Here was the Grand Plan: Wife drives bike and I to school. I ride home.
My problem was that it is only about 10 miles from school to the house, so I had to find eight and a half miles to fill in the goal distance. This wouldn't be hard, I pass by the military base I normally ride on on the way home. After seven miles, that's where I was. So I went on base figuring I had eleven miles to go and that should be up Kolekole (my second favorite hill near my house) and back down, plus home. Because I've done this ride dozens of times and I still, for some reason, don't know how far it is.
It is longer than eleven miles. D'oh! Oh well, its not like going over on miles is bad for me. So I checked my watch at 18.5mi to get that time then finished the ride. Of course I finished, I was five miles from home. Couldn't just stop. "Well, guess I'm staying here tonight. Hope it doesn't rain."
The climb burned today. But from school to base is a positive altitude ride, which in my mind means I finish higher than I start, even if parts of the ride may roll (I'm sure there is an official cycling term for this, but I don't feel like looking it up). So I had already been climbing, either steeply or subtly, for a while. My goal time up the hill was 15 minutes, I did it in 18, but that's not bad considering how slow I felt like I was going. My bike computer doesn't help. It's cool to see 35+ when I'm ripping down the decent. Not as cool to see 9...8...7 while I'm climbing. Like I said before, that just means climbing gains will be very clear, and motivation will ensue.
The rain held off, which was nice. And I felt strong nearly the whole ride. If I can keep up my intensity I should be plenty ready for race day. 18.5mph average is the bike goal. We can do it. (That's right, I'm so sure I'm going to start speaking in the third person plural, also known as the 'royal we' when I talk about it.)
The Dirtbag hath spoken.