yesterday i took care of the details that made this morning's long ride possible. i begged off on the 7:00 swim team practice and had a fellow EMT cover for me from 4:00-6:00. i woke at 4:20 and drug myself out of bed by 4:30. i honestly didn't feel like getting on a bike this morning, but i had "work" to do. with 45.08 miles to go to my year's goal of 4020 miles, i had miles to go and no time to sleep.
i didn't want to blow up and have to cut my ride short, so i started off pretty easy. my first five miles or so were under 16mph. i saw a deer and a raccoon along side the road. they turned and ran back into the trees when they saw me. probably saved the deer's life since there was a truck coming the other direction.
when i reached milan road, i felt better and my legs were warm, so i picked up the pace a bit. a mile or two later, i was briefly accompanited by one of eric m's friends, an elanoides forficatus. at least that's what i think it was. the crazy bird flew about 10-15 feet ahead of me and only about 3-4 feet above my head. a truck passed going the other direction and scared it off. glad the nutty thing wasn't in the mood to attack. they're nasty things sometimes.
as i rode closer and closer to wellington, i felt better and better. i was able to push my average up and over 17mph long before i reached the bridge the crosses sand creek and enters the city.
my ride through the city was pretty uneventful. i had to stop briefly at two of highway 160's six traffic lights. two in a row, of course. i passed by wal-mart and rode up and over the railroad overpass then passed the toll booths for the kansas turnpike. i rode on just a bit further so that i would have a full 50 miles at ride's end.
i turned around at countryside and headed back toward home. the wind was at my back, so my pace was considerably higher. as i rode through wellington, i only dipped below 20mph a few times.
the ride back was pretty unremarkable. i rode above 18mph almost the entire way. on the flats and going down hill i seldom dropped below 20mph. on the way down nine mile hill i hit 35.8mph with just a little harder effort. about five miles from home my average finally reached 18mph.
i got back to town and my odometer read just a little under 50 miles, so i did a little extra riding. i turned south on main, rode to boys street, followed it around to bryana and then came back up main to walnut where i turned east back to pine and home.
so i did it. my bike log now says that i've ridden 4026.60 miles this year. never thought i'd pass my goal this early. time to make it higher i guess. but that can wait for a day or two. i've got to revel in the glory of this accomplishment for a little bit. (51.68 miles @ 18.2mph)