I did the 112 mile assault on mount sugarloaf in Clermont, FL on September 14, 2008. 112 miles! This is tied for my second longest ride ever! The picture above was kindly taken by a ride volunteer just after I stepped of my bike at the finish line.

Clermont was surprisingly full of terrain. A Pennsylvania native, this ride reminded me of the rolling farmland in the Lancaster, PA area. It was a refreshing change from the long, flat, straight A1A.

This was marketed as a training ride for traithletes involved in late seasons long course tri's, such as the Florida Ironman, the Hawaii Ironman, and the Great Clermont Traithlon. Because of this, there was a particularly fit crop of athletes in attendance.

I hadn't been doing many long rides heading into the assault, so I was fairly under-prepared. However, I felt strongest towards the last 20 miles, which is a great sign! These last two events - the tropical triathlon and this long ride - both show how my early season base miles have allowed me to continue to race with a high level of fitness even as my training has decreased. I am racing off the fitness I built in February.

I took plenty of pictures, and you can see all the pictures here.

The day was blue, clear, and pleasantly hot. The first 50ish miles were tremendously hilly. There weren't any long hills at all, just a lot of little ups and downs. After mile 50, it flattened out, and the ride went through an area people described as 'old Florida'. There were tree lined roads, no houses... you got the feeling that if you had a flat, it could be days before you saw any signs of life besides a 'gator. I saw a flock of birds take off from a swampy area. Judging by how big they were, it could easily have been a flock a taridactyl dinosaurs.

As always, I had a blast, and I feel thankful to have the opportunity to participate in such events.

Tip of the Week:

Watch Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. Pay particular attention to the advice the movie gives in regards to the word "just".


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