This weekend I'll be in Chico with my brother, sister and brother in law doing the metric century at the Chico Wildflower. As I looked at my GPS data for the past year, it's dawned on me that this is probably going to hurt. http://www.chicovelo.org/wildflower-april.html
I haven't ridden 60 miles at a stretch in over a year and although the route is flat and our pace will be relaxed, sitting on a bike for that long has associated aches and pains that go beyond just fitness. As anyone who has done a century will attest, you not only have to train your legs to pedal all day, but you have to build up the neck and shoulders and get your butt used to being in the saddle for that length of time.
I'm still riding once or twice a week, but I haven't been on the road bike much and most of my rides are 1-2 hours in length....I haven't spent all day in the saddle since last October when we did the Giro D Vino. Thankfully, both my sister and brother, whom I'm doing the ride with, are also lacking in saddle time.
My brother, surprisingly, has probably the most miles of the three of us going in to this.
This ride, though, will be a fun day no matter how painful it is. It's an annual tradition for us and although we're on bikes, spending the majority of a day together, cruising through beautiful countryside, is always a really fantastic time. Most of the riding takes place on farm and orchard roads with little traffic so we're able to chat and catch up on each other's lives often times pedaling 3 abreast with no one else around.
Adding to the suffering portion of the ride is the fact that we'll start the weekend with dinner (and refreshments) on Saturday night. In years past, this has proven to run late and if things stay true to form, will involve some of the regions more well known beverages
All in all though this should be a great weekend. Any time I can get away for some quality time with my family, it's fantastic. To be doing it on a bike is even that much better....