Tired, wet, dirty, happy
100mi. I didn’t leave the house thinking it was going to be a century ride. I thought after the Hangover 100 on Wednesday that I’d like to (with all of my free time) see more of the south county, A1A, etc. So I called Robin G., maybe she’d be up for doing some of the ride once I got south of Lake Worth. She reported rain all morning, my view of the weather maps showed rain south of WPB but not lingering all day. I decided to go south anyway. It was a rough ride with many traffic stops and bumpy pavement for me just to get to the Intracoastal. I left the house at 11:40, told Robin I would meet her at 12:30 but my interrupted pace had me stopping in South WPB to call her and announce I’d be 10 minutes late. My ride to WPB – all traffic. My ride from Okeechobee Blvd south to Lake Worth Bryant Park – completely soaked – rain all the way. I quickly saturated all my clothes, sand and grizzle all over the bike, a mess and only 20 miles done. I was glad to have brought a ziplock bag for the phone and things I brought with me. Once at Bryant Park I met Robin, calmly sitting in her car waiting. No way I expected her to start in the crummy weather, we spoke for a few minutes then she drove off to do a swim indoors at LA Fitness. I went over the Lake Worth Bridge and headed south on A1A. At Bryant Park I was 20 mi from home, meaning a 40 mile ride round trip if I turned back in the rain. I thought of the YouTube video from last year’s Zurich Ironman – it rained on those cyclists for much of the race. Time to get used to that feeling. I was already wet and dirty, so I decided to go further south. I passed through South Palm Beach, then into Boynton Beach where I saw the Palms 100 turnaround. I went through Briny Beaches, Highland Beach, Delray Beach and into Boca Raton. Then at approx mile 36, no rain. Ahead I could see sunlight, too. Watching the blinking Cateye (needs a new battery) I kept thinking what doubling the mileage would give me for a total round trip ride. This is when I figured I could go to 50 mi and have a 100 miler done already this early in 2013. I didn’t know how far south it was going to take me, I went over the two intracoastal bridges, into Deerfield Beach and now onto the A1A marathon course. It surprised me to see how far south that 50 miles had me riding, I went deep into Pompano near north Ft Lauderdale! I had two water bottles, which I filled with more fluids at a rest room, some money and no food. I stopped at 7-11 on the way back up north and bought a buffalo chicken roll up thing and a similar shaped Taquito. Two for $2.22! Good enough for Dean Karnazes on long runs, good enough for me. My ride north had a full headwind of 10mph. I didn’t feel any tailwind coming down or when it was raining, but now my homeward 50 was a push into the breeze. My speed went from usually over 20 coming down to 17-18 mph heading back home. John sent a text saying he needed to be picked up before 6:30 – looking at where I was and how fast I was moving this was not going to be a problem. I came north and stayed on A1A past Lake Worth Bridge onto Palm Beach. The road once beaten up under construction six months ago has now been fixed and cleared. I went across the Okeechobee Bridge and up Flagler Drive, wind and breeze not yielding. Then back on the junk roads of 45th Street, Congress Ave and Investment Lane. Pulling up close to home I wasn’t sure if my different route back would give me over 100 miles. The picture below is my readout pulling into the driveway. I enjoyed the solo “inside my own head” ride. Now the bike needs a cleaning, rear wheel adjusted to not slip in the dropout hangers, new batteries for the computer and cadence sensor, tires and maybe Speedplay pedals and new tri shoes. It’s good for me to be in my own head, out of the normal surroundings and working to build a base of long course endurance.