Thursday, July 17, 2008

200 mile bike ride in one day.

On Saturday, July 12th we completed a one day, 200 mile bike ride. We left Columbia, IL around 6am and headed south to near Grand Tower, IL - where we turned around and headed back. Much of the ride followed the Mississippi levee.

By noon we were pedalling through 90+ degree heat and by midday we were riding through crazy thunderstorms. Rain like needles and lightening all around. Normally that wouldn't bother me, but this time we were the tallest things in the middle of corn fields - and I was sitting on an aluminum bike. If nothing else, it got me pedaling faster.

After the rain subsided it was a fantastic evening - like riding through a Disney post card. Sunset had the clouds like big balls of cotton candy floating above us, deer were jumping all over the place and everything was brilliant and clean. Very cool experience - especially mixed with the exhaustion of riding so long. Of course, it wouldn't last. We had to ride the last 30 minutes after dark and the bugs were awful. It was as if you were being shot in the face by a spray bottle filled with gnats.

Nonetheless a great time - can't wait to do it again. Although next time we're going to try to get started a little earlier. About 15 hours from start to finish - including refuelling stops and a cold beer in celebration of mile 100. By the end of the day we had settled on a name for our 200 mile tour - "The 200 Mile M-Fer" (for "Mostly Flat"). Here's a pic of me, Annette and Dennis after the finish and on the way to dinner.

Out of curiosity we looked up the cycling record for the most miles in a 24 hr period. At this time it's apparently held by Mike Secrest with 534.75 miles on an indoor track averaging 22.28 mph.

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