On Saturday, I met up with Ryan and Roxy around 12:15 and rode the Keystone down to West Papio, then out to Kevin L's place at 163rd and Harrison-ish. That took about an hour and 45 minutes. We rendezvoused at Kevin's ride and headed West on gravel roads all the way out to about 240th St. We went as close to the Elkhorn river as we could. We then ventured back east on Q st, then Harrison.
After dropping off the guys we picked up at Kevin's, Ryan, Roxy, Kev, and I headed back toward the West Papio trail. Kevin, who rode with us for a little more bike time, turned back after a good 3 hours or so for his total. I'd say the gravel part of the ride was about 2.5 hrs. By the time we were on the paved trails, we were at about 4 hrs riding.
4 hours is now my "dipping into the reserves" time on the bike at my current fitness level. That's the point where you hurt all over, no amount of stretching helps, and the only thing you look forward to is a shower, some food, and a place to lay down. I remember a few years ago, that point was after about 5 hours. It takes many painful 4 hour rides to reach that point, but your fitness skyrockets at that point. 2 hour rides feel like nothing and you still have all your power after 3 hours of race pace. Those were the days. The days when it took quite a bit of intensity to get me panting. Alas, that is no more. Some day, when I can afford to race consistently again, I will be back at it. For now, I'm just enjoying the ride and sleeping a ton after the occasional 5 hour ride. Feels good! But still hurts.