Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Metric Century on the ElliptiGO

For the past month or 2, I've been riding my ElliptiGO almost every day.  I usually use it to commute to work.  Last Thursday, I was forced to drive to work instead of my usual commute by ElliptiGO.  It was just awful.  The traffic sucked.  The people driving sucked.  The merging into traffic sucked.  The speed of the commute-crawl sucked.  The programming on the radio sucked.  I really wanted to get back to my daily routine of riding to work.

Sometimes, I get to make new friends on my commute.
On Memorial day, I decided to go for a 100 kilometer ride on the ElliptiGO.  I set out without any preparation.
My typical commute is to go from South Riding to Reston Town Center.  This route was not designed for bicycles, so it took me a while to determine how to get from South Riding into Fairfax County.  I had a lot of time to plan my route, while sitting in traffic. Route 50 is undergoing a huge upgrade right now, widening it from a divided highway with 2 lanes in each direction, to 3 lanes in each direction; along with a bicycle path on both sides of the highway.
The lane widening finished in late 2014, but honestly just moved the traffic problems further along into my commute.  Whatever gains that were made by widening US-50 have been lost by the turn onto US-28 north.

Garmin Connect
The Gran Fondo 100 Challenge on Strava

For my Metric Century, the plan was to get to the W&OD trail, head Northwest until the GPS odometer read 31 miles.  At that point, I'd turn around and do my best to get home. I decided to do a 100 kilometer ride because of a challenge on Strava. I did all this riding for a stupid badge on a website.
The lack of preparation didn't have much impact until about mile 50, when I realized that putting no sunscreen on my arms was a terrible mistake.  Along the return trip on the Fairfax County Parkway, the strong southerly winds kept me from getting any sort of speed at all. Also, since I had poorly planned this trip, I didn't bring along ANY snacks of any sort.
I was seriously bonking by mile 55, and had to take a little snack-break at the 7-11 in Chantilly. The short break had some time in the shade, a bottle of Gatorade, and an ice cream sandwich that tasted like pure victory.
I really wanted to stop the ride at mile 55, but the badge on Strava kept me going.
The next day, I wasn't even all that sore or tired.  There was no joint pain, and only a little stiffness in my calves. Back when I was doing 5 hour runs, that number of hours would have me much more sore.