Driving your car for 35 minutes just to get to a spot where you then ride your bike for 2 hours seems a bit redundant; or maybe even wasteful because why not just start biking at home? But that would mean I’d always be hitting the same old spots, at least initially, and where’s the fun in that? Part of the appeal of running or biking is to explore and see places you’ve never seen before.
Today, I was starting my bike at the Saarschleife near Mettlach (Germany). I’d done hill trainings here a few times, but never biked. With my flu-symptoms mostly gone, I decided that I didn’t want to do an undulating course (sweat on the way up, get cold on the way down) but rather some continuous effort. The obvious choice then was a cycle path that travels along a river.
I ended up doing my biggest distance ever, at 52.5km in slightly over 2 hours. This translates to an average speed of 25.9km/h (all according to my Garmin, and including a small break); which I think isn’t too bad for an amateur rider on a mountain bike with grippy tires. My pace started to suffer a little on the final kilometers – one energy gel probably wasn’t enough to keep my energy stores up.
The route that I chose took me from Mettlach to Merzig, then back again to Mettlach (30km); and then I did a shorter loop from Mettlach to Schemlingen and back. I initially estimated that 1/3 was on easy dirt surface, with the remainder on road surface; but my numbers may be off a little. It doesn’t matter much. I wouldn’t rank this as a stellar ride, more of a “get the job done” kind of deal that hopefully is just yet another small step in improving my overall fitness.
Here’s the Strava activity.