Distance: 40.4 miles
Time: 2:00:00 (no kidding!)
Avg. speed: 20.18 mph
Weather: 66º, wind NW10
Song stuck in head: Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell
My wife and I attended a meeting in Belmont this morning, so I slapped the bike to her car and rode out from there after we were done.
From where we were, there were two short hill climbs right away, so I didn't get a good chance to warm up before I got to them. Consequently, I rode for quite a while with a semi-burning feeling just above both knees. It began to fade when I got to Rte. 117 on the Waltham/Weston border.
I dislike riding on 117 for two reasons: traffic and road condition. But I went that way because I was curious about how long it took to ride from Belmont to home, in case I ever make the trip in by bike for an appointment. Lucky for me, it was about 10 a.m. so rush hour was long over and I was surprised to find that the shoulder is not as bad going west as it is when you are headed east. The one exception being the stretch between the RR tracks and the entrance to Drumlin Farm. But since there wasn't much traffic, I was able to ride out into the center of the lane a bit more to avoid the worst of it.
At some point, I realized that I was keeping a decent pace along the 117 rollers and did a quick check of the computer to see what my average speed was. When I saw that it was 19.9 mph (Monday's avg. speed was 19.97 mph), I challenged myself to wind it up over 20 mph for the whole ride.
Once I got to Rte. 27, it was early enough for me to hang a left and ride out my "CC" route the rest of the way. The wind was roughly out of the North which gave me a good boost down 27, along with one panel van that sucked me up to 27 mph at one point.
On Fairbanks, it was a different story: the wind had a westerly component to it and now it was bearing down on me from my right-front quarter. Into the drops I went and kept shifting gears to maintain a 105-110 rpm cadence. As I turned onto Hudson Road and then Sudbury Road, I was going full into the wind. Nevertheless, I was able to keep my speed over 20 mph most of the time.
The hill on Boon Road (just past Honey Pot Orchard) always seems to bog me down. The climb is less than a 1/8 mile in length and only a 6-7% grade, I tend to slow to a crawl on it every time as I did today.
After that, I did a good job of keeping speed and cadence up. Somewhere along Boxboro Road, I checked my avg. speed again and saw that it was up to 20.1 mph. Now a 20+ mph ride was only mine to lose. On the two short hills along Boxboro Road, I stayed in the drops as I climbed and discovered that I don't raise the rear wheel like I sometimes do when I climb out-of-saddle on the hoods.
The wind was now behind me again, so it was a bit easier to keep my speed up. Onto S. Acton Road and then Red Acre I went, and started to feel a tightness build in my legs. Only a few miles to go, I got over Pompositticut and it's poorly maintained surface and resumed my battle against the wind. Down Summer and Concord then a sprint (27mph) to home and I reached down to move my speed sensor (stops the computer).
When I checked my elapsed time, it read exactly 2 hours. That's 2:00:00 flat. So, a new PR for me: I rode OVER 40 miles in exactly 2 hours. Average heart rate was 157 BPM, just like Monday. Cadence was 97, right on target.