I tried to get a 6 hour ride in on my new cyclocross bike Sunday before the game. I've been on it a few times but all short rides, ~20 miles. I am interested in ultra rides so I need to start building the skills and knowledge before I go out and get shelled. I've ridden over 6 hours but never at a race pace and I haven't ridden 100 in a day so Sunday it was going to happen.
I started at 11am but conditions for a skinny tire we not very good and it was colder then forecast but I went anyway. The first 40 miles went fast and I was feeling good although my route was just grinding out the miles on a local walking path that is about 11 miles round trip so I was going to have to loop about 9 times. I wanted the route to be boring as well as close to my house. If I was going to learn anything about a hundy ride it was going to be mental as the miles were a sure thing, so I thought. If I was bored and close to home the pressure to quite would be a bigger challenge and I'd learn more about myself.
At 50 miles and almost 3 hours my right leg started to stiffen up. The tendons were tight and the hip was sore but I pressed on. Had some more snacks and some water on time, about every 45 minutes so I wasn't going to bonk and I wasn't pushing my pace as hard now to see that I didn't blowup but I was still in the 16/17mph range. At 60 miles I was really fighting of the stiffness. The tendon behind my knee was a piano wire but I made the turn for another lap and a modified goal of 75 miles but within 1000 feet I reconsidered that if I push past the pain too far something may tear and I'd spend 6 weeks in a cast while a tendon heals so I turned for home.
I limped in at 65 miles (3h54s) and could hardly walk without making involuntary grimacing sounds. Over the next two hours I rehabbed on the couch and took in about 3 liters of water so I think my failure was water based although I never felt thirsty and I was drinking during the ride based on time.
I learned a few things about eating on the ride and obviously more fluids. Putting the brain on a diet of pure boredom wasn't difficult but I underestimated physical breakdown.