Monday, April 15 – West Frostproof to Moore Haven

3:30 AM is dark. Betcha didn’t know that.

The initial mile felt slow and tired. But I settled in, knowing it was going to be a long day, and my last 70+ day on route.

Picked up speed a little on a slight downhill grade, and my legs got warmed up. The music was pumping and I just kept going.

Looking at the GPS I wanted to be at the first stop by 4:45 AM, shaving 4 minutes off the projected time. I made it with one minute to spare. Took a five minute break and got more fuel and was back at it.

Checked the GPS and projected time for 37 miles (the next stop) was 6:28. So I set another goal – 40 by 6:30. Which I didn’t make. It was 6:31. Grabbed some water and hard boiled eggs and was back on the road even quicker. Halfway done before sunrise is great, but once the sun gets up all bets are off as to how far I could get before I hit diminishing returns.

At 50 miles in I had been on the bike under 4 hours and still feeling strong. Not sure where the energy came from, but my legs were feeling pretty solid.

At the 56 mile break I told Randy I wanted to be done by 10 AM and jumped back on the bike with an ETA of 10:02 and restarted my watch.

At the 58 mile mark I looked at my watch and noticed that I was just over 4 hours and 30 minutes. Could I cut the 10 AM ETA even more by aiming for under six hours? No reason not to try, so I dug deep and pushed a hair harder.

The 60-65 mile split was exhilarating. Coming in under 20 minutes when you’ve been on a bike for five hours (for me) was unbelievable. It was evident that it might be close, but I would definitely be under six hours.

I wish I’d had a camera going when I got to the car. I’d told Randy I wanted to be done by 10, and it was 9:38. The final time on the bike was 5:48. My speed was not quite 14 miles per hour, sustained for almost six full hours.

In my ride postmortem I do in my head I tried to figure out what just happened, and the only thing I can figure is this: I got enough rest, I had a priesthood blessing, and I focused EARLY on staying hydrated and not allowing for dehydration to creep in.

Today’s ride is a game changer I think.

We’ll see tomorrow.

259 miles left.

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