The last 11 months have been challenging, but in August the new bicycle finally arrived (a month after I picked up a CraigsList Giant Defy that served me OK and at least weighed 5lbs less than the MTB). After a few shorter rides from August on, I decided to challenge myself and do the Day of the Tread 100 mile ride. The Bianchi Infinito CV is an endurance frame, after all, and I’d done the Santa Fe Half Century at the end of May on the mountain bike, so what could possibly go wrong?
Most of Day of the Tread is fairly flat, down along the river valley. For additional fun, the century ride takes in two climbs — the first up Tramway and on to Academy that I am familiar with and the second up Placitas that I’ve only ever done with a motorbike. The leaves were turning, the weather was crisp (downright cold at the 8:15am start) and it wasn’t horribly windy. All good signs. Of course, the fact that it was 18 months since I’d done more than 60 miles was a bad sign, but it was supported…
My usual fueling for rides is awful, so this time I decided to do better. I’ve been reading a lot about it, and the plan was to make the Allen Lim rice cakes. Sadly, work has had me flying all over the U.S., so that didn’t work out and I had to fall back on plan B — something else. I went down to High Desert Bicycles and confessed my sins; that I was about to totally mess with my fueling plan for a major event without any prep. Some level of hilarity ensued, but as usual Johnny steered me straight (more, at some point, on the fitting and saddle that occurred after the hiking trip to the U.K.) and I got some fuel.
I agreed to meet a friend at the first rest stop (sopapillas and honey at El Pinto, and coffee — 13 miles into the ride). He was starting from home, and doing a shorter loop, so that would work. Once we did meet, we rapidly figured that he was a little late, that I’d missed the pack for the 100, and that he was on a different route that didn’t do the climbs, but was in fact flat. Oops. Luis was generous, though, and decided to do some of my route with me — I, apparently, was less so and he had the heavy aero wheels from his Tri bike on his CAAD 8 and so the first climb I hit it and never saw him again. I’m a bad riding buddy, it seems.
I actually managed to get a number of Strava PBs and 2PBs on the ride; while I’m not a KoM chaser in general, getting these when I’ve had them since 2014 when I rode a lot more AND hadn’t been hit is a heartening mark for my recovery. Several of these were on the climb up Tramway and then Academy, so I’m happy with that. The Bianchi is a superb machine; well worth the wait for it.
I ended up doing the run from the base of Tramway to Bernalillo solo into a headwind; this left me fairly tapped for the remaining 60 miles of the ride. I didn’t push too hard, but it just sapped me. Luckily, I managed to find a strong couple on a tandem who were hugely encouraging, and they paced me up the climb to Placitas — we’d pass each other depending on the grade — and then dropped me like a stone on the slog out to San Felipe. I tagged another group, and we pulled home, with an uber-strong triathlete taking a MASSIVE proportion of the front. Thanks!!!!
Altogether, I was happy. I’m not supposed to see full recovery for 18 months, and I can still manage this. 100 miles in about 5 1/2 hours moving time, and a few 1,000′ of climbing.