I remember several years ago walking in to a local bicycle store looking for some new gloves. I felt that I was a “very good” cyclist, having completed about 50 miles on the bike. I was talking with the store owner and mentioned that I had just completed a 50 mile ride the day before, and would be going for a metric century the following weekend. He said to me that the next day he was going out for a double century (200 miles) on his own. My brain rebooted. I couldn’t quite comprehend that. Somehow the math in my head didn’t make sense, and I went with the assumption that he was exaggerating. Since then, that conversation has stuck with me. The more I ride, the more plausible his story becomes. It is ironic to me that the perspective of the listener has everything to do with the believability of the talker.
This past Saturday, I rode from New York City (Penn Station) to the tip of Montauk in one day. After 150 miles, going faster than I would have guessed I could have for eleven hours (including stops, nine hours moving), we arrived tired and sore. I expected to feel worse though. This was the longest ride I have ever done. In the end, it was worth it.
On a side note, since it was so hot and sunny, I decided to try out my “Sun Sleeves” by Pearl Izumi (they are very thin, white sleeves that help protect you from the sun and keep you cool). I officially love them. I was cooking in the sun, and felt at least 10 degrees cooler once I had them on.
Now I have 11 days until another 150 mile ride, but this time with mountains involved. This is what all of the training has been leading up to. Maybe one day I will tell a story of riding 150 miles, or even a double century to someone and they might doubt that I am telling the truth. Life is all about perspective.