Last Friday I rode what has become an annual tradition: The C2Sea. This would be the fourth time I've ridden this route, and the third official C2Sea ride. Last year, I wasn't able to ride the whole thing because of a mechanical early on. The year before, I rode it on my 'cross bike (see HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE; this is the most detailed information about the route I've posted.) This year, I barely got my bike sorted before we left. I wasn't sorted at all.
Because of school, home repairs, etc., I am not in the sort of shape I usually am this time of year. I've been riding, but not the big miles needed to get ready for a ride of this magnitude. I was close to not even attempting the ride, but decided I could struggle through it. Besides, T. was taking his mountain tandem and had his 5 year old on the back for the first half. At the midway point he was exchanging kids for his 8 year old. I mean, if they could do it, I should be able to. Right?
Here's what I found out and thought about during the ride:
- It's a very good thing that I've spent so much time on the bike over the years. I was able to adjust my pace as needed and read my aches and pains to minimize my suffering.
- I suffered.
- I can suffer and still enjoy the scenery, to a point.
- There is no substitution for real training for long rides.
- I hurt much worse the next day.
- When I am tired and struggling to hang with the group, I don't take any pictures.
- Full suspension is very nice when you are tired.
- Swapping tires to lightweight ones doesn't matter a whole lot when you then strap 4 pounds of water to the bike.
- I really, really like eLoad. It has replaced Cytomax as my go-to energy drink. I could drink this stuff all day long. Really.
- Chamois creme makes all the difference. But it still feels weird when I first apply it.
- I normally don't eat right before riding, I should have stuck to that for this one, too.
- Apple Pie Clif Shot doesn't taste like apple pie.
- You can never be prepared enough for flats.
I was not the only flat. We had a total of 10 flats out of 12 bikes. Most of those were near the end of the ride, as well. It actually became comical, since we'd ride for 20 minutes then stop for 20 to fix a flat.
Overall, this was the biggest group we've had on this ride. It was great fun, and next year, I'm training.