I wanted to get two things done before next year…
- Finally do a century ride
- Qualify for Ride The Lobster
I looked at the elevation profile of the W&OD trail and came up with a route that would basically accomplish both of those by giving me a next day carry over enough to complete the qualifying ride in 1 day.
I rode from Herndon to Purcellville and back…twice.
and did a little bit extra towards the end to make it exactly 100 miles.
I got my friend Zach to go with me on his bike for some moral support and so I wouldn’t get bored, and we started the ride at about 830AM. We stretched and had a bagel and banana before heading out.
It was about freezing outside (33F) and windy, but the sun was just coming out so it wasn’t too bad. I put on my winter shell and some sunglasses with the orange lenses to brighten things up a bit and to keep the cold air out of my eyes. We made it to Purcellville (25 miles) only stopping once halfway to warm up and to put in toe warmers in our shoes (the chemical pack things) because my toes were freezing! We got to Purcellville in a little over 2 hours and were making good time considering it was slightly uphill most of the way.
We stopped at the bike shop at the end of the trail (Trails End Bike Shop) and bought some much needed cliff bar gel and shot blocks. I already consumed 2 of them on the way. When we got to the shop someone was inside asking about what unicycle to get their son. What are the odds that I would come into the store with a unicycle just as she was asking the question??? The store owner was trying to sell a Sun unicycle (had the info up on a computer), but I told her most people agree the Torker LX is the best beginner unicycle for its value, and she wrote down my advice and decided to order the unicycle on unicycle.com.
Anyway, we left soon after and when we got back to Herndon (50 miles) we were both pretty beat. I am not sure what time we even got back, but we stopped at a bakery/cafe to warm up and get some food. I got a cheeseburger and fries (I was craving it for some reason) and ate another banana from my car with a gatorade from the car. Filled up my camelback with more water and left at about 225PM(i think) to head back to Purcellville.
We both knew that we would have to ride in the dark for some of the ride and figured that the whole trip back from Purcellville would be in the complete dark, so we packed our lights. Going back to Purcellville was hard, and we stopped more often, but made it there sometime after 5…530 maybe? We went back to the bike shop and bought more energy gel stuff (hammer gel and carb boost), and since it was already dark out we figured there was no rush, so we went across the street to a restaurant. We sat at the bar there and warmed up, and I went to the bathroom to put on my extra dry layer I brought with me (underlayer of polypropelene) since the rest of my clothes were pretty wet and cold. I ordered some mashed potatoes and hot chocolate, since I couldn’t stomach anything solid.
I put on my helmet mounted light and put the battery pack in the camelbak and we left late. I fell once or twice on the way back due to unseen things on the trail, but it wasn’t too bad since my light is really bright. We only saw 6 people on the way back, and had to stop every 7 miles or so to have a energy gel or shot block with some water and they seemed to boost us a little. When we stopped we also closed our eyes for a bit because the cold air was really getting to both of our eyes. We rolled back to the car at a little after 930pm, but went an additional mile or so to be sure we did a full 100 miles.
I am very glad that Zach went with me on his bike because it definitely helped me out on the ride.
I wasn’t in too much pain, and didnt have any knee pain like I almost always do, the most pain I had was my neck/back and my left ankle.
My set up:
-std coker frame
-miyata plastic base, small thin slip of foam on top and the foam from the KH freeride saddle on top of that, with a leather cover on top. GB4 stiffener plate with GB4 bars.
-Wheel TA tire (brand new!)
-114mm cranks (I think the reason I had no knee pain)
consumed: a lot of water…7 energy gels, 1 pack of cliff bar shot blocks, 1 cliff bar, 1 oat bar, 3 bananas, cheeseburger, mashed potatoes, hot chocolate.
Total Distance: 100 miles / 160 km
Ascend: 2180 m
Descend: 2180 m
(both of those are estimated, and should be higher than that, I looked at the elevation map and took the differences between the half miles and added a very small amount to make it an even number…so it should be much more than that)
Night Riding: 25 miles/40.2km
UPDs: 3 (1 going too fast around a uturn, 2 at night, both landed on feet)
We also had some 10-15mph winds for most of the ride, and I was pretty cold for most of the ride and had to use 2 packs of toe warmers from keeping my toes from freezing, but I figured I wouldn’t enter anything into extreme temperatues because even though it was very cold for me…I know that others have been riding in much colder.
Final Rating: 802 (objective: 641)
Next Day carry over: 188
So since I had a carry over of 188, I already exceeded what I needed to do the next day, but I wanted to ride for a little bit the next day (today) to make it count, so I got on my unicycle and did a victory lap around my block. Surprisingly I had no pain at all and wasn’t sore! Well…I did miss my mount in the beginning and my ass really didn’t want to sit back down on the seat again, but other than that, it felt really good to ride again and to know I was qualified!