Who’s up for 180km on Father’s Day?

I’m thinking about doing something really stupid this weekend. A 180km ride. On Father’s Day.

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This should come as no surprise really. I’ve got a history of doing stupid things – signing up for Ironman New Zealand is a perfect example!

Only a week ago I blogged about how the epic rides were off the schedule. But the lure of cycling the ironman distance is strong. My bike fitness is pretty high right now and will obviously drop significantly over the next month or two as training takes a back seat to baby-rearing. I should be physically strong enough to be able to complete it and that would give me a lot of confidence heading into a long break. And maybe it will validate this 15 week training block so I can go into the break feeling like I’ve actually achieved something. It is rather strange to be training with no imminent race/goal. Crossing the 180km barrier will feel much more satisfying than seeing WKO+ tell me my bike CTL has reached 35. Besides, it would be a fun challenge and would surely leave me hammered!

I expect a 180km ride, on the flat, would take me about 7-8 hours. It will be a solo ride. I could hook in with a bunch ride for part of it, but I want to do the whole thing solo – a la Ironman! My longest ever ride is 120km. My longest ride recently is 100km/4hrs about two weeks ago. This is a significant step up!

Why Father’s Day? Well that’s just unfortunate timing really. With the baby fast approaching (due 12 days from today) this will be my last weekend ride of any length. And even now I need to take into account the fact that the baby could come early, so I need to be monitoring the phone, and not straying too far from home!

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So Sunday is my ride day. But Sunday is also Father’s Day. If I go out Sunday I could leave 4AM and be back by midday. And the 180km would add into this week’s total, easily toppling my longest ever week of 324km. BUT, Father’s Day should be breakfast in bed from the kids, gifts (for me, for ME!) and then a family outing. And if I tried to delay the fun till lunchtime, imagine the carnage at home if I got a flat tyre and was waylaid an extra hour or two? And how wasted would I be that afternoon anyway?

Hmmm. Dilemma. What to do? Do the right thing? Or do the selfish thing? Well, that kind of answers itself right there doesn’t it? I’m a triathlete so I’ll do the selfish thing! It looks like I won’t be riding on Sunday! Kindly, The Wife has offered me Monday morning as a Father’s Day gift (training time – the best gift a triathlete can ever get!). So it’s on for Monday.

But now, how to do it? Should it be 1x180km, 2x90km, 3x60km, 4.5x40km…? I’ve got a few circuits in mind:

  • 180km Broadbeach to Byron Bay return. This is on flat fast roads which a lot of the local Ironman triathletes use to time trial on. But it is on the shoulder of a frickin’ highway! I haven’t ridden it before and I’m not sure about soloing along there for the first time…
  • 2x90km Kingscliff/Terranora circuit. I’ve ridden this recently but it is a bit hilly and takes me 4 hours. Doubling it will be too much.
  • 3x60km Broadbeach-Coolangatta loop. This loop has the feral magpie (four hits to the head last time we met). That would be 6 swoops – an hourly swoop to keep me awake! Hmmm. No thanks!
  • 4.5x40km Burleigh-Spit loop. Unfortunately this loop has lights, roadworks, and will get busier with pedestrians/parking/traffic as the day goes on. Not such a good option.

I’m sure the temptation to bail out during the ride will be STRONG, so the further from home I am, the more likely that I complete. But then again, I don’t want to be 4hrs from home when I get the “My water’s broken!” phone call! Realistically, I’ll have to stay within an hour’s ride of home.

Oh well, I’ve got the weekend to come up with a plan. Of course, I could always do 180km on the windtrainer in the garage! I’ll let you know how that goes!

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