I rode the 100 mile version of Flying Wheels today. It was a beautiful day for a long ride - hardly a cloud in the sky, temperature climbing past 80, and light winds through the trees. I rode with my friends Larry and Tom, and met quite a few peple on the ride. One rider is doing the one-day STP like we're planning, so it would be cool if we hooked up for that.
So much for the good parts. The ride itself kicked my butt. I've only ridden about 250 miles this season, so adding 102 miles today probably wasn't the brightest idea I've ever had. But in order to prep for STP, I had to do a long ride about now, and an organized, well-supported ride like Flying Wheels is really the only way to ride a century.
Anyway, I started out strong (too strong, perhaps) then had to slow down at the 50 mile mark. At the 90 mile mark going up the Issaquah-Fall City road, I just pooped out. I had an average speed of 16.6 at 90 mile mark, but that hill was a killer.
The end stats: 102 miles, 15.4 miles average speed (excluding stops), 8 hours overall time. Two years ago I rode the 70 mile version at 17.7 miles per hour, after putting nearly 1200 miles on the bike leading up to the ride.
BTW, it turns out that marathon training helps for a few things. I had no calf problems and aerobically I was just loafing most of the ride, but my quads just didn't have what I needed for those hills. Cross training only goes so far. You gotta ride to be good at riding. Duh.