During rides with long stretches, I’ll often hit a “zone” whereby I’m simultaneously tuned into and out of every sensory aspect of the ride. It’s kind of hard to grok, but while I notice every pebble and bounce of my bike’s metal beam, I am at the same time be oblivious to the passage of miles. I’ll track the proximities and trajectories of cars, dogs and other cyclists, but I’d be hard-pressed to name the color or make of either.
After the crowd thinned out, I was happily in deep thought. I had been following a rider for a few miles when she introduced herself and made a comment about a friend who hit a rock because he had been paying attention to the women riders’ butts. She dropped back a bit to let me block the wind for a while — I’m a natural at this — or perhaps ponder her previous statement. What is the sound of one hand clapping? What is the sound of one hand clapping? What is the sound of one hand clapping?
This was the busiest populaire I’ve been to. However, by mile 25, I was off in my own little world for good. Somewhere, I think near Kelly Road, I missed the turn that would have taken me to the secret control. I didn’t realize this until I had already hit the espresso stand at 12:15 (mile 42). The guy stamping cards gave me an awkward look, then I noticed another rider had a colorful stamp from the control I missed. I’m not sure if it would have been sufficient to backtrack to the control, or if would have had to do the whole segment again, or what, but I figured I’d just enjoy the ride back.
The double-shot mocha helped me up Union Hill through Redmond. They (wisely) routed us through Marymoor park (the segment between points 17 and 18 on the map) where I joined the Sammamish River Trail for the nine mile blast back. It was finally starting to warm up and pedestrians were walking three-file along the trail. Unlike last weekend, I didn’t see the infamous Sammamish River Trail chickens bobbing along the path.
Had I not overshot the second secret control, my time for the 65.9 miles would have been 5:20, or 13.3mph on-bike average, pretty dang good for me.