I did my first half century (50 mile) ride on June 12, 2020! I averaged about 12 miles per hour for a total of 4:12 moving time. I’d like to get it a bit faster; the Great Allegheny Passage is relatively flat (according to my Apple Watch, I did 818 feet of elevation gain), but I definitely need to pace myself a bit better. Here are a few things that I’m keeping in mind for my next attempt:
Pacing myself better. Looking at my splits, there’s a pretty steady decrease in speed. You can really see where I started to die at around mile 35.
Bringing lots of food. I brought a bagel, an apple, and some celery. I didn’t think that I’d need it but figured it would make a nice meal if I ever felt like stopping, since it was around dinnertime. I didn’t realize just how much fuel is needed when burning >1,800 kcal in one session. Next time, I’m packing some Clif Bars (and maybe another apple).
Drinking more water. I see people online talking about drinking multiple bottles, but I actually did not finish one bottle. (Granted, it was a rather large bottle, probably equivalent to two regular-sized bottles.) I need to consciously drink more water to avoid dehydrating.
Packing lighter. My backpack is a bit heavy. Next time, I’m just going to bring a seat bag and some bottles.
Replenishing electrolytes. Around mile 40 (coming into the Waterfront on the way back), my left foot started cramping up, and I had to stop for a bit. I assume this is because I did not replenish lost electrolytes effectively enough; I’m thinking about getting some Nuun hydration tablets for my next major trip.
Wearing proper bike shorts. I’m not 100% sure if this is necessary (I might try another half century and see how I feel), but I was kind of sore for the rest of the day. Some more cushioning might make it more comfortable, although it seemed to go away the next day anyway.
Leaving earlier. Because I left so late, I actually ended up missing part of ACF large group! Cycling is also less fun after dark.