Tuesday, June 21, 2011

2011 Door County Ride for Nature

This past weekend I found myself in Door County for the 23rd annual Ride for Nature.  This was my first organized ride open to the general public.  I picked up cycling a little over a year ago as a low impact alternative to high impact running.  I have taken to cycling and enjoy it a lot from commuting to work, picking up groceries, weekend trips, etc...  Where my running is competitive and employs advanced training techniques cycling is still quite recreational for me but evolving.

The weather for the ride was near perfect with temperatures around 70˚F, partly cloudy, and a slight breeze - less than 10mph.  The forecast called for chance showers, which fortunately did not take place.  The organizers of the event did a great job.  All of the logistical considerations were well thought out and implemented; various course distances were available, parking was plentiful, packet pick up was a well staffed quick affair, the course was well marked (never needed to look at a map), aid stations had plenty of quality food and drink, plenty of port-a-potties were available, and the post course meal and entertainment were of high quality.  It was a great value with entry ranging from $15 to $40 depending course distance. 

My better half insisted we do the century ride despite my hesitance.  By mile 55, at the last 50 mile and 100 mile split, a change of heart sent us heading back to Baileys Harbor to finish with a total of 65 miles. Truth is neither of us has the base (read miles/time in saddle) necessary to pull off such a feat.  I suspect consistent training will change this fact by the fall.  By taking the 100 mile course we did get to see the northern tip of Door County, unavailable with the 50 mile course, which I found to be the most scenic.

I enjoyed the natural beauty of Door County and enjoyed seeing all the gear too.  There was a good mix of upright and road bikes of all price points and even the rare mountain bike.  I was happy to get miles in on my road bike as I have been using my upright more frequently for work and the Glacial Drumlin trip.  Over the coming months I hope to get in 3 days of cycling per week, 75 – 100 miles a week and build the base necessary to tackle a full century.

GPS training software plot of speed over distance with map.  The average moving speed of the trip was 16mph with a max of 32 mph.

Road bikes

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