Friday, August 21, 2020
My third longest Porsche bike ride ever
Continuing my training for the 184.5 mile C&O Canal Towpath ride later this year, I rode 100 miles on the 1998 Porsche Bike S today on the C&O. This happened to be my third longest ride on a Porsche bicycle. The longest by far was the 129-mile Death Ride on the 2004 Porsche Bike X. After the Death Ride, I now have a pair of 100-mile Century rides on the 1998 Porsche Bike S.
I got up early this morning and transported the Bike S on the back of the Cayenne S to the Carderock/Bethesda C&O parking area and was on the towpath trail by 7 AM. I figured 100 miles would take seven plus hours, so an early start left afternoon "drinking time" to celebrate if I completed the Century.
My last Century ride on the Bike S was the Sacramento Century in 2016. That ride was part of an event that included mostly flat and all paved roads around the California central valley delta. I was at a disadvantage with a mountain bike compared to those on road bikes and the brutal headwind didn't do me any favors, but today's ride was harder.
The C&O (Chesapeake and Ohio) is a 100% dirt trail. It's mostly flat, but the trail ranges from freshly resurfaced, to rocky and muddy sections. A road bike here is a disaster. I blew passed two guys trying to make road bikes work today. I could tell they wouldn't last long. So, the C&O is hard on the bike and rider making it more difficult to ride 100 miles than the Sacramento Century, in my opinion.
Today's ride started in a rough section with lots of rocks and continued along some amazing scenery including canal-lakes on one side and the Potomac River rapids on the other. Next up was the muddy section. I tried to plow through it, but it does slow you down. Then the trail smoothed out with the recently resurfaced area from Whites Ferry to my 50-mile turn-around point just before Harpers Ferry. I made good time through this resurfaced portion.
The ride out I saw lots of deer and the ride back, later in the morning and early afternoon, was full of deer, turtles, squirrels, a beaver, a snake and lots of birds. The C&O never disappoints when it comes to wildlife.
For the most part, my riding was good. I did average 13.4 MPH today. The Sacramento Century I averaged 14.1 MPH. I'm not surprised I was slower. The rougher surface did have an impact on my entire body, particularly my wrists and lower arms. I also had to walk the bike through a detour section, that didn't help but was nice to get off the bike for a bit! I did fair better today than on the 73-mile C&O ride. Today's ride I had raised the handlebars, adjusted the bar-ends and even made an effort not to grip the handlebars as tightly. With all of that, my lower arms were still far worse off than my legs and seat after 100 miles. I'm not used to a rough surface for so long, apparently.
Today's ride was rough in many ways, but good training. I've now completed 178 miles on the C&O. I hope all this training helps with the 184.5 mile ride this fall.
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