It has been a while since I have updated everyone on my plans for routing my way from Memphis to Raleigh. This is such an important part of the trip and it is something over which I keep arguing with myself. I think I’m just going to have to make a commitment and do it.
If you are new to this endeavor you will find my plans here for Day One and Day Two. Those are the first two days of a seven day ride from near Memphis, TN through Greenville, SC and then on to a town near Raleigh, NC. That is around 700 miles that I’ll cover over those 7 days.
Day Three is going to be a challenge! While I will be facing some rollers in that those first two days, this third day is going to send me into an area with a bit more climbing toward the end. I also have myself putting in around 120 miles. This route from Collinsville, AL to Dawsonville, GA is going to be a gut check.
The thing I keep telling myself is that I am not limited by time. This is not a race. Though I wouldn’t want to do this (and don’t know that I physically could), I could fit 12 hours or more of riding into a day. That would mean I would be averaging 10 mph through that terrain. The scary thing is, that is about the average I would expect! Bottom line is, I’m going to have to turn the pedals with anger on those first two days out. I have a feeling I’m going to need to “bank some miles.”
Of course, my hope is that I will be able to average at least 15 mph for the whole trip. That turns a 120 mile day into a loooong but a manageable 8 hour day. I have completed several centuries at over a 20 mph pace (finishing at or under 5 hours), but that was on flat to slightly rolling terrain. Those efforts also left me spent. That isn’t going to work on a 7 day effort.
Have you figured out yet that this is starting to scare me? Folks, my confidence level isn’t very high right now. I take that back, I have no doubt I can do it. The thing is I am starting to realize just how bad this is going to hurt!
I’ve just got to plan the best I can. I’ve got to train as much as I can. Then I’ve just got to go out there and do it.