The last time I rode RAMROD was in 2011, the first summer I started riding far and fast. Before that, I’d done a few 100-mile rides, including STP twice (STP in two days, to be clear), but that’s the year I rode 10,000 miles. I didn’t have a full-time job, and I had a lot of free time, which I spent riding my bike. That’s the year I rode 1,000 miles a month in May, June, July, and August, with September just shy at 920 miles. Looking back, I realize how fortunate I was to have all that time.
Needless to say, life’s sure changed. With having a kid and a real job, I’m lucky to have Ian, who helps me get in two training-type rides a week, plus maybe one or two commutes with Benji in back. Life moves on! Maybe when I’m retired I’ll have time to do that kind of miles again, but until then, I’m enjoying what I can get. In fact, just the time it’s taken me to write this — a full week since the event — indicates how much change we’ve had in our lives!
I’m not going into a blow-by-blow description of RAMROD like I did last time. Instead, I’ll just say it was a beautiful day; Dad and I found a good, strong group of some of our friends, and we worked hard. I felt satisfied with my effort, and my average pace of 18.5 mph overall. Thanks to fast guys pulling our group, I also logged what I think may be my fastest two splits ever: 36 miles at 21.3 mph average, and 37 miles at 22 mph average. I can’t exactly take credit for it — I wasn’t riding by myself at those speeds — but I did hang on for those stretches, anyway.
The weather was beautiful, views of the mountain spectacular, and wildflowers were out. I didn’t take any pictures, but it was pretty much the same as last time I did it, only faster. I felt strong and took care to eat and drink consistently throughout the ride, and never had any bonking or issues with running out of fuel. It did get hot towards the end, but never felt truly, brutally, grilling-hot. The ice cream bar at the end was heaven!
That’s about it, I guess. It was a good time, but I don’t imagine I’ll have time to train for it again for a number of years. Next year, I’ll come up with some new goal. Meanwhile, I’m going to enjoy this hill-climbing fitness by riding up some other good climbs around here. Next up: Mt. St. Helens.