Aug 12

August 12, 2005

Longest M5 ride to date!! 259 km in 9.5 hours.

We were headed out to the San Juan Islands off the east coast of Washington State for a family bike/camping tour with the Erickson family. I decided to break up the long drive from Calgary to Washington into two days and get a super long M5 lowracer ride in on the first day. After a whopping 259 km ride from Calgary to Golden, BC, Helen and the kids met me in Golden where we stayed over night in a hotel, then drove to Anacortes, WA the next day to catch the ferry to the islands.

My first 100 miles was done in almost exactly 5 hours with a 32 kph average speed. In fact, it was my first lowracer century ever. That included a slight headwind and about 1000 feet of elevation gain. Most of the time was spent at an average of 160 watts - Compare this to 190 watts for the exact same trip last summer on my road bike, and I realize how far I still have to go to get to a similar fitness level on the M5.

Overall I was very pleased with the trip and my performance - especially considering the longest ride to date had only been 5 hours. My feet still get numb every hour and take about 5 minutes standing to recover. Near the end of the ride, they were good for about two hours before I needed to stop. My knees and various small muscles in my quads were pretty toasted by the time I finished the final gruelling climb into Golden, but otherwise I felt just fine - probably on par with my first trip to Golden last summer on my road bike.

The rack on the back of the M5 holds a pannier that I put a large plastic water jug into. I connected a plastic hose to the water jug cap and a bite nozzle from an old camel back. It can hold 5 to 8 water bottles of water and works GREAT!

Then, after the bike trip I did the exact same trip in reverse. This time the weather was cold and rainy, but my efficiency was much better than the first trip (watts compared to heart rate with SRM software between the two rides). My legs were not sore at all this time which means that they are probably becoming conditioned to the distance.

Thank god for audio books from Audible.com!!! Time passes so quickly when I am listening to a good book. The book absorbed on the two Golden rides was Enders Game by Orson Scott Card. Awesome science fiction book - highly recommend it!!

And while I am on the topic of good books - if you are interested in GREAT adventure stories you NEED to buy a copy of Stevie Smiths "Peddling to Hawaii". Stevie Smith and Jason Lewis started Expedition 360 in July of 1994 with the goal of becoming the first team to circumnavigate the world by human power. They cross oceans with a custom made peddle boat, and land on bikes. They are currently crossing Indonesia by kayak and are expected to complete their first human-powered round-the-world expedition in July of 1009 with a total distance of 60,000 km covered!! The first book is the story of the journey from England to Hawaii and is truly one of the very best adventure books I've ever read.

Buy the book and help support this landmark human powered quest: "The last great first" - to go around the world entirely by human power.

One last thing - check out these wicked cool concept bikes by Specialized:

http://www.mountainbiketales.com/Verdra3.htm


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