Chris Newport // Mini Epic
Definitely on par with my Skyline-to-the-Sea trail marathon in 100°F, with zero training, in terms of "perceived exertion"! I've done numerous 100km road rides, but there is for sure a 2X factor for off- vs. on-road miles AND elevation. Especially on a rigid touring bike with no off-road experience in the last 20 years. I went into this for a new experience and boy did I get it!
Planned to start before 7 expecting an early-afternoon finish, but forgot my clipless shoes and started two hours later after a Walmart run for (slippery) flat pedals, with a nearly-dusk finish! Last 15mi I think I discovered you can directly burn neurons once the various ATP pathways fully shut down. (And that's only because the prior 10mi were downhill!) I was in limp home mode but the ride around the reservoir nearing sunset was lovely enough to dull some of the pain.
A lot of stoppage time fighting my dying phone for information, (marking up my printed map ahead of time would have been wise), but ultimately it all worked out. The Thursday before Memorial Day weekend was a great, quiet day on the trails. Taking the Surly Long Haul Trucker on this adventure was quite an experience, but a true MTB is in my near future!
All in all, a very good, very beautiful day.