This past Saturday, in McKinney, Texas, I did my 10th bike rally of the year and my 526th overall. The rally is known as the Collin Classic (because it's in Collin County). At one time, it started in Plano, but for many years now it has started in the nearby city of McKinney, which is north of Dallas. This year's rally is the last one for Bikin' Mike Keel, who is well known in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex as a cyclist, cycling trainer, and rally organizer. I'm sure Mike will keep riding, so it's not as though this was the last time I'll see him. He has been a great ambassador for our sport.
Several of my friends showed up under clear skies. Joe, Dave, and I stayed together for the entire 60.89 miles, averaging 18.24 miles per hour. (Elapsed time = 3:20:12.) We rode in a fast-moving pack for the first hour or so. I got dropped on a hill and caught back up with Joe and Dave at a rest stop. Later, we fell in with a tandem that reached cruising speeds of 30 miles per hour. I pedaled 19.40 miles the first hour, 17.60 the second, and 18.36 the third. I averaged 16.42 miles per hour for the final 20:12. One reason I like this rally is that the course is comparatively flat. That allows for higher speeds. I also like the many cornfields along the course, which remind me of my home state of Michigan. The corn is about neck high already. In Michigan, it's supposed to be knee high by the Fourth of July.
According to my Garmin computer, I burned 3,779 calories during the ride. I'm suspicious of this figure, because my old computer gave smaller totals. Whatever the actual number is, I certainly burn a lot of calories during these rides. My maximum speed for the day was 33.2 miles per hour. My average heart rate was 122 (which is high for me, which shows that I worked harder than usual) and my maximum 150. According to the formula of 220 minus one's age, my maximum heart rate should be 165. I reach 160 sometimes while running, but rarely reach even 155 while riding. Maybe I'm dogging it on the bike.
The official high temperature for the day (at DFW Airport) was 91º Fahrenheit. The average wind speed was 7.6 miles per hour and the maximum 18. I count it as windy when the average is 10 miles per hour or higher. All in all, I had a great time. Was it hard? You betcha. I suffered mightily at many points. You might wonder why I do things that entail suffering. It's hard to explain. I just do. As soon as I get done with one bout of suffering, I look forward to the next.