I think everyone knows this by now- I live in Michigan, which is also known as the Mitten State. It’s two peninsulas jutting out into four of the five Great Lakes, the largest (Lake Superior) of whose shores I live on. Michigan is sometimes lumped into the Midwest Stereotype- aside from the Midwesterners’ accents– that it’s flat as a pancake at sea level and full of cornfields. But its not (ok, maybe some of it is).
Where I live, in da UP, is quite… fun! Sure, there are no “real” mountains, nothing is really that long to climb up, but the glacial cut land near Lake Superior makes for a tough rolling bike ride if you want it to. This weekend, my buddies and I wanted to do just that. The plan was to do a 70-80 mile ride with the first 45 up some pretty tough stuff:
AJ and I rode our tri bikes, and Caleb and Karl rode their road bikes. AJ and I had a hard time keeping speed with the roadies, especially on some of the steeper climbs, but it was all well and good. My nutrition was dialed, in part because we ate a huge-ass breakfast before leaving Caleb’s (gluten free pancakes, fresh berries, bacon, potatoes, and coffee)- and also because I downed both bottles of fruit punch EFS (2scoops each) before we made it back to Caleb’s after 47miles and 2hrs40min.
It’s so difficult for me to describe how excited I am to be able to ride outside- in the UP in May- and sweat my butt off. Sunday’s ride was hot and humid, like a sauna. The Lake Superior ice bath afterward was looking better and better with every mile.
Luckily we made a loop, and our station was at Caleb’s house. After the first 45 miles, we were able to refuel and rehydrate.
The ride wasn’t actually too hard (although my legs were saying otherwise during the first three climbs), and I felt refreshed after hitting Baltic and knowing I had a nice, easy descent to Caleb’s house.
And the extra 25 miles we added on? They were flat. I even took a free token from Karl back to Caleb’s house, because my rear wheel/brake were rubbing and grabbing when I stood to climb. Annoying. It worked out well, though, because Karl grabbed his shoes and we did a transition run (albeit a little delayed) from Caleb’s house, where he and I ran a speedy mile and a recovery mile.
And for a post-workout recovery? Ice bath in the Portage Lake (fed by Superior) and a barbecue/pontoon ride at our friends’ new house. Talk about a perfect Sunday.