What a month. My stats for the month are relatively mind-blowing for me. The best part of the month was definitely participating in the Great Cycle Challenge to raise money for the fight against kids’ cancer. It was an incredibly tiring but rewarding experience for me and has me entering July with just a slightly higher level of confidence in my abilities to complete the Big Ride.
This weekend will be the pinnacle of my training endeavors leading up to the Big Ride. I will not be attempting as many miles in a day as I did over Saturday and Sunday until Tuesday, the 18th of July. before delving into the weekend though, I want to talk a bit about the week leading up to it.
Long distance cycling is all about perseverance and maintaining focus until the goal is reached. This year, I find myself already surpassing my personal record of miles in a year with only half the year gone. The reason for that incredible total? Setting myself the goal of the Big Ride: a 5-day excursion from Iowa City to Jamestown, NY. With that in mind, I have tried my best to come up with a training plan that will allow me to complete the goal. The other factor in the achievement of that mile total is the Great Cycle Challenge.
This ride was supposed to take us from Rochester to Syracuse in time to see the Marching Band State Championships. I wrote about this ride in October of 2012 before and how it was a prime example of never underestimating how challenging a century ride can be. Each one takes planning and patience and mental toughness. We went in with far too much bravado and far too little concern and we wound up failing as a result.
If you have read any other post thus far, you are almost guaranteed to have read something about the wind here in Iowa. As my companion during last weekend’s ride mentioned to me, “only golfers, sailors, and cyclists in Iowa know the wind forecast each day.”
I could feel the headache start behind my eyes and worm it’s way up to consume my entire forehead over the course of 5 miles. Soon the throbbing would start and it wouldn’t stop for 36 hours.