Pony Express Days Century Ride

Yesterday I did the Pony Express Days century ride, which was actually 105 miles. We started at the Stake Center near Silver Lake, which is closer to home than the starting spot last year. With a 146 riders it was hard to find people I knew at the beginning. I ended up riding with Nate McArthur to Elberta, and we averaged about 17-18 MPH through the first two sections. I felt really good on the nine mile climb from Elberta to Eureka. I made it in 54 minutes, but this section seemed much faster than last year. After a ham sandwich, two cookies and Cheetos we headed down the hill. Nate had to take a pit stop, so he told me to go ahead. This was the section that started my misery last year. The wind was so bad I was only able to average about 13 MPH for the last 60 miles. This time I was closer to averaging 27 MPH to the next Aid Station. I even hit 34 MPH. It felt great to hit and hold such a high speed. Section five was almost as good as section four. Nate had to take another pit stop so I sped off for the next Aid Station so I could get out of my saddle. I averaged about 25 MPH on that stretch and it felt good to fly like the wind. I took a few extra minutes at the last Aid Station because I needed a break from my bike seat. Nate took off and I didn’t see him again for 10-15 miles. This was the hardest section because my energy level was up and down, and the wind became a factor. We pulled in to Cedar Pass Ranch and had a few quick hills before we dropped on to Pony Express Parkway for the sprint to the finish line. It felt good to have energy to sprint the last mile or so.
My riding time was 6:24:03. My elpased time was 7:45:55. My average speed was 16.1 MPH, with my maximum speed at 34.7 MPH. My average cadence was 86, with a maximum cadence of 126. I discovered that my optimum cadence is 88-92 RPMs. Based on my average cadence and time in the saddle I pedaled my bike approximately 33,000 times.
My legs feel great today. I’m a little sore when I stretch my quads, but I’m ready to ride again tomorrow. I felt so much better mentally and physically than I did last year. I was slower on the first two sections, but much faster on the fourth and fifth sections, and considerably faster on the last section. The course was a little bit different than last year and I liked it better. I hope to be able to do this ride every year.
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