Sunday, March 26, 2017

Week 12

Date
March 20, 2017

Distance
103 miles

Strava Link
Week 12

Route Map/Profile


Weather
Ride Video

Ride Report 
Today was a wind fest. It actually didn't end up being as bad as I was expecting. The day seemed to go faster than windy days usually go. I just switched my Garmin screen onto the map so I couldn't see how slow I was going. That seemed to help a little.

Yesterday I did some mountain biking and continued my theme from last week: bad decisions. There's this climb nearby that looks like a ton of fun, but the surface is so loose that I can't maintain a decent pace. I did a portion of it a few weeks ago. I'm not sure how I expected this to happen, but it hasn't rained since then and I was hoping there wouldn't be as much sand out there this time. That was my first bad idea.

I made it to where I turned around last time, which I thought was the top. It had a lot less snow this time, so I kept going. It turns out that it was just a little downhill and the climb kept going. There were a few trees across the road, but I was able to get around them. Then I made it to a place where there was a lot of snow. I should have turned around, but I thought I was close to the top, so I hiked through the snow. That was my second bad idea.

It's deeper than it looks.

Eventually I made it to a point where I wanted to just turn around and go back, but I had made it so far that it seemed like just as much work to keep going to the top of the road. The other side would be facing south and shouldn't have as much snow. Third bad idea. I needed snowshoes or a fat bike or something. I was just sinking into the snow and pretty much getting nowhere.

I kept going and made it to a place where I could see a lot of the road in the distance, and all of it was covered in snow. That was to my right. The area to my left was facing south and mostly snow-free. I decided to do some off-road hiking from there. I think that actually turned out to be a good idea. Eventually I made it back home, and I only crashed once in the process. I banged my elbow up a little, but nothing serious. I landed right into a bush, which softened my landing.

Anyway, the whole point of that story is that I had kind of a rough day yesterday, so maybe riding into the wind wasn't so bad in comparison. At least I knew where I was and where I was going.

It's supposed to rain tomorrow, which is a real bummer. I had my motorcycle driving test scheduled and they called saying that it might be cancelled. Maybe next week. I could probably use a little extra practice, anyway.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Week 11

Date
March 13, 2017

Distance
104 miles

Strava Link
Week 11

Route Map/Profile


Weather


Ride Video



Ride Report 
This was the second day of a back-to-back. I was planning on doing a little climbing near Virginia City, but things didn't quite go as planned. I did the climb up Gold Hill and started the descent down the truck route. I even saw some horses along the way.


Then I ran into a flagger, which didn't seem like a big deal. I was on the descent, so I could keep up with traffic. However, the stupid flagger lady told me I would have to put my bike inside the pilot car and ride down for a few miles. There's no way in hell I was going to do that. I'm sure arguing with her would have been a waste of time, so I just turned around to go back the way I came.

At that point I should have just gone to Reno via Geiger Grade. Unfortunately, I had a dumb idea that I would go up 6 Mile Canyon. I knew that the flooding earlier this year tore up the road, but on my way to Virginia City I didn't see any signs on Highway 50 saying that 6 Mile Canyon was closed, so I figured they must have fixed it by now. Not very smart.

Well, I made it through the little neighborhood on 6 Mile Canyon right up to the point where the road starts getting interesting, and there were barriers saying the road was closed. I know I should have checked the DOT website, so it's really my fault, but a little bit of warning would have been nice.

After that I was pretty much just riding back and forth on 50 to get my 100 miles in. I wanted to do more climbing today, but poor planning and bad decisions prevented that from happening. Lesson learned.

The weather was great and I ended up having fun out there anyway. I also had a very fun day on the MTB the next day.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Week 10

Date
March 7, 2017

Distance
100 miles

Strava Link
Week 10

Route Map/Profile


Weather
Ride Video



Ride Report 
I did a flat route today to test out my new Syntace C3 aerobars. At 366 grams (size M) these are some of the lightest full-size aerobars I could find. The one drawback is that the extensions are not adjustable from front to back. Instead, they are offered in 3 different sizes. I used the online chart and was a little surprised to see that I was in the medium range (I'm 5'7" with short arms.), but I trusted the chart and they fit me perfectly.

I was happy with how my first day on aerobars went. I feel pretty comfortable and don't think I'll need to adjust my overall bike fit. I ride with a more forward saddle position anyway, so that probably helps. My arms got a little sore after extended periods of time on the aerobars, but I could tell it was nothing serious and I just need more time to get used to the position. I have 3 months to do just that.

Why did I get aerobars? My bike has a relatively tall head tube, so the setup looks a bit dorky and out of place. But I didn't get aero bars to be aero. I'm more concerned about the extra body position they provide during long days in the saddle. If you remember back to Petoji, my main complaint was pain in my hands. Now I'll be able to take pressure off of my hands from time to time. I'm hoping that will make a big difference on my south to north ride.

The big disadvantage is that it's not a great setup for climbing. The aerobars don't leave much room on the tops, which is where I spend most of my time when I'm climbing. They also add 366 grams, which isn't much, but makes the front end feel different when I'm out of the saddle. I'm sure I'll just get used to that over time. Either way, there isn't much climbing on my south to north route, so it's not really an issue. It's definitely worth the trade on this route.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Week 9

Date
February 28, 2017

Distance
101 miles

Strava Link
Week 9

Route Map/Profile

Weather

Ride Video



Ride Report 
It was a nice day today- sunny with no wind. It was a good day to look around at all of the snow up in the mountains.


That's it for February. I ended up with 834 miles for the month. Not a very good number, but February is always tough since it's a short month and the weather has a good chance of being terrible. I ended up taking 3 days off because of the weather, and there were many other days when I would have been riding more if conditions were better. Despite all my whining, it's been the worst winter I can remember since moving to northern NV and I'm still sitting at 1,821 miles after 2 months and I'm still on track with my weekly centuries. Can't really complain about that.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Week 8

Date
February 26, 2017

Distance
101 miles

Strava Link
Week 8

Route Map/Profile

Weather

Ride Video


Ride Report 
Things were a mess earlier this week. My car broke down on Friday, so I spent all of Monday taking care of that issue. The car was an old Saturn that came into the picture in early 2014 after I broke my hip. Before that time I was a hardcore bike commuter and didn't have my own car. I didn't expect much out of the car. I figured I would recover from my injury and go back to riding my bike everywhere. Well, having a car spoiled me and I actually preferred being able to get more rest during the week so I could ride harder on my days off. My commute at the time was 23 miles per day, which isn't a whole lot but does get old after a while. I think something around the 10-mile per day mark would be just about perfect. But here I am now living 25 miles away from work because I'm an idiot.

Anyway, the car was worth so little and it broke down so badly that it didn't make sense to fix it. I ended up buying another older POS because I'm cheap. If I get 3 years out of this car I'll be happy. I got a minivan, believe it or not. I have this fantasy of living in a van for a year. This isn't the right van for the job, but maybe it's like a gateway drug into the van world. I can fit both a road bike and a mountain bike in there. I may or may not be able to fit my motorcycle in there. I'm going to try in the next few days. If I can't get it to fit, it's capable of pulling a small trailer. I'm hoping this will be my solution to riding across Nevada later this year. I can leave the van near the NV/UT border, ride the motorcycle home, then ride my bike back to the van. I have all kinds of dumb ideas. I probably should have bought an even cheaper car, but the van was only $3,000 and I'm hoping having my motorcycle will keep my fuel expenses low during the summer.


Back to this week's ride. It rained on Monday and Tuesday, so I put this ride off until Sunday. Sound familiar? Just like last time, the weather cooperated. It was windy, but lately any day with sunshine feels like a victory. I'm hoping for more of the same next week.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Week 7

Date
February 13, 2017

Distance
100 miles

Strava Link
Week 7

Route Map/Profile

Weather

Ride Video

Ride Report 
This was the second day of a back-to-back. I felt pretty good. I never feel 100% on the second day, but my legs weren't very sore and I pretty much forgot it was the second day for most of the ride. That's pretty good news for February, especially since the weather has been preventing me from riding as much as I'd like.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Week 6

Date
February 12, 2017

Distance
101 miles

Strava Link
Week 6

Route Map/Profile

Weather

Ride Video

 

Ride Report 
The bad weather continues. I did a long ride on Sunday, which ended up being pretty windy. Monday was supposed to be windy and rainy (the wind came, but not the rain), so I did a little MTB ride and some work around the house. Then I found out that I had to work on Tuesday. That sucked, but Tuesday was super windy and not a good day to ride anyway. That meant I was forced to get this week's ride in today. It's never good to only have one specific day to ride in February. There's a decent chance the weather could be bad. That goes for any year. This year has been especially crazy, so I was a little nervous.

Luck was on my side today. The weather was great. It was sunny all day and there wasn't any wind. I actually have to work on Tuesday again this week, so I'll be doing another one tomorrow. Hopefully the weather is just as nice.



It's good to do a back-to-back, because I officially decided on my south to north route. I decided on the El Paso Route. There's a link to the map and the itinerary here. The ride still needs a name. If you have any ideas, let me know. I may call it SNAP, which is the South to North American Passage. I actually wanted to call my other route CRAP (Calexico to Roosville American Passage), which would have been a lot more fun. All of my other ideas have been bad. For example: RASN (Ride America South to North), pronounced like "raisin". I could eat raisins every day. That's not very inspiring. There are so many better dried fruits out there. Or how about ARSN (America Ride South to North)? I could set the whole country on fire! Pretty dumb.

I talk about it in the video, but since this is a credit card tour like Petoji I have a lot of things squared away already. There will be two main changes this time. (1) I'm going with full aero bars. My #1 complaint during Petoji was hand pain. Hopefully the aero bars can help a little. There's not much climbing on this route (I think the biggest day is only 8,000 feet.), so the extra weight won't make much difference. (2) I'm doing a different bag setup this time. Last time I wore a little string backpack, which wasn't very heavy yet still managed to annoy me. I'm going to get one of those large saddle bags (something like this) and maybe a slightly larger frame bag (like this) to go with it. I'll get the saddle bag first and see how much stuff I can fit in there.

I'll talk more about gear and a packing list as things get closer and I make all of my final decisions. For now I'm just happy that the route is set and I have something concrete to train for. Bring on July.