Fair Weather Masochist

70 miles. Hills. Unfamiliar roads. Other cyclists. With the LIVESTRONG Challenge looming over me, I knew I needed at least one 50 mile ride before I do the LIVESTRONG ride. I headed out this morning with absolutely no agenda, no timetable, no commitments. I had the whole day to ride if I wanted to. I just needed to see what I could do.

I started in a relaxed manner, and I tried to keep myself relaxed throughout the 3:42:45 I spent on the bike today. I figured this would not only be a good test of my legs and my lungs, but for my chamois padding. I’ve narrowed my choice of biking shorts to two–the Pearl Izumis and the Zoot Tri shorts. The Pearl Izumis have more generous padding. The Zoots have a thin layer of felt–and I’ve come to prefer that to the bulky padding of most cycling shorts.

I wore the Pearl Izumis. I determined by mile 37 that I would not, under any circumstances, be wearing them to the LIVESTRONG Ride. Either that or I need to explore this whole chamois cream arena–unchartered territory for me.

I rode out through South Hadley, Granby and into Belchertown. I picked up Route 202 North which runs along the western side of the Quabbin Reservoir. The road is newly paved and climbs pretty consistently for several miles. I enter Pelham, and finally Shutesbury, then I turned around. Your basic out and back. But it got the job done. 50.5 miles. My legs actually hurt after this one.

Departing temperture: 81 F
Miles: 50.5
MPH: 13.6
Arriving Temperature: 91 F
Ride Category: Endurance check on legs & Lycra



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4 responses to “Fair Weather Masochist”

  1. jpo says :

    Nice ride. In case you haven’t done it this way, you can hang a left from 202 in either Pelham or Shutesbury to loop back toward Amherst/Hadley and avoid the out-and-back. Both of them are nice routes, and feature great westbound descents.

    Good luck in the Livestrong.

  2. Karen says :

    Thanks jpo, I considered that route but didn’t want to cut my route at all. I wasn’t sure if that would, but I will likely give that a try next time (then I’ll know for sure). I know that road dumps me into Amherst center and then I can pick up 116 and head back to South Hadley.

  3. Leah says :

    I hear you on the chamois thing. The more I ride, the less padding I want. I prefer tri shorts because they have only minimal padding. The only true cycling shorts I can tolerate are the Pearl Izumi Sugar and a pair of Nalini shorts. Chamois cream does help. For super long rides, I’ve often wondered if it would make sense to carry a second pair!

  4. Karen says :

    Leah, I was just talking to someone about the second pair idea. She did the Boston to Ptown AIDS ride years ago and brought several pairs of shorts to change (two pairs a day for three days). She said it helped.

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