I'm working on increasing my long bike rides so that 56 miles for the half iron doesn't seem like such a long ride.  Today i'll head out to 9W and ride 4 hours.  2 hours out and turn around.  Made plans to meet two others who were riding from the city and i'm taking my car.  Stopped at the local bike shop in NJ to buy a helmet and new lights for riding at dawn/dusk.  I don't ride at night but the days are getting shorter. Feeling really good today, although i partied a bit hard last night.  Since Friday and Saturday were just swimming my legs feel great.  Compensating a bit for my right leg though.  the bruise isn't apparent anymore, but the muscle has not yet recovered.  Rode with my friends for about an hour and then they turned around.  Rode that first hour with them harder than i would have by myself.  Slowed the pace and heart rate and kept a high cadence throughout the next 2 hours.

After 2 hours i turned around, stopped at a local market.  it seems to be a heavily hispanic dominated neighborhood which was apparent in the produce offered.  I love baby bananas and don't see them often so bought 4 and scarfed them down along with a new bottle of water which i added want more energy to.

Continued home and made a stupid mistake.  I cut off an intersection by crossing through a gas station.  There was a bit of gravel that i only noticed once i had no other option.  I was going very slow but still i hit the gravel and fell.  This time on my left side.  Gravel rash on my left forearm and a little blood on my left knee.  Went into the gas station to get clean water and some towels.  Attendant was an ASS.  He didn't like that i brought my bike into his shop and i sternly told him my situation and that i'd be out of his way in a minute.  He decided to be nice and offered a band aid and some ointment.  If i was a guy it probably wouldn't have turned out that way.

Rather annoyed that i fucked up again i continued home.  Looking for a private place to pee and couldn't find one so stopped into a coffee shop in one of the towns thinking maybe a pastry would comfort me as well.  A short rest for ice coffee and a silly mini muffin and a clean toilet left me feeling 80% better.  Took the last half hour fairly hard.  Felt good again and completed my 4 hour ride over 62 miles.  Not bad, but need to keep this going for a few more weeks and i don't have much time.

Should get a shipment this week of a new water bottle that will save on stopping for water, but need more food on hand.  I really don't like gels.  They do the trick, but i learned that i want food on the long rides.  My shirt pockets are small so bars or small items will have to work.