Last training ride before the metric century

On Sunday, we had our last training ride before the metric century. And it was a little bit rough. Although we were out on the glorious Natchez Trace again—saw multiple deer and a whole flock of turkeys this time!—I could only manage 20 miles at an average of 10.5 mph.



Me and Andy, ready to go.

Like Whitney and Andy (our fourth badass century rider, Amanda, was in Minnesota for the weekend) I wore everything I plan to wear on the ride: Terry skort, Carrera helmet. Both were great, although the padding in the skort wasn’t perfectly placed for more upright riding.

I also had my bike setup the way I planned to have it, including adding foot cages to my bike pedals. Which, incidentally, I HATED. Internet, do you think that I can ditch them? I don’t think they work very well for small feet. I kept realizing my feet had crept up into them and I was pedaling with my arches.


Whitney and her Trek

Not sure why I was so off my game, unless it was the Turtle Anarchy beer (thanks, Aubrey!) and pizza at Desano with the lovely ladies of the Nashville blogger meetup the night before. (Where much fun was had—you can find links to all the blogs of these clever and entertaining ladies here. Photo courtesy of Lauren, though taken by the busboy who kept calling me “boss.”)

Nashville bloggers!

Nashville bloggers!

I did ride to the meetup, of course—I took Kermit Allegra out for the first time in a couple of months, and kept up an 11mph+ pace (but it was just an 8-10 mile round trip).

Not sure if those two things could have affected my performance on Sunday that much, but I will be sure not to do either of them *this* Friday night. In fact, I’m trying to get lots of rest and cutting out alcohol for the rest of this week. Planning to go on a short ride tonight, and then nothing more until the day of the century.

Yikes. I’m actually going to ride 62 miles on Saturday. I keep alternating between excitement and terror.

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20 thoughts on “Last training ride before the metric century

  1. Parker says:

    Hi Trisha,

    Good for you! About pedals: at the risk of getting
    “flamed” by comments, I’ll mention that I like my Ergon “contour”
    pedals, without toeclips, even for long rides. I posted on LGRAB about
    these once before, and you replied that you liked the fact that they
    come in a small size. They’re grippy so your feet don’t slip and you can
    “make circles” while pedaling, which helps. They’re not cheap, but I
    noticed a deal:

    All the best.

    • Lisa Curcio says:

      I rode 67 miles this past Sunday at an average riding pace of 11 mph with no foot retention system whatsoever. I will say that I recommend you have something comfortable on your bottom. Otherwise it can be one miserable ride.

    • LGRAB says:

      Man, I wish I had remembered that rec! I was really happy with my Ergon grips, and those pedals do look great. Hopefully I won’t forget this time. :)

  2. It’s really cool to read about other people biking around Nashville who aren’t wearing spandex. ;)

  3. Beth says:

    Definitely yes, ditch the foot cages. I trained for a century ride and, after trying cages and clips and clipless, decided on none of the above. I was absolutely, perfectly fine – and my far more experienced coach revealed that she rode centuries for 3 years with no kind of foot retention system. I never did get up to 100 miles, but I did long training rides every weekend for months and went as many as 70 miles, all with just regular shoes on regular pedals. (Well, not entirely regular shoes – I got a pair of Chromes.)

    In addition to all that: YAY TRISH! Don’t worry that you had a bad training day too much, it’s too easy to fixate on one bad day or one bad moment, and it gets into your head as the miles stretch before you. Some days are just not good, and we’ll all hope that Saturday is much better. All you can do is show up as prepared as you can be, and give it a shot.

    The alternate excitement/terror thing is great for your complexion. ;-)

    • LGRAB says:

      Thanks for the encouragement! I think I probably will ditch the cages. And I’m definitely ready to give it my best shot on Saturday! I am very stubborn, if nothing else. :)

  4. David P. says:

    You might consider putting smallest-available toe clips on if you think they’re worth another shot (they come in different sizes) but if you’re not that into them, sure, just ride plain pedals. They’ll be fine. You might find shoes with stiffer soles more comfy for a longer ride, I dunno. I like BMX pedals because they’re comfy for any distance even with soft-soled shoes like boat shoes.

    • LGRAB says:

      Thanks, David. They didn’t have different sizes at my shop, so I didn’t realize that was an option. Not sure I’ll bother, though, at least not this time around.

      • David P. says:

        You’ll enjoy it no matter what, and you’ll feel great when you’re done, even if you’re sore – “I did it!” :)

  5. Sarah W. says:

    You can do it! Whitney too!

  6. Nate Nykamp says:

    I’ll second (third) the rest of the internet in saying that you can ditch the cages. If your going to use them, they need to be short enough to put the pedal on the ball of your foot, not the arch. Most people promote cages/clipless because they enable a faster cadence, but you can get many of the benefits with a good platform like the VO Sabot (maybe with Powergrips, which are more adjustable).

    I personally love cages because you can use just about any kind of shoe with them (not flip flops though, dumbest thing I’ve done on a bike this summer)

    Whatever you choose, I know you’ll do great.

  7. meligrosa says:

    awesome for doing it Trish! constant riding will only let you know by testing (like the toe cages) what works and what doesn’t for you. Many tips/shoes clips etc. that work for some people – may not work for other and so on. The most important thing is that you (and your friends) are already there, mentally! Best of luck, remember to breathe deeply and have a blast. Im not worried about ya =)
    Cant wait to hear about it later. xxom

  8. Rebecca B says:

    Hi Trisha! I can’t wait to hear how the ride went. I would love a review of the Carrera helmet! Is it as ventilated as promised? Comfortable? It looks pretty sleek. I currently have a traditional vented Giro I purchased a few years ago, as well as the Yakkay Smart 1. The Giro is more comfortable, but the ventilation in the Yakkay is actually pretty great. However, the Yakkay doesn’t feel very snug, event though it’s the sleeker helmet. I am not sure if the Smart 2 fixed that with the adjustable back. Would love to know how you ladies picked your helmets. I’d love to live in a city safe enough to forego a helmet (I’m in St. Louis), but I’m not willing to take the chance (no matter how much I hate wearing helmets).

  9. Hyedie says:

    I’m a little late to the convo, but I too have small feet being just shy of 5’2″.

    Recently I put straps on my pedals that are adjustable because they are put together with velcro:

    For years, I didn’t want to use them because they don’t look as sleek as cages, but I succumbed and now love them.

    The great thing about these straps is that you can adjust the size of them based on what kind of shoe you are wearing.

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