Here’s a pic from Sunday on left, and a tour I did in 2011 on the right. At the same mini mart. Kinda cool. So let’s start with what I all did wrong:
It was a good route north along the lake. One I’ve done several times before. It’s not so much that the route was so wrong but the distance. What was I thinking. A week earlier I did a 2.5 hour ride on the Domane and I felt the repercussions. In my mind I could do 60 miles on a 80 pound tour bike? My body just could not. Sure, I made it but was so destroyed I could not walk real well. How much fun is that. Not any.
The fact of the matter is I just overshot my limitations. By a lot. Point is if you want to have a great few days of touring you can’t be in excruciating pain. Sure, its fine after a challenging race but this is so much different than that. When I got home Sunday everything hurt. Bad. Everything that is except my legs. I experienced no cramping whatsoever. However my hands, wrists, arms, especially shoulders and neck were trashed. On Sunday I had to get off the bike every 8 to 10 miles to stretch and give my shoulders and whatever a rest. Also, to my surprise my butt was in pain. Not just sore. Bleeding sore. That has never happened to me before on a Brooks B17 seat.
You get the idea. All spring long I have done a million hour and a half rides and now I thought I could do two back to back 5 hour rides? What was I thinking?
But it was not all on me.
The fact is we had headwind both going north on Saturday and south on Sunday. Thats nuts. Saturday was a steady 15mph wind. Sunday was a smidge less but a header nonetheless. My rule of 12’s (12mph and under pedal, over 12mph coast) was now the rule of 9’s. Open areas had us down to 6mph pushing the same watts that we use going 15mph. Needless to say the riding was way longer than I thought it would be. But its touring, so slow down right? Just ride slower and dont go as far.
Usually I have no destination when I tour. No expectations. In the past if weather slowed me up I just did not go as far and settle down early. But this time we had a destination and could not stop until we reached it. That forced me to ride way longer than I wanted to. More than I had a right to. Lesson learned
You would think I would have this down. I was only doing a overnighter so I really had an entire front pannier empty with nothing to do with it. So I filled it with tubes and tools and stuff. What a rookie mistake. Im pretty sure I ended up with a overpacked bike that weighed more than when I toured a week.
And I suffered with it. By the time I figured out I had a problem I was 20 miles down the road. Again, such a rookie mistake. This just added to my riding woes. The dude I was rolling with had half the stuff I had. Way way lighter and was just fine. I can’t believe I did that. Ive done this enough to know better. But again, this is the first only overniter I even did so I was not thinking less, I was trying to remember what i did when I took a week or more… But still.
I’ll continue this next post. But I’ll say it straight up I wish I had not done this. Sure it was fun in ways but I suffered way too much to call this successful. Like I said yesterday from the time we left to the time we got back we pedaled our bikes all but 3 waking hours. Thats not touring, thats a long bike ride. Touring is getting to your destination early afternoon, rest up and then grab the bike a tool around the area a bit. Hit shops and restaurants.
Just riding and sleeping is not that much fun.
But before I get into more of what I did wrong I will try and throw a silver lining in here. I (re) learned what to pack, and also (re) learned not to over ride your limitation. And with the two day sufferfest on the bike I sure hope what does not kill me makes me stronger. I hope in some way my body get a little kick in the ass with 10 hours in the saddle in two days. In retrospect I have not had a 10 hour week in two years….
Tomorrow I’ll explain how wrong I set up my bike.