While it is June, I wanted to have a look at my cycling from May. I cycled 19 days, which is down form the 23 I was able to cycle in April. Seems the rain that April usually gets was deferred to May this year. In these 19 days I biked 410 miles and logged 45 hours of physical activity, burning more than 30,000 Calories. The number of hours break my previous record set in October of 43 hours, but the number of miles does not break the record of 450 set in August. On average I biked 21.6 miles each day of activity. This doesn’t separate out skating for which I can’t track millage, so actual millage is slightly higher.
Pictured are all 410 miles for May. Much of it traces over the same paths to and from work. The image spans about 21 miles across and 12 miles vertically.
After yesterday's upper 80s and high humidity, this morning's temperature of 63°F (17°C) seemed rather chilly but most welcome. Today it was truly time for me to raise the bar. My longest ride in a single day was in late October at 51.6 miles, just beating a ride I made in late September at 50.23 miles, which beat the next highest ride of 44.45 miles. If I were to meet my goals for the day it would shatter these numbers.
While I have cycled to Devil's Lake twice before they were both one-way trips. I noticed that after a hike up the rock face I felt fairly rested and that maybe I could cycle back home. After all, the short version of this trip is only 32 miles, and by the time I was ready to try the ride I could already do 40 miles in a day. However, in October the days are so short I would not have had time to complete the trip before losing sunlight. And so this milestone would have to wait. Now, after a good start to my cycling season, averaging around 29 miles/day, and the weather finally cooperating, it was time.
The ride began just after 11:15 am after I rallied the team of people who would meet me at the lake for a hike. I already had 86 miles just from the last two days alone, but I did not feel fatigued. For the approach I wanted to take the slightly longer route the ran mostly parallel long highway 12, going through Roxbury and Sauk City. The segment from Sauk City to the lake is almost all along Highway 12, rather boring, and contains a slow 512 foot hill climb. But I had an audiobook on superstring theory. So by the time I reached this point of the ride was fine putting my head down, putting a bunch of torque the peddles, and concentrating on my reading material.
At the lake I could hardly keep my mouth moving fast enough to take in food at the rate my body desired to have it. In short order I met up with Noah, Maya, Steve, and Zach. Our plan was, after I finished shoveling food into my face, to hike up the rock face. Maya is only 4-years-old, but she was keen on climbing. I wasn't sure she was going to make it to the top without wanting to turn back,. While her shorter legs were a handicap she was very persistent, refusing help and wanting to figure out how to navigate her way to the top—and she made it. Kids. I knew they had endless amounts of energy, but the persistence impressed me. She led the remainder of the hike, keeping the rest of us jogging in order to keep up. When she found a rock face that met her fancy, she would scale it. When the rock face was too difficult for her tiny body despite giving it a lot of effort, she would seek out a new path. Never a request for assistance or pout for failed attempts. In fact, Noah said on their way up the main rock face they passed a boy who was probably around 13 and pretty unsure of his ability to climb, only to see a 4-year-old showing him how it was done. Well done Maya.
After a good hour and 45 minutes of hiking it was time to get back on the move. My shoulders, which are usually the weakest link in long rides, felt rested up and I was ready to attempt the trek home. For the return trip I would travel the east side of the lake. I had never traveled this way by bicycle before and found the trip began with a steady 558 foot climb, followed immediately by a 632 foot drop. The climb will isn't the most pleasant way to start a ride but it really was the only one. The drop might have been nice if it wasn't for the fact I had a pretty good headwind to limit speeds. Still I made it to Merrimac in good time and took the ferry across the Wisconsin River. Although I hadn't looked into the route too much I decided to head south west rather than north east. I had done the north east road before, and both paths seemed to loop to Lodi. Once in Lodi I kept to the south west to travel along Lodi Springfield road though Lodi Marsh State Natural Area. This portion of the ride I had done once before and really enjoyed the scenery. Once out of the natural area I worked my way to the village of Dane where it was time for a snack break. After that I only had 12 miles back home which was mostly a north-south set of road segments that, as most of my ride, leads to the Pheasant Branch Creek Conservancy.
I arrived home tired but not thoroughly exhausted. Had I needed I could have continued to peddle, but I was nonetheless ready for the ride to be complete. This milestone ride has been completed. Now time for the numbers.
The entire day consisted of 7 hours and 46 minutes of physical activity, with an hour and 41 minutes of that being a hike. The remaining 6 hours and 5 minutes were pushing peddles. In total I burned 4,666 Calories—more than twice the 2,050 Calories I require for a typical day. Total travel, including the 1.5 mile hike, was 76.3 miles, blowing past my previous record of 51.6 miles by almost 25 miles (50%). In addition, with a week full of longer rides, I have also destroyed by previous weekly mileage record of 177.07 miles, clocking in at 250.36 miles over the previous 7 days—a 41% increase. This also sets the record for hours of activity (23.39 hours/week) and calories burned 15,526 Calories/week. And I'm pretty happy with that. It will be awhile before I'm ready to challenge this personal record. Tomorrow I know I will feel today. But for now, I'm going to be pleased with the results.