On Saturday morning I awoke at 3:45am to take a shower and get prepared to begin a 400km bike ride that started at 5am. I should add that I was as prepared as I could be at that point, other than dressing myself, everything else that I needed for the ride as been taken into account days and weeks before. 400km is a bit hard to comprehend, even when I give it the American equivalent of 250 miles. I usually look at distance from point to point- so it would be the distance if I rode my bike from my home in Philadelphia to Richmond, Virginia, or from New York City to almost the border of Maine and New Hampshire.
As one can see from the ride profile, it was a varied course(almost 19,000 feet of climbing) which included a cross over the Appalachian Trail. It is rather difficult to gauge the severity of climbs by looking at these types of charts until you have done enough of them and it starts to make sense. Let’s just say, it is tough.
The ride went seemless and smooth. No mechanicals, my body felt great other than a little saddle sore from lack of chamois cream, and I still felt fresh when I finished. My bike has performed very well, given it is was not originally intended for this type of bicycling. It is an early 1980s Eddy Merckx, that I installed 700 x 28c tires(the largest the frame would allow), Schmidt Dynohub with Edelux headlight affixed to the fork with a plastic clamp for a reflector and a Carradice handlebar bag. I also outfitted it with a TA Pro 5 Vis crankset with a 46/30 chainring combination. The bike is fast but lack of braze-ons for fenders, front bag support, and lights were definitely a big drawback. I have now ridden it in this current state for over 1250miles in less than 3 months, and have only had one punctured inner tube. That’s pretty good.
All that said, I can’t wait to ride my new bike(Hanford built by Simon Firth), currently at the painter(Peter Weigle), getting painted. One more ride until I am qualified to ride Paris Brest Paris.