E, but thankfully that was all it was. Unexplored territory on this ride included the Girdler, Cannon, and Heidrick areas of northwestern Knox County.

My stamina was there until about mile 50, as I rolled down route 11 to Barbourville. My legs started to weaken, and although I was somehow able to again ascend Paint Hill while seated, I was granny gearing it all the way. It reminded me of having to climb Oakley Hill after my Clay County debacle back in April, only this time I had 50 miles behind me when I started the climb. I had to bite the bullet and take a couple of raisins / Cliff Bar / Gatorade breaks. They gave me energy for a little while but little by little resulted in diminishing returns.

All in all, a good ride. I have a feeling that this route will be the template for my eventual (non-metric) century. Adding the Laurel Lake loop would certainly put it over the top. The cooler days of September and October await...

Redneck heckler sighting: Ding ding ding! On a ride this long, there just had to be!

  • On the way up Paint Hill, a car with a couple of guys produced a low, slow "Heeeyyyyy...[inaudible], etc."
  • Pointless blaring honk by a navy Jeep Grand Cherokee passing me on that long straightaway before you get to Woodbine. No other traffic around.
  • And, honorable mention, although not really heckling: Two shirtless 15 year olds are walking the other way as I pass the Woodbine post office. As I ride by, one of them moves a couple of steps toward me and, waving his arm back to where I'm headed, says something. I don't hear any of it other than the word "dogs." No dogs to be seen.

Here is where I chose to grant my Rocinante her third and final break. No stray buckshot, thankfully.

August ride + record distance attempt = two bottler.

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