'Twas a sunny afternoon in Houghton County when all the cyclists got an itch to do what they do best. After a long day on campus I set out for my daily fix. No I'm not talking about drugs here, I'm talking about my bike ride! The sun had gotten to my head and I knew today was the perfect day for my first long day in the saddle.
I had set out for an adventure much like today's just over two weeks ago. It was a pretty nice sunny day, but definitely not as warm. I headed North toward Lake Linden and then to Calumet, back down 203 (the road by McClain State Park) and back into Houghton. By the time I got to Lake Linden and started up the hill toward Calumet it was all over. I cracked within the first 200 meters of climbing and if you don't know, it's all uphill to Calumet. Long story short, it was probably the longest 40 miles I had ever logged. It was pathetic and I felt totally out of shape.
Today I went in the opposite direction, South. I headed for a little po-dunk town called Pelkie, just about 5 miles west of Baraga. I chose the back roads that I have become familiar with lately as a route which would take me almost directly South to my goal. I set out for what would be 2-2.5 hours in the saddle and was greeted rather rudely by a stubborn SSE headwind. I bucked that wind for an hour and 15 minutes and god was it rough. There were times I couldn't hold 15 mph on downhill false-flats. Needless to say it felt pathetic, but when 1:15 rolled around I took a short break to gulp down about 4tbsp of peanut-butter and some water. I turned around, I did an out and back, and was very pleasantly surprised by the same headwind that had been kicking my ass the whole way out, was now acting like a jet back pushing me from behind. I was holding 30mph on a false-flat, uphill and hovering around 200 Watts. I was ecstatic! The first four or five miles were effortless, then I hit a wall... roughly 20 miles from home I was slamming water, gatorade, and in the course of those last 20 miles I ate two GU's and my output was dropping the whole way home. Almost. Lets just say I had a strong finish. There's a nice downhill right from Dodgeville to Sharon Ave. right by Family Video. I flew into town at just under 45 mph almost got thrown off my bike by a blind bump that I often forget about and came to a screeching halt at the 4-way stop. My house is a couple blocks from there so I took it pretty easy, hitting 35 on the city street coasting home. I was pleased with my overall strength through the ride and thankful to be in the comfort of my own home again!
It was a pretty horrifying ride in my mind, I had thoughts of going hypoglycemic and I've done that before and I didn't want to do it again. That's scary stuff... Not so scary stuff is finding out that your new SISU FF-1 just got dropped off at the painter's today! I think that's what kept me going all afternoon!
Time to go eat some dinner, this is the point where I wish Houghton had some good old Border Grill! I Guess I'll just have to suffer as a poor college student with whatever is in the fridge.