Although I am a mountain biker at heart, I do enjoy long road rides. When I first started riding, it was on a mountain bike. I fell in love with the sport on the very first ride. I was at the bike shop the very next day buying my first mountain bike. Riding some sweet swoopy singletrack is incredibly relaxing and therapeutic. I also enjoy racing mountain bikes. I race in Category 1 or Expert group, and love going fast and laying it all out in the dirt.
I also enjoy long road rides. Long road rides are great for thinking. I have come up with some of my best business ideas while out on a long solo road ride. During this time of year I am doing more long rides in preparation for one of my favorite long road rides, The Hotter Than Hell Hundred. The HHH is a ride, and a race, in Wichita Falls Texas in late August. The scenery is nothing to look at, the course has no spectacular features, the weather is always miserable, and there is really no reason to make the ride so appealing, but it is. Each year the HHH is a cycling pilgrimage for 10,000 to 12,000 fellow cyclists. It is the largest non-cause ride in America. Riders from all over the world are seen at this ride. It is a tough ride. 100 miles in 100+ temperatures is no small task. The ride has the highest attrition rate of any similar ride. Each year hundreds of cyclists are scooped up by SAG wagons and deposited in medical tents to be hooked to IV’s for emergency re-hydration. Sounds like fun huh? Needless to say, just finishing this ride is an accomplishment for most. I have been doing this ride for the last 5 or 6 years. Each year I try to beat my previous years time. Last year i had a great ride (its actually like a race for us). I started the ride fully hydrated and loaded down with fluids on the bike prepared to do the entire ride without stopping for water, because my goal is total time, not just ride time. Last year my total time for the full 100 miles was 4:20. About 23 average speed. This year I am hoping to beat that time inside a 4:15 if possible. Riding at that pace for 100 miles without stopping for water is test of not just fitness but also your nutritional knowledge and planning. So, although the trails are dry this weekend, I will doing my long road rides to start to get ready for this event. More information on this ride can be found here.