13 Sep Neil’s 36 Hour Virtual Ride
Neil’s 36 Hour Virtual Ride
As most of you know, me and some other Red Peloton team members regularly participate in an annual charity ride called “Sea to Sierra” (S2S). This has been run every year since 2005 and goes from Santa Rosa to the Sierras (typically Lake Tahoe) over 3 days. It is a fundraiser for Women’s Recovery Services (WRS) in Santa Rosa, where I am a Board member.
This year, our 15th, we could not do our normal due to Covid so Linda Eichhorn and her organizing committee (which includes my dear wife Jean Martin!) planned a different format, called Road-to-Recovery (R2R). They are allowing participants to ride individually and add up all miles towards a goal of 4,000 miles in total. Virtual (trainer) miles are permitted.
I have been a big user of Zwift, and I decided to do a big Zwift ride for R2R: a 36-hour continuous ride with only short breaks.
I did the ride from 7 am on Sept 12th to 7pm on Sept 13th. I had a huge amount of support from Red Peloton members who rode with me virtually for segments of the ride: Sal Lucido, Cole Rasmussen, Austin Hermosillo, Enrique Rojas, Walt Flom, Linda Eichhorn, John Prouty, Jeff Baumgardner, (and apologies for those I have forgotten!). One benefit of being on-line is that I was also able to ride virtually with friends from South Africa, the UK and Australia who kept me company in the middle of the night. I also had Jean and a big support crew who regularly visited me in my garage and kept me hydrated and fed and awake for 36 hours.
I was able to complete 484 virtual miles on Zwift in the ride, with 30,060 feet of virtual elevation.
How was it? Well… I discovered that 36 hours is a long time to be on a trainer! It was very challenging both physically and mentally, and like in real-life, long-distance events, there are highs and lows and the support of friends and family is crucial. I’m still feeling some pain and numbness and fatigue two days after the event!