Last Monday saw me returning to the Ironman Wisconsin bike course for a couple of loops. This ride was not on my training schedule, and I hadn’t ridden more than around 45 miles this year, but I figured, why not? I was already in the area visiting family. I saw it as a good chance to get out and get some good hill training in.
I had a beautiful day for the ride, so I took it easy, actually enjoying some of the scenery. It is easy to forget to do that when training, especially on an Ironman course. You get so wrapped up in cadences, heart rates, watts, and miles per hour that sometimes you miss the sweeping landscape right in front of you.
The ride was relatively uneventful until 60 miles in, almost exactly halfway through the second loop. Riding along I suddenly heard the dreaded, “PSSSSSSSSSSSSH!!!!” sound erupting from my back tire.
“Well, by golly it looks like I am fortunate enough to have an opportunity to practice changing a tire,” I said, not at all angry or cursing the pebble, nail, or other item that had interrupted my ride.
A while later, and with hands black from grease and oil, I continued my ride. I was faced with a choice as I was halfway through the loop: Go back or finish the loop. Going back was technically the better choice since it would have taken me through two towns, and avoided the three infamous hills of the course and Stagecoach Road. (Fun fact: Stagecoach Road gets its name due to the fact that the last time any work was done on it was when stagecoaches traveled on it.)
I chose to continue. As I said, I wanted to ride the hills. Fortunately fate did not punish me for riding without a spare tube and CO2 cartridge. I made it back to Verona at 77 miles and cranked out 3 more to make it an even 80. Truth be told I would have loved to do the extra 20 to make it a century ride, but I decided I had tempted fate enough by riding the hard part of the course without any repair tools or support.
All in all a good day. I plan to make it back up to Madison again this summer and get a 100 miler in. Plus, Madison is a great town and I wouldn’t mind taking my time on the trip. I’ll probably make the local Pedaling for Kicks a big ride, so I have options.
Rev3 Dells relay next weekend. Check back for a race recap!