It seems like most people didn't get my attempt at humor when I wrote about 56 miles being "only" 56 miles. I definitely think that it is a long distance, though in time it will feel short, and 60 miles is a huge accomplishment for us.
Mike and I set out with a different route in mind yesterday, though. We have this goal of riding around all of the thirteen Finger Lakes (there are 11 major and 2 minor). We have already ridden around two of them: Conesus and Honeoye. This weekend we thought we would knock another one off of the list, Canandaigua Lake.
Canandaigua Lake is special to us. We got married at the top of the lake in Canandaigua in Kershaw Park, which is ironically where triathletes go to do open water swims and where the Finger Lakes triathlon is held every year (we were not runners or triathletes when we got married).
And I guess people bring their horses in the lake too
The gazebo where we got married
We ended up not riding right by where we got married because we changed the route about 12 miles into the ride. It was already really hilly, and we weren't even on any of the rated hills yet (if we had done our intended route we would have had over 2,000 feet of elevation gain).
The route turned into an out and back, the easiest option so that we didn't get lost, and we rode down into Naples at the bottom of the lake. What we didn't know is that even though we did cut out worse hills, there were still two rated hills on our ride. Going down those hills was fun, going up them not so much. Let's just say my slowest mile in the entire 60 mile ride was 7:49 (7.7 mph) going up the first rated hill and my fastest mile was 2:16 (26.3 mph) going down the first unrated big hill (with the downhill of the first rated hill not far behind).
We only encountered a few other problems on the ride, first there was this dog that jumped out at us on the way to Naples. I saw him come crashing down the hill from his house and try to chase Mike, and after I went by him he did the same thing to me. Needless to say on the way back I kept my eyes peeled for him and just as I thought he might not be outside anymore, he jumped out at us. He was closer to us this time since we were on the same side as his house and I had to ride into the road to get away from him. The scream I let out was probably in the top five of my lifetime.
Unfortunately, then I was scared of a bunny crashing through the woods a little while later.
The other problem that we encountered was my first popped chain during a ride. Mike was in eyesight of me when it happened, but unfortunately he didn't hear me yelling for him. After it happened I pulled over and got off my bike. I don't know how to fix a popped chain, yes I am going to learn now, so I just stood there staring at it. I could tell that's what the problem was because it was hanging there loosely, but I didn't want to attempt to fix it by myself in case I made it worse.
Luckily, this happened right near a pull off where people go fishing and this fisherman heard me yelling for Mike and came to see what happened. I asked if he knew how to fix a chain, and he said that he hadn't done it since he was younger. He attempted to fix it anyway and luckily it worked! In Mike's defense he does come back or wait for me if I get too far behind, and this was the first time we have had any issues like this happen, and he was on his way back to look for me. I caught up to him and we continued on our way.
It's hard for me to describe how proud I am of us. Mike and I work really hard at this and sacrifice a lot to become better triathletes, some people think we're crazy and others look at us with admiration. We're just two regular people who fell in love with this sport and way of life and we're on our way to making our dream a reality.
60 miles is over the distance the we need to ride for our 70.3 in about a month. Even though it was tough with the hills, the wind, the rain, the popped chain and the dog, I had an amazing time and the time in the saddle flew by even though we were out there for more than 4 hours. I have a goal now for the bike leg of Musselman, which is challenging as well but has less elevation gain than the route we did yesterday, and I know I can achieve it.