Double century…

There’s something about the thought of your first 200-miler that gives you pause. Can you do it?  

It’s like running a marathon for the first time. I never did a 26.2-mile training run before racing 26.2 miles four different times. Very few people do. I’d mix in 18. or 20.

But not the full enchilada — until race day.

In many ways, the same is true with cycling double centuries (for first-timers, anyway). I’ve done 155 miles over tall mountains and searing Central California heat. I’ve ridden to the top of the highest paved road in the U.S. in Colorado (Mt. Evans) at 14,000+ feet. I’ve done plenty of 100-milers alone for fun on the coast and on beyond-category climbs.

But pedaling a double in Solvang and the surrounding beautiful areas still has me nervous tonight.

I guess that’s why we push boundaries. To test ourselves. And go beyond comfort levels. To address fear head-on, and defeat it. 

Breaking barriers is something athletic pursuit does well. You learn more about the journey each time you go outside your zone of protection.

The next chapter starts early Saturday with nearly 500 other riders. The base miles are in my legs. The fitness is sufficient. The mind is calm, the heart ready.

Can’t wait to start pedaling, and feel what it’s like to do a double.

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