I got together with some friends and made the trek to New Harmony Indiana for the first day of the Harmonie Hundred, a two-day touring ride consisting of two 50 mile rides. Last year I kept talking myself out of these charity tours because I didn’t want to spend the gas and time to go, or sometimes I couldn’t find anyone to travel with. Later I would often regret it, and made a decision to go to more of them this year. In fact it was a New Year’s Resolution that I’m actually following through with.
So New Harmony Indiana is an interesting little town here’s a little blurb
In 1814, Father George Rapp led a group of German Lutheran immigrants (called the Harmonie Society) to 30,000 acres on the Wabash River. The Harmonists came to prepare for the Second Coming. They built and perfected a cosmopolitan community from the wilderness of the Indiana Territory. In 1824, Robert Owen, a Welch-born industrialist, purchased New Harmony with plans to create a model community where education and social equality would prosper. His utopian dream was never fully realized, but his efforts produced pioneering contributiions to education, geology, trade schools, and women's suffrage. Many of the original buildings and sites from old New Harmony remain, and are open for tours through the educational programs affiliated with the University of Southern Indiana
New Harmoy has a labyrinth that has some kind of deep spiritual meaning, to me its a fun maze. In the center of the maze is a temple with some mantras on the walls. Shauna and I did some sight-seeing in this town ten years ago, (wow I feel old) and I took one of my favorite pictures of her there. Sadly Shauna’s new work schedule wouldn’t allow her to make this ride, she would have really enjoyed it.
It actually didn’t rain, though the wind posed a challenge, it was supposed to be around 20 mph and it felt every bit of that. Pretty much every ride I have done this Spring has had strong winds, it just hasn’t been a good April, but lets hope that May is nice. The terrain was mostly flat, occasional mild hills, nice rural roads with very little traffic and the crowd was bigger then I expected, 208 people, 8 of which were refuges from the River to River Club.
I began the ride as I usually do by latching on to the first fast group that came by, which was a nice big line of guys in matching jerseys and shorts. Before long we were pumping along at speeds higher than 20 mph, any time I’m going faster than 20 miles an hour I think it’s fast. Then some more racing teams started moving in and soon the speeds were hovering above 25 mph, whenever I’m going faster than 25 mph I think its stupid fast.
I looked down at my Polar and found I was at 175 bpm, near my max, yet my legs weren’t hurting, I was breathing hard but not that hard, when I’m on my trainer going hard I might hit 160 and feel like I’m going to die. The strong winds were forcing us into echelons across the road which made more than a little nervous. I noticed riders were being spit off the back left and right, and I couldn’t believe I was hanging on, but I knew it couldn’t last. I noticed my breathing was becoming panting and some burning in my legs told me I was digging a hole that I may not be able to climb out of. Luckily we were about 13 miles in and the first stop approached right about the time I was spit out of the back of the pack.
I continued to ride in pacelines but never one as tough and serious as the first group. I finished the 50 mile ride pretty quickly then turned around and rode about 4 miles back down the course until I ran into a couple of friends and rode in with them for 57 total miles, I really needed to get more miles to get ready for the Chattanooga ride, but by this time I was done.
The bottom line is that I’m real glad I went to this ride, I got to push myself against some fast leg shavers, got ride with some friends, and had a real good time.