Friday, December 30, 2011

Festive 500 - final day

Day 8 – The Final Countdown

I had to work today, so I wasn’t sure whether I would find the time to finish the challenge or not. Wife was working and daughter was at an extended play date with the neighbor’s kids. At lunchtime I decided to go for a ride. The plan was to cover at least 60K, leaving as little as possible for tomorrow.

Skipped lunch (a really smart way to go when leaving for 3h+ rounds, not!), got dressed and left. The temperature was just around freezing point, leaving me with the hard choice whether to switch back to studded tires or stick with the slick ones from yesterday’s ride. I went for the daredevil option and kept the slicks. Only downside to this was a bit of cowardly driving through corners and curves, but I stayed upright through the whole ride.

Lake Bornsjön - a perfect place for tempo training
Brook of the day!
Cycling roads shouldn't be wider than this - can you spot the bike?
It was colder today. After some 15K I realized that I had forgotten to put my overshoes on. Not smart since my toes are really susceptible to cold. However I had my winter shoes on, so I figured “what the heck” and went on. Funnily enough it wasn’t the toes that turned out to be a problem; instead it was my fingers that lost tactility during the end of the ride. Nothing that a hot shower couldn’t cure though.

I actually met two other riders on the road today; one guy whom I caught up with some 25K into the ride and another that passed in the opposite direction. I rode with the first guy for a couple of K’s and had a nice chat. It turned out that he was a former pro, having competed with some of Sweden’s greatest cyclists during the early 80’s (Tommy Prim among others).

View of the day!
Ice or dampness? Hard to tell...
Strengthened by this encounter I decided to go all the way today. I resisted the urge to stop at the Rosenhill Café (a place frequented by Stockholm’s cyclists). I tried a new road which turned out to be the pothole road from hell. And the suddenly the cycle computer showed that the ridden distance of the day surpassed 87K. I had passed the challenge! At the end I logged 95K in 3:35 for a total of 508K.

To sum up: 7 rides for a total of 508km done in 19h and 39min, average speed of 25,9km/h. Considering weather conditions and the fact that I’ve done all the rides solo, I think that it is fairly ok.

The "proof" from Strava.
Over and out for this year! It’s been a real pleasure and I’m really looking forward to receiving my badge. Happy new year!

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