Road to Exhaustion

No, not a remake of an obscure Hope/Crosby movie (does that date me or what).

No, I rode the road to exhaustion today.

I had been riding stronger. Each of the last two weeks I had finished my 52 mile North route. Last week with good weather and little wind I even finished at a 15.6 mph pace which is good for me.

I have been wanting to ride 60 since that would be an indication that maybe I could compete and complete a century ride this year. I had skipped last year after 2 years in a row. I did not have the legs for 60 last week. This week, I am bach-ing it for the weekend so I could go to sleep early on Saturday and not worry about being tired on Sunday.

Also, it was time to switch things up. I had not ridden the South route yet this year. The Southern route is more crowded as it goes through the Chicago lakefront path and even early in the morning it is lousy with bikers, runners, walkers, skaters and dogs. On the other hand it is far more scenic so South it was.

I flew from my house to the South Shore Country Club 22.5 miles away. Being an experienced rider I knew that I had not suddenly become Lance Armstrong on steroids (forgive the redundancy). No, I knew that the 17.5 mile pace was due in large part to the wind being at my back. Unfortunately I now had to ride into it for 22.5 miles home. And it was fierce.

I averaged about 12.5 mph on the way back. Each pedal cycle took incredible effort and sent needles of pain through my thighs. Not much fun.

As I finally willed myself to within a few miles from my home, I started thinking, “can I go 60 today?” “Nooo” was the response from my legs. “Do not even think about it.” “What about my normal 52 or at least 50. How can I justify riding only 45 today?”

My legs just laughed in that guttural hyena laugh that implies something other than humor. “You tortured us long enough, we are headed for the couch and you should really think about coming with us.”

What else could I say? What else could I do?

Today I rode the road to exhaustion.

About 48facets
What you read is what you get.

4 Responses to Road to Exhaustion

  1. paxromano says:

    But you tried, my friend, and that’s all that counts!

  2. Frank says:

    Tiring, baby…but ah so good. Nothing like leaving it all on the trail.

  3. 48facets says:


    I am a Type B personality living a Type A life. I can never decide whether or when trying is enough. I suspect bike riding is one of those things for which I can live with putting out the effort.
    I have to admit I like bragging about riding 100 miles and I feel the need to do it a few more times. But like any life long Cubs fan I am very familiar with “Wait until next year”.


    I did leave it all on the trail. Now I have a general idea of what it must be like to bike up hill all the time.
    What was the name of that hill in Philly you and Charlie took me to on our ride?

  4. Frank says:

    That’s called the Manayunk Wall. Crazy uphill!

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