56.58 miles in 3:21:45 @ 16.83 mph and 133/171 for 3,282 calories

What a train wreck of a bike ride!  (Well, not literally.)  Today I had planned my longest ride yet, just under 3 hours, that would allow me to get a feel for exerting myself for the approximate length of my upcoming race and confirm how much water and food I would need.  I wanted to go somewhere new so I picked a route out to Lake Lavon and back.  Today was the Plano Balloon Festival and without planning it I rode right under the balloon path. It was a still, beautiful morning and the quiet noise of my bike and the balloons firing was nice. After a long country ride, I finally made it out to Clear Lake Park on the tip of the peninsula and took a short rest by the water.

On the ride back, I must have ran over some glass or something because by the time I got across the bridge, my rear tire was flat.  I’m fairy comfortable changing my bike tire as I’ve changed two of them in my garage, but two things went wrong.  First, my CO2 cartridge (used instead of a pump) misfired and by the time I managed to stop it, I only had enough air to fill the tire halfway.  Second, when I changed the tire, I screwed up the rear brake so that one side consistently pressed against the wheel.  I needed an allen wrench to fix it but of course I left mine back in my garage, and that meant riding with my rear-brake half-engaged for a couple miles until I could find someone to ask for help.  I finally came across a fire station with some men fixing a truck, and they offered me an allen wrench so I could tweak my brake.  I was finally ready to ride the 20-something miles home on my low tire.  I got home over 30 minutes late and absolutely exhausted.  Still, my pace was decent and three gels, 1 sports drink, and 40 ounces of water worked almost perfectly.  Next time I’ll bring two CO2 cartridges and my allen wrenches, and I’ll try two 25-mile loops instead of one 50-mile out-and-back route!