A "Ride My Age" ride

A “Ride My Age” 70 mile ride on the Willapa Hills Trail and nearby country roads.

Congrats Jim and nice video

Congratulations on riding your age. I’ll have to try doing one of these sometime. If and when…

You got me wondering:

What surface are you wanting to ride on?

What bothers you riding on gravel surfacing?

I enjoy learning to adapt to each challenge and meeting the need. Most days it works for me and a few times it became a disaster.


Thanks Joe. Given your past performance I’d bet that you will easily ride your age well into your 80’s and beyond.

For my first century I’d like to find a place with a very smooth relatively level surface free from traffic. Ideally it would be a single run without backtracking or repeating any parts to make it a single mental objective. Based on how I felt not my 70 mile ride, I could have done quite a bit more on that day. Other then some minor burning in the quads I was not totally fatigued or spent at the end of that ride. The last few miles did not seem to take more effort then the first few. My butt was holding up well and free mounts were easy.

Just to make it easier I prefer a paved surface over a gravel surface and I prefer a roller compacted asphalt to a chip seal surface. When riding local county roads I can tell a marked difference between a rough not always flat chip seal surface compared to a smooth roller compacted asphalt. It just takes less effort on the smoother surface because of the reduced rolling resistance and it takes less effort to maintain balance. For me on a very smooth surface I have to put very little pressure on the pedals and can glide along with very little effort.

In general I can make more miles with less effort on a paved surface. I run 65 psi in my tire for the reduced rolling resistance and the least effect due to camber on paved surfaces. That higher pressure does work very well on paved surfaces but makes for a rougher ride and more impact on the butt on gravel surface. If the route was all gravel I’d reduce the pressure to maybe 50 - 55 psi and my average speed would be reduced. On a good paved surface I can travel with very little effort with both hands on the handle bar at 11 to 13 mph. Although I can ride with both hands on the handlebar on gravel, for me it is not as relaxed and it takes much more effort just to maintain speed and balance. Most of the time on gravel I end up with a single hand on the handle bar and running 8 to 10 mph.

Maybe I’m cheating a little by thinking I want the best place to ride a century but for my first, it may just be a handicap to offset my age. Maybe for subsequent long rides I’d consider more challenging routes, one step at a time. I’ve been looking for a good place and have considered riding a century across the panhandle of Idaho on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes. With just a little road riding on each end I could do a full century from Montana to Washington with most being on the super flat paved old railroad grade. I just have to pick a good time and figure out the logistics.


Isn’t it funny, the best riding surfaces have an abundance of vehicles on them. I adapted to sharing. The faster the vehicle traffic is moving the better the pavement.

Every choice has trade offs. If you’re more efficient but nothing exists to fit the model I suggest adapting to a model that exists.

After the first century ride, as I continued on, the next dozen all had different and new models with new challenges.

I tell people the hardest ride I ever completed was only two miles long. It took more out of me in 19+ minutes than riding 200+ miles in 24 hours. Both rides had failed attempts. Both required developing a model that just might have success.

Persist and you’ll succeed,


Wow! That’s way further than I would’ve thought could be done on a unicycle.

I love that willapa hills trail, I didn’t realize how far that goes. I take my family down there occasionally.