Sunday morning was the Brissie To The Bay charity ride, a 50km ride from West End to Wynnum and back in support of Multiple Sclerosis sufferers.
My preparation for this ride was not, it must be said, ideal. I went out for drinks on Thursday and Friday nights, and on Saturday night I stayed up until around a quarter to 2, watching Le Tour and hoping for (but not getting) inspiration from Cadel Evans. I set my alarm for 5:40am, but slept through the radio until 6:10am, which meant I had to hurry to get my things together and cover the 8.5km to Musgrave Park for the start, without using too much energy.
Anyway, get there I did, and I took my place with the more-than-2500 other riders on the 50km ride (there were also 25km and 10km rides). I was in the fourth tranche, figuring that I was neither especially fast nor especially slow. My aim was to finish inside 2 hours, for an average speed of 25km/h.
I took things reasonably conservatively on the way out, expending a bit of energy but not too much on the hills (I tend to pass quite a lot of people on the short climbs, in general), and just cruising on the flats. After a 10-minute or so break at the Wynnum rest stop, I headed off again. I pushed hard along the long flat section near the start of the return, keeping right on 30km/h for perhaps 3 or 4km, with an old chap on my wheel. I took a turn on his wheel after a break, a little bit slower but not much, and started to get cramps in my calves around 38km. I pushed past him (and quite a few others) up a hill, and pushed on through a bit of fatigue, trying to get home inside 2 hrs. The last 5km or so through Woolloongabba were quite stop-start with the traffic, but I managed to get home in 1:56:37, just inside my target, and an average speed of 25.8km/h.
Once again, I enjoyed being on an organised ride: the idea of riding with other people, with marshalls to help with traffic and to show us the route. Were it not organised, its highly unlikely that I'd do a 50km ride through Brisbane, and I thus wouldn't get the sense achievement.
I also like the fact that the ride is linked with a charity. I've managed to raise a nice chunk of change for MS ($230 at time of writing), a good proportion of which wouldn't have been donated otherwise. Dad noted this morning that I'm up in the top 100 fundraisers for the event, which is surprising and pleasing. If anyone still wants to donate, or if anyone was waiting until I'd finished the ride, donations are still being accepted for another fortnight or so (after that point, just go to the MS society site).
My next organised ride is probably going to be the 100km Brisbane to the Gold Coast ride in October.