Tag Archives: BJU The Ride

I’m so dizzy

Wow. Five hours is a long time on a bike. Five hours on a bike going around a .85 mile course is a very long time on a bike. Five hours on a bike trying to average 20 mph around a .85 mile course is a very, very long time on a bike.

That is what I attempted on Saturday. I’d like to say I pulled it off, but unfortunately I can’t. However, I did manage to finish with 93 miles for my fund raising goal.

As I rolled out from my home to head over to campus for the ride, the rain was faintly spitting. The morning was cool, but comfortable. Running late, I made it just before the start and lined up with the seven or so other guys who were going to participate.

We stayed pretty much together for the first lap, but I knew I couldn’t keep that pace if I planned to get my target of 100 miles. I would have to get it going and thankfully Dave McQuaid was there to help me out. By the second lap the two of us started to ramp it up. A couple of other riders joined up for a short time to form a pace line.

It wasn’t long before it was just the two of us. Lap after lap passed and we were able to watch the average speed climb. After one hour in, we were averaging 20.1 mph. Best of all, I was feeling pretty good.

At two hours in we were holding our 20 mph average. Behind me I heard Dave say, “Two hours. 20 mph. I’m toast.” We nursed each other along for a bit, but I started growing concerned that we couldn’t maintain the average this way. So, I struck out on my own.

At three hours in, I was still at 20 mph. However, now it was starting to fluctuate. On certain portions of the course where it was flat or downhill, the average would tick over 20 mph. Then on a portion where there was a nice little hill, the average would drop to 19.9 mph.

Then I finished a lap that never saw 20 mph. I knew I couldn’t push it or I would end up worse off. So, I tried to just hold 19.9 and hope that I would have something left near the end to raise it.

At 3:30 in, I knew it was a lost cause. The computer ticked down to 19.8 mph average and I knew I would raise it from there. It was simple math. Unless I got a second wind, there was no way I would reach 100 miles.

Not only that, but I was starting to feel it. My legs weren’t cramping, but the lactate was building up to make my quads feel like bricks. My legs were sore. My recurring hip pain started to come back. From my hip, the pain was starting to work its way up my back. The old neck injury was also unhappy with me.

With one hour to go, I was dropping down to a 19 mph average. It was now just a matter of having the will to go to the end. I altered my goal and figured I would be happy just to hit 90 miles.

I’ve done it before. Actually, my very first century on the bicycle was a 5 hour century. Of course, that was on the flat roads of eastern North Carolina. Those little spikes each lap where I had to come close to 400 watts to get up that hill really took a toll.

At the same time, this is the third time I’ve participated in this ride. Saturday was the most miles I’ve managed. Perhaps I didn’t meet the goal, but by trying for the goal I exceeded any of my previous attempts.

By the way, remember Dave McQuaid? Well, he slowed a bit after the second hour. I managed to lap him once. However, I never passed him again. Once I did catch him, but I was so beat I couldn’t stay with him. He ended up finishing with 92 miles! Hey, not bad for a couple of 44 year old guys.

When I first started the Time-Crunched Cyclist training plan, the book mentioned that while the plan would help in the short criterium style races it would not be much of a help training you for longer endurance rides. Well, you can say that again! It is amazing how good I felt for those first two hours. It was amazing how bad I felt the last two!

Special thanks to all the guys who showed up — especially those who came expressly to help take the wind for us (like Matt Jaeggli). You don’t know how helpful it was to have you pacing us in those early laps. Also, thanks to Eric Ritchardson and his family who organized and supported everyone throughout the day. Through all the pain, it was a blast!

Around and around we go

To be honest, I’m not feeling like blogging right now. I’m pretty tired from my ride yesterday. Probably should have done a better job staying fueled and now I’m paying for it.

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Explaining the lap function to Thing Two (EddieHeltonPhotography.com)

The day was beautiful as Thing Two and I mounted our bikes to ride over to campus. Once we got there we found most of our mates getting their bikes ready for the five hour event. Just around noon we came together for the start.

Some of the most fun of the day was watching the youngsters who were joining us. Because we were riding a .85 mile circuit, it was possible to come across the elementary and middle school aged riders as we moved through the day.

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Little Caroline Hartzler on her way to 56 miles!

That means I had plenty of opportunities to ride with Thing Two around the course. Earlier in the week we went out and rode the Swamp Rabbit Trail for a total of 20 miles or so. This would end up being his longest ride.

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Doing laps with Thing Two

It did cause me a bit of an issue. I had a goal of 80 miles for the five hour ride. The plan was to stay with Jonathan Jr. for the early part of the ride as he worked for his goal of 30 miles. This meant I would ride along easy and then I would push it hard for several laps to try to increase my average. This was repeated for about 40 miles.

Thing Three also showed up to do a few laps with us. He would take a lap and then take a break to enjoy the atmosphere around the “start/finish” line. Seeing his intensity when he was out there put a smile on my face!

Photo by Hal Cook

Thing Three makes some laps

Three hours in and Jonathan had 41 miles. It was about that time the clouds we saw forming on the other side of Paris Mountain arrived. Now, a little rain isn’t enough to stop a ride, but when you can see the lightening bolts hitting around you it is time to take shelter.

I told Jonathan that as soon as we started feeling rain drops to head for home. Not knowing how long the storm would last, I didn’t want him having to hand around and wait. So, he started for home as the first drops began to fall.

I did one more lap and was riding in fear as the lightening bolts were flashing about the same time I was hearing them! That means things were really close. Just as I pulled in for cover the rain started to pour.

Photo by Hal Cook

Jonathan brings it home (Photo by Hal Cook)

I was very proud of my guy. I felt kind of bad that I sent him home when I did because the storm passed and I’m sure he could have picked up 10 or more miles to his total. He showed some grit. Having never ridden that far before he was feeling it in his legs… and in his seat!

For me, it was time to put the hammer down. Some of the riders were going to ride past 5 PM so they would get in the full five hours. I had to get home for an evening event, so I needed to get the pace up if I planned to reach my goal.

As my clock showed 5:01 PM when the distance on my computer reached 80 miles. There was a bit more distance before I reached the finish and the final tally reached 80.5 miles. That night sitting in the audience watching a three hour opera, I started to feel all 80 miles — especially those last 20!

Show some support for father and son time

I mentioned earlier that Thing Two and myself have plans for riding in BJU: The Ride 2011. I’m figuring I’ll get in at least 80 miles on the day and Jonathan Jr. has set a goal of 30 miles. I’m thankful for the people who have pledged to support him. I can see the encouragement in his eyes each time I tell him he has another pledge.

Jonathan, Jr. and me

Make a pledge at BJUTheRide.org

Right now, I’m coming straight out and asking you to sponsor either of us for the ride. This isn’t the 2011 Ride for Mike (more on that later) and I wouldn’t be asking except for the fact that I want Thing Two to see what can be done when we get a little out of our comfort zone. It is encouraging to see the wonderful hearts of people around us.

To give, just…

  1. Go to BJU: The Ride 2011
  2. Enter your contact information
  3. Use the drop down list to choose Jonathan Pait or Jonathan Pait Jr
  4. You can then choose the amount you wish to sponsor per mile and/or enter a single pledge
  5. Enter the optional information, if you wish
  6. Then click the Make My Pledge button.

We’re hitting the course next Saturday. It was fun last year to have some friends pop in during the 5 hours we were out there to give us some company. It was really nice to have some pulls now and again!

So, please consider pledging a few dollars for our ride. If you are in the area, plan on coming by the campus of Bob Jones University and taking a few laps with us. Either way of support is greatly appreciated!

Around and around we go

Hey, if you live in Greenville, ride a bike, and want to help me keep from losing my mind; consider coming over to the campus of Bob Jones University any time between noon and five o’clock today. I’ll be out riding around what would make a great criterium course on the back campus. Five other cyclists will be joining me as we raise money for a campus project.

If you can’t come ride a couple of laps with us to keep us company, perhaps you would consider supporting yours truly as I do my part to pedal. You can go by the BJU: The Ride Web site and learn more about the participants and also give a pledge. Either way of showing support would be appreciated… and I’m serious about inviting you to do some laps with us!

I did this last year. I didn’t make my 100 mile goal on that day. I’m not sure I’ll even try for that much today. I’ve got some people who have pledge an amount per mile though and I really do want to make them pay! 🙂

The five hour criterium course

The five hour criterium course

You can learn more about the ride at the official site or on Facebook. If you would like to join us and don’t know where to go, just ride onto campus and ask someone where the Davis Field House is. They can point you in the right direction and if you hang around for a minute or two, you’ll see one of us come riding by.

Join us for a couple of laps and then head off for your favorite non-repeating ride. Just make sure you come before 3 PM. If you come later, you might get wet. For us though, we’re riding rain or shine.