My First 20 Mile Ride!!!

Click image to go to details and interactive viewer.

 After my race on Saturday (read about it here) I planned to go on a bike ride afterwards.  I had planned this with other 5k races but usually my legs and body felt too tired to try to string on a bike ride as well.  In a short time I have grown stronger and I guess more stubborn.  After two hours of recovery I ventured off for Sosebee Bike Parking lot and to complete twenty road miles  of laid out road routes.  As I set out on my twenty mile route, fully aware that my legs were sore, I  began to think of alternate shorter routes I could use as a fall back.  To date the longest ride I had completed was a very flat 12-14 miles along the Silver Comet Trail.  When I finished my ride I had ridden twenty hilly miles and my legs were dead… but I had ridden my first twenty mile ride.

I decided for this first twenty mile ride I just wanted to take the ride easy and not force myself to a specific speed.  I had previously ridden a mile of this course for practice, but had never experienced anything beyond that single mile.  I found out pretty quickly that this course had some pretty good hills, that really challenged my weary leg muscles.  This course had plenty of steep challenging climbs including one section that was a Strava Category 4 climb which is their lowest categorized climb(an explanation of their classification system is here).  I took the hills slow and methodical and worked myself into lower gears progressively.  As time wore on and new hills were reached, they became harder to climb as my legs were getting more fatigued.  I took it easy and found places to take a quick walking rest when needed.  I was not worried about riding at a set pace or making a specific speed.  There were some fun downhill sections that were  a little challenging as they incorporated some harrowing curvy steep road sections.

Elevation profile

The good thing about riding the hills and diversity of terrain on this course was the growth of my skills to shift gears and establishing balance on the bike.  I have had issues with balance since I started riding and I found it really was a matter of needing to spend time on the bike and gain some much needed time riding.  By the time I completed this ride I felt allot more confident and familiar with the bike and its function.  I still have difficulty reaching my water bottles confidently, but this is getting better the more time I spend on my bike.

A shared segment in Strava listed as category 4. Click for segment page.

I had never experienced riding on roads alone before and that was another experience that sometimes proved harrowing.  The only time I had ridden on roads was with my brother, riding alone at first was discerning, but felt better with time, I just tried to maintain my awareness of what was going on around me at all times.  Most of this road path is on smaller, less used local roads, yet there are a few sections that intersect or share  major highway lengths.  The only time I was super scared was when a car came flying over a hill with a steep curve and was in the wrong lane driving crazy.  Luckily the driver saw me and they veered back  into their lane.

The cool thing with this ride is that this road system contains tons of possible length options and I can use it to work on hill climbing and adding progressive miles to my rides.  Its also fairly scenic and beautiful in the fall.  Its really cool riding down these roads and being bathed in a shower of golden, sun touched leaves as you ride by.  While I went slow up and down these hills, I still had a really good ride and enjoyed myself up to the point where my legs did not want to work anymore.  Overall a really good day, 5k race in the morning with a PR and then riding my longest distance ride.  What a day.  Later that night I had one of the best sleeps of my adult life.  Til next time.



  1. Sounds like a great ride and you might be surprised on how well that might have helped the recovery from the run. Keep up the great work and have a nice Thanksgiving.

    1. Funny thing, I was sore and dead that evening, the next day I felt a little sore but nothing exceptional. I was a little surprised to not feel more sore after that hard day. Have a good thanks giving too. Feel better now that I am caught up.

  2. Challenging ride! My balance is terrible but on a bike I’m pretty steady, but certainly can’t drink from my water bottle. The gears are tricky, but a lower gear beats walking a bike uphill…depending on the incline I suppose. You’re doing great Chatt!

  3. Congrats on the 20, that’s great!

  4. […] My First 20 Mile Ride!!! ( […]

  5. nice job, you are really great at taking the data from your watch and posting it on the website for the reader to get a true sense of the course, distance, and terrain.

    1. Thank you. I like to try and share as I know its one thing I love to do is look at not only my rides but other rides and runs as well. It does help to see some of the data, I started to use Strava for my bike rides because it normalized the elevation data where as you have to pay to do that with training peaks.

  6. […] In some ways base 1 phase was a process of proving to myself  what I could possibly achieve if I continued with my training.  In comparison, my base 2 phase proved how far I could push myself and how far I had truly come as the result of my training. In this phase I pushed myself harder and stressed the levels of my endurance.  I added to my ability to swim, run and bike farther, to push myself up mountains and to run and bike through mental and physical blocks.  In swimming, I began to swim a mile worth of drills and have gotten closer to swimming a mile continuously, a feat I never would have dreamed of completing before I began this journey.  Biking wise, I have started to add miles to my legs and have fortified my mental fortitude when it comes to climbing steep hills. In running I have flattened out a little with increasing distance, but have continued to push myself and I even ran 3 miles including a very steep hill that had required walking before.  The biggest accomplishment involved stringing activities together, such as running a 5k with a PR then a couple hours later completing a grueling 20 mile hilly bike ride. […]

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