Cause and effect

Sunday was my first 50 mile bike ride. I was a little tentative to agree to ride to the end of the Gateway trail and back. Prior to Sunday I had never gone more than 30 miles in a day, let alone 50 all at once. Sunday turned out to be a great riding day. It was partly cloudy, in the upper 70’s and a slight breeze. Matt (Steph’s brother) showed up around 10:30, I was still filling up my water bottles, grabbing my shoes and sunglasses. Eventually we got rolling, no pun intended. We were going strong, Matt a little stronger than me. I’d spent the entire week biking, to rest the knee from all the pounding it takes running, so my legs were a little fatigued…I’m not used to riding 4 or 5 days out of the last 7. Plus, when Matt is in aero and decides to take off I have to give it everything I have to try and keep up. A few times I just fell in his draft and ‘sucked some wheel’.




Cause: Mother Nature conjured up a good storm.

Effect: The ground gets wet, leaves and branches fall to the ground.



We had some good storms the day before, this left the trail full of leaves, twigs and water. Sucking wheel left me a little dirty! (Picture to come). Part of the trail was under construction in North St. Paul, Matt thought he knew how to get around the short cut so I just followed him. We didn’t follow the signs but eventually cut back to the trail about 20 feet before we were supposed to.


Cause: Riding through mud.

Effect: Back tire slips.



We road through about 20 feet of mud and puddles and were back on the blacktop. I was very happy when I hit the blacktop with both wheels…my back tire spun a time or two…I almost ate mud the second time.
I had never been on the Gateway Trail before, it was pretty nice. I only have two complaints…

1. The long drawn out uphill stretches. You know the ones where you are gasping for breath at the top and you legs have that deep leg burn (at least after a few of them).

2. All the cross streets you have to slow down at. Matt and I had a really good average going ( at least for me ), we did 17.1 on the way out. I reset my cycle computer to clock the way back, we were pushing pretty hard for a while and our average was around 19.6. When we hit all the roads where we had to slow down or stop for traffic the average dropped to the mid 17 range. When I finally made it home my average was 16.9…the last few miles were brutal. Stop lights every 6 blocks and Matt turned off 3 miles before the end because he lived right there.


Cause: Expelled a ton of calories riding and gave away my second pack of shot blocks.

Effect: Very hungry during the last 15 miles and an almost sick feeling afterwards because I was so hungry.



Matt and I hit the turnaround and jumped off our bikes for some water and food. Matt had a hammer gel and I had two packs of shot blocks. Matt had never had them so I threw him 1 pack to try, I ate the other. I didn’t even think about not having enough energy to get back, we talked about DQ, Burger King and Subway half the way up after we passed the three restaurants in short succession of each other. Well, by the time we were back in town riding past these eating establishments neither or myself wanted to eat. We both thought we would just get bogged down and not be able to make it back. After we were off the trail, back in St. Paul, we hit up an SA gas station for an electrolyte filled beverage to sustain us the last 5-7 miles.


Cause: Rode 50 miles on a bicycle.

Effect: Very sore and tired legs.



To Recap: I went for a 50 mile bike ride on a nice day. I got very dirty, head to toe…I think the bike was worse. I took my road bike off road through the mud. I didn’t eat enough food to last a 3 hour workout. I finished 50 miles with roughly a 17 average. My legs were tired and sore…IT WAS A GREAT DAY!

Formulaic  – (June 11, 2008 at 1:42 PM)  

Way to go!

50 miles is no small task. And that was a nice average too.

There is nothing better than riding for 50 miles and looking at the calorie deficiency. 3000+ calories! Nice way to start a day.

Be careful to bring enough food. Nothing is worse than a bonk out in the middle of nowhere.

Pharmie  – (June 11, 2008 at 4:18 PM)  

So glad you had a great day! I haven't seen the muddy pics yet, put I'll harass Steve to get them to you :)

Molly  – (June 12, 2008 at 9:02 AM)  

So glad you had a great day!
Rest those legs!
Take Care!

Lana  – (June 12, 2008 at 9:57 AM)  

Great ride!!! Shot Bloks are my fuel of choice on the bike...you can't beat 'em!!

J~Mom  – (June 12, 2008 at 3:37 PM)  

Sounds awesome!! I get so hungry riding..more so then anything else!

Colleen  – (June 12, 2008 at 9:21 PM)  

Way to go - 50 miles is a big deal, especially since you've been biking all week leading up to it!!! Can't wait to see the mud pictures - I've been there before and it's not fun!

teacherwoman  – (June 14, 2008 at 9:25 PM)  

Nice ride, man! Wahoo! So, how do YOU fuel up after a ride like that?

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