This past Saturday the club ride was out to Perris Airport and back via Juniper Flats. Which is definitely mis-named! Altogether, it was 70 miles and just over 4000 feet of climbing. That's actually about the rate of climbing that we need to sustain in our training to get ready for the route in PBP, so I really should not complain. But I was tired when we got home! I actually felt more tired from this club ride on Saturday than the 125 miles we did on the 200 km brevet.
One reason for that is probably that we really try to keep up with the group, and when the road is tilted up, that tandem is just going to go slower than our friends. While we had a slightly better average pace on the 200 km (14.2 versus 13.7) the terrain Saturday just had more of the "up" stuff proportionately, Trying to stay with the group, or at least not lag too far behind, is taxing. And when we are with the group, Roger loves to be out in front, dragging everyone along. So of course, instead of taking a moderate pace when it's flat, he's going all-out.
The real figure to watch, though, is the total average mph for the tour. Since we stopped for a burrito at the airport, and occasionally held up to wait for others in the group, we were "on the road" for six hours. (We got back to Stell's just before 2:00 pm) That means our touring average was actually 11.6 mph. That's not really where we want to be; 12.5 mph is a much better pace for the distances we'll be doing, as it will allow us a chance to accumulate more time to sleep.
However, as we rode, I was sort of figuring it this way: if we can go 70 miles in 6 hours over and over again, we'd make it through the 750 miles in about 66 hours. That still allows 24 off-the-bike hours, which is not too bad. And that not riding through the night thing? Over it. Apparently, there is no way to start the ride without going through the night unless you commit to a shorter time at the outset, and start in the morning on Day 2. I don't think we can give up that much time, so we'll be starting in the evening on Day 1.
That's okay - it's one of the more intriguing aspects of the event - riding along through the night with fellow travelers. I can wrap my head around that.