Monday, May 20, 2013
by Mark Beckwith
Today is the first day in a long time I don’t have imminent travel plans, so I can get focused on knocking out this Oklahoma Freewheel deal.
I don’t like to brag, well, too much, but you know, I have been riding for a long time, since well before many people reading this were born in fact. During that time I have logged enough miles to ride around the world more than twice. I have a a pretty good idea what my body can and can’t do.
So today was to be a complete acid test to assess how bad it looks for getting my sorry butt in shape riding over 500 miles in 7 days in less than a month. I had occasion to ride to Tulsa to pick up my car since I had parked it there to fly (one way) to the Dayton Hamvention where I was a featured speaker giving a talk about my recent trip to Montserrat, and also a featured artist singing with the Spurious Emmission band, a Dayton Contest Supersuite tradition.
Yesterday, I rode back in a motorcoach owned and operated by my good friend Bruce Burnette, K5PX, in the company of eight other good old boys from Oklahoma. They dropped me off as close to Bartlesville as they passed, where the lovely Kathryn Stewat was waiting to pick me up and take me home. All this under a Tornado Watch – welcome to Oklahoma in the Spring.
I thought I would see how badly I could kill myself riding 46 miles when that’s about the most I’ve ridden in a whole week in my recent history of starting-and-stopping training for this beast. I thought, “I’ll leave at sunrise and give myself all day and just see how bad it is.” I also secretly thought that if I could do it in less than 3 hours, I would be cooking with gas, if you know what I mean.
In the latter case, if I could make it in under 3 hours, I would know I was not deluding myself with this Oklahoma Freewheel thing, and in the weeks remaining I could get myself into good enough shape to finish the miles, raise the badly needed money for Nevus Outreach, and not embarrass myself too badly.
So I’m here to tell you I did it in under 3 hours. 2 hours and 58 minutes, to be exact. Not as good as the time I rode the Santa Barbara Century in 4h58 (that’s an average of over 20MPH for 100 miles if you’re interested), but hey, I did that when I was younger.
But hey, it’s not a race. At least that’s what they always say when they want to make you feel better. All I want to do with the Oklahoma Freewheel is to finish each day’s riding before lunch time, so I can beat the heat of the day, blog about it, and nap. So I can be rested when Taylor finally pulls in.
I made this little video that says more about it. You should watch it; It's only 35 seconds long.