The month started out with me going after the Strava Climbing Challenge for March, which was to climb 4096 meters in 16 days. For us residing in ‘MERICA, that’s 13438.3 feet, which, well, is a lot, but given it could be spread over 16 days (March 7 – March 22), is totally doable. Wait, on a ‘bent… ‘bent’s can’t climb, can they?! Well, turns out they can, very well, and very slow, once you convince your legs and everything else. I was tracking quite well to finish the challenge with room to spare until I blew-out my rear derailleur (Sidelined, the hills are mocking me) and my disabled trike had to be dropped off at the Dr. for derailleurectomy. RecumbentPDX fixed her up right, however, the replacement derailleur was delayed getting out the door of their supplier, and I got my girl back with only a day remaining in the challenge, and about 6500 more feet of elevation left to climb. I gave it a solid effort, but only managed 2,543 ft. of climbing on my last right. Slowest average speed I’ve ever turned in, but also the most elevation gain I’ve ever knocked out in one ride. I’ll take it, the climbing challenge will come around again for me.
Having missed the climbing challenge for March, I was left feeling a little empty and decided I might as well try for the March Gran Fondo 100 (ride 100 kilometers or more in one ride this month). Now, a month or two ago I rounded off my longest ride thus far at around 52 miles, so I figured adding on about 12 miles more would be no problem. Well, last Thursday, with 75 degree weather, I nailed it! Lots of snacks were packed and consumed (thank you Honey Stinger for sponsoring #imnotdeadyet!), along with approximately 3 liters of water.
Honestly, the ride felt pretty easy, although, around the 40 mile mark I started getting pretty bad hot-foot despite my beloved Sidi’s (I think it’s a Kipp Ataxia thing at this point). Every 10 miles or so after, this was remedied by stopping for a few minutes to take my shoes off and massage and stretch my poor ataxic hammer toes. After the ride, aside from feeling like I needed to eat anything and everything in sight, I felt great, unstoppable really, almost good enough to try for the Gran Fondo 150 before the month was over. Then the next day happened, my calf muscles were so angry! I managed a recovery ride with some good friends this weekend, but my legs haven’t fully returned to normalcy until today!
I actually over-shot the required mileage for the Gran Fondo 100 and finished with just under 68 miles logged, and missing about 3000 calories somewhere in the process. Will I do it again? Absolutely! Alright, might have to wait another month or two, I better work up to that mileage a little better next time.
In the great words of Buzz Lightyear: “To infinity and beyond!”