I went up to Oklahoma this weekend and took my bike because the weather was supposed to be great. Hot but good. I wasn’t sure how far I wanted to ride so I decided to just ride the loop that includes Marilyn and then see how it sent from there.

I left the house at about 7:15 AM so I could get my ride in before it started to get hot. When I took off it was a very nice 65F but when I returned three hours later it was already 87F and topped off at about 93F for the day.

The first section of my rides is what I call Marilyn because it has curves like Marilyn Monroe. Up and down hills of varying grades and lengths for about 8 miles. I’m very glad to say that I road it’s length in the big chain ring and had a much easier time than the last time I road this section about a month ago. I did run into the same two dogs as last time though but had no problems just dialing up the speed and leaving them behind.

water-bottlesAfter finishing this first tough 8 miles I decided I was thirsty and reached down to grab a water bottle. My hand grasped nothing but air. I looked down and my water bottles weren’t there. I left them sitting on the back bumper of my mom’s car. The picture to the right shows them after I got back. Right where I left them. I didn’t let it bother me too much because I knew at about the 12 mile mark there was a store I could stop at to get water which is what I did. I downed a bottle of gatorade and refilled it from another water bottle I had bought. Unfortunately they didn’t have any squirt tops so I had to mess with a screw-on top for the ride. No biggie. At least I had water.

Upon leaving the store my computer showed 12.5 miles. If I headed for home I would only get about 15 miles in. I could do the loop again but really didn’t feel like it. I decided to head due east from the store on Hwy 70 for 10 miles and then turn around to head back.

Hwy 70 is a four-lane road divided highway for about 8 miles from the store where I got water. The shoulder is easily 6 feet wide and the surface was in great shape. There was very little traffic which made the riding great. It actually had quite a few hills with a couple that were kinda tough. Most of the hills were anywhere from .25 to .75 miles long with a pretty constant grade which means I could just settle into a good rhythm and pound it out.

As I said earlier I headed due west for 10 miles. I checked my computer and I had ridden 22.5 miles at a 15.2 mph pace. If I turned around then it would put me at 32.5 back at the store and then about 2 miles back home. What I wanted to do was not let my pace suffer.

Heading back was tougher than I thought. It could be that it was getting hotter but for some reason I don’t remember going downhill all that much on the outbound trip so I was wondering where all the hills came from on the way back. Funny how our mind plays tricks on us like that. A couple of the hills gave me some trouble but I just grinded it out all the way home.

When I got off I checked the computer and it showed 34.5 miles with a 2 hour 20 minute ride time and a average speed of 15.1 mph. I was ecstatic. That was the longest I’d ridden in 15 years and I only lost .1 mph on the 12 mile return trip. It was a great ride and I feel pretty confident I could have easily done another 10 or 15 miles. Maybe more.