Chuck Zimmerman Tackles 200 Mile Solo Ride

"A couple of weeks ago a fellow cyclist sent me a link for a 1 day, 200 mile group ride. I thought, “well that’s just stupid” so of course I decided to go for it! The ride was cancelled the day before due to inclement weather. Now what? I wanted to take the challenge. I woke up at 2:00am that morning, put my gear on, filled my water bottles, and decided I’ll ride the 200 miles alone. It was 2:30am when I hit the wet pavement, the rain had already begun. Imagine passing a guy on a bike at 2:30am in the pouring rain. Yeah, I’m sure people thought I was drunk (truth be told there may have been nights like that many years ago). My legs continued to pedal as the rain picked up. There was a head wind ranging from 11-15 mph for the first 50 miles but I just kept pedaling. High cadence and low power, something I recently learned and put into use. The ride turned positive during the second 50 miles as the rain stopped and the sun was up. The negative aspect was the wind had picked up to 22 mph. Needless to say, it was brutal for the FIRST 100 miles. I ended up finishing the first half of the ride at a 13.8 mph average, but still had most of my energy in the tank. Round two started out with tailwind. Yay for the tailwind! I was hauling from the start- excited, energized, and ready to hammer. When I went to take a drink of water I realized that I was pretty low. With the sun out, the temp jumped up to 97 degrees and was humid as all can be. I wasn’t panicking yet because I saw a water tower in the distance. However, the water tower was for a town of 100 people and zero business’ around to actually purchase water. Talk about an ironic image! No worries I thought, I’ll just head to the next town which was only 12 miles up the road. I filled up my water bottle, got a Payday, and was on my way once again. Around mile 150, tornado watches began popping up on my computer and the rain hit hard. I loved the rain because it dropped the temp.

I ignored the tornado watches (It’s a Zimmerman thing) and I just kept pedaling. When I was on mile 180 the Rocky theme song came and all of a sudden my tank was full and I was on the home stretch hammering an average of 20-22 mph!

I finished the ride with a 15.8 mph average, a satisfaction that I accomplished such a task on my own, and a good story to be shared. Life is about experiences- it’s our responsibility to make sure that we create good experiences for ourselves and for others. Thank you to everyone in this group for the support and friendship. Pedal on people!"

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