Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sometimes the best motivation is necessity.

Yesterday I took off from Rice Lake, WI to ride my bicycle home to Roseville. I had tentatively planned the option to do so, but hadn't really 100% made up my mind that it was something I wanted to do. I would have been more convinced that I wanted to, if the weather was a bit warmer. I was not as excited about the prospect of riding for 7 hours in 35 degree weather.

Once out the door and on the way though, there was no turning back. My wife and children would have likely been gone on their own way in the van by the time I had returned to the hotel. So, no turning back.

I'd had calendar plans that sometime around now I would be out to get in the first century ride of the season. I think that I would have been hard-pressed to find the motivation to do so in 35 degree temperatures had I left from home and done some sort of out and back or loop type ride.

Instead I found myself in Rice Lake, WI for an overnight complete with bicycle. I'd made little in the way of preparations and planning as far as the route home. The tentative idea was to somewhat re-trace the route I had used a little less than a year ago to get to Rice Lake. I'd made a few copies of the sections of road from the Wisconsin bicycle maps.

No bike computer, no clock, 35 degrees with a wind out of what felt like north-northwest. Phone continued to beep at me from inside my pannier as an occassional reminder that the battery was low. I made a few miss-turns, made up a somewhat winding route through the quiet rural roads of Wisconsin. A mix of gravel and unmarked asphault roads made up the route.

I managed to eventually find my way home despite a few wrong turns, stops to check the map, and a couple of out-and-back-dead-ends. As best I can tell from mapping out the route it looks like it was almost 110 miles. Made it home in just over 7 hours. Not bad for early season preparations for TransIowa. Felt good to make it home and take a hot shower.

It looks like with the ability to dump out the raw elevation data from MapMyRide that they have their accumulated ascent and descent calculations incorrect. Looks like 1,324.48 feet of climbing and 1,503.52 feet of descending.

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