I can ride 106 miles
The distance definitely wasn’t an issue. Sure, I’m sore. Sure, I’ve got some chafing in places I’ve never been chafed before, but 60 miles or 106, there doesn’t seem to be much difference.
Not all downhills are equal
The 40 miles per hour on the nice hills felt safer than the 25 miles per hour on the cruddy roads. Downhills are great, nice downhills are better!
Peanut butter and jelly bagels are the best!
I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a food item as much as the bagels. Add in the Fritos for some great saltiness, and I really loved the food they had for fueling.
Road quality matters
See the downhills comment, and make it true everywhere. Regardless of the silent uphills and downhills, the same grade on a bumpy road makes 13mph seem tough, while a beautifully paved road without bumps makes 17mph feel simple. Fortunately, most of the roads were well maintained, but for being a “bike-friendly” city, there were definitely some poorly kept roads in the Davis farmland.
650s+Tri Bike < 700s+Road Bike
Not that this was any new learning, but a hilly, long course is definitely better on a road bike than a tri bike, and 650s are much better at rolling hills than long climbs. I did enjoy the drop bars on the downhills; having that much control while down on the bars felt awesome. The main reason I used my tri bike was to make sure I had more saddle time on it prior to Ironman Arizona, not because it was the right choice for the ride.
The Davis Bike club puts on great events
The food was great, the volunteers friendly, the amount of support fantastic… the Davis bike club was fantastic. It definitely makes me want to join a club.
Route arrows rock
I love the arrows from www.routearrows.com. Having the arrows tied to the color of the wristbands was fantastic, and they were easy to spot, seemed to deteriorate, and were the best road guides I’d seen.
I can ride through cramps
The worst part of the ride was cramping up at a few points on the ride. I had to get off and walk at a few places, because my legs were cramping beyond what I could take. I found I could ride through it on a flat, but definitely not on a hill. Either way, I made it back on after walking and stretching out the cramp, and that was a lesson worth learning.
Social rides are more fun
Talking with Josh for the first thirty miles, with the two gals we met around mile fifteen, with the old guy on cardiac hill… what’s really been different for me between running and cycling has been the social aspect. This changed that opinion, and for that, I’m thankful.
I can do Arizona
The most important lesson was that I can do Arizona. I’ve now done all three pieces of an Ironman separately, and I had no problem walking or jogging after the ride. Undertrained as I am, I’m now confident that I can finish Arizona.
The Route – I love my Garmin!
I love this map, so I’m definitely including it. Not part of the “10 lessons,” just something that I want to show off.