Today was the UCLER, and it was a pretty good day in the saddle. I wanted to head out as early as possible, find a good group and stick with them as long as I could. I spent most of the day hammering in the big ring in groups of about 8-10 pushing 25+ mph. It ended up being a great day for my legs, as I was using them more than the lungs. I needed a good hard day pushing a big gear. After the 75 mile lunch stop I dropped the pace back a bit to let lunch settle in and to get the blood going again in the legs. I spent about 10 mins at the lunch stop eating pineapple and sipping cold water, which tasted much much better than the warm Powerade I had been living on for the previous 75 miles.
After 20-30 minutes of just going easy after lunch, remnants of the pre-lunch group I was in started reforming and we then finished the last 10 miles or so at a nice pace. So the purpose I went into the ride with (to get a good sustained, just hard enough to be uncomfortable, but not blowing up effort) was served really well I think. There were times where I had to dig deep to keep on the to the back of a group, or to cross a gap here and there. When those times came I was really happy when I crossed the gap and was able to stay on the wheels of the group, recover, and continue on.
Ride time was just under 5 hours.