This weekend in Omaha was the annual Corporate Cycling Challenge. Thousands (yes, thousands) of people on bikes gather in our riverfront area to ride in one of 3 courses. There is the 10 mile, the 25 mile and the Tour de Fort which is 42 miles long!
Ryan and I had signed up to do this back in early July. I felt it was a good goal for us as new cyclists. Up until this point we had only done 1 20 mile ride and a half dozen that were in the 15-18 mile range. So 25 was going to be a stretch.
This was the starting line for the 25 mile ride.
The ride went fairly well. Somewhere around teh 5 mile mark Ryan ended up with a flat tire. We waited at the 10 mile ride check in point for 45 min or so for the support van to show up to help us change the flat. After this experience we both will be getting lessons in flat changing and start carrying some extra tubes and tools with us on these longer rides.
After the flat was repaired we were off again. At this point we were quite a bit behind the original 25 mile group, which wasn’t a bad thing. Ryan zoomed off ahead and I maintained my “turtle” status and kept a good steady pace somewhere several miles behind him.
On the return trip I met up with many of the 42 mile riders that were coming back and found a couple folks to chat to on the final stretches of the ride! It felt good to cross that finish line. Though it wasn’t as flashy as I hoped. Seemed everyone stopped (literally) and got off their bikes right at the finish and milled about.
This ride was probably my best to date. I felt strong. Shells knows what I mean. I felt like I could have gone much farther than I did. I found out that I’m better at this than I seem to give myself credit for. I have been comparing myself to friends that are much faster and stronger than me and wondering “why can’t I keep up with them, or why can’t I go that far”. I think I spend too much of my riding time trying to keep up that it burns me out so to speak. Like I said above, I’m the turtle – slow and steady. While I may not be sprinting to the finish, I’m still finishing.
Looking forward to more things like this in the future. My goal is to do the 42 mile one next year.
Until next time…