Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Week 4

Date
January 24, 2015

Distance
100 miles

Strava Link
Week 4

Route Map/Profile

Lovelock, NV


Weather

Picture

NV 399 in Lovelock

Ride Report
I did another 4-day block of 100-mile rides to train for Petoji and this was day 3. I drove out to Lovelock, which may not be known as a cycling destination but actually has some great roads. I started out in Lovelock and headed west on NV 399, which is a paved road that connects a mine to Lovelock. NV 399 was great. There was almost no traffic out there and I enjoyed the scenery. If you're like me and love the desert but hate traffic, this is the road for you. The pavement is pretty smooth except for the last 2-3 miles before the pavement ends.

I rode back to Lovelock and then headed east on Coal Canyon Rd. The road surface was rougher, but again the scenery was great and I saw less than 5 cars out there. Eventually the pavement ends, so I turned around and headed back to Lovelock where I rode a few extra miles to get the nice round 100. It made for a nice early-season ride. There wasn't any difficult climbing, but enough ups and downs to keep things interesting. Above all, it was refreshing to be out in the desert with nobody else around.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Week 3

Date
January 12th, 2015

Distance
100 miles

Strava Link
Week 3

Route Map/Profile


Weather


Picture


Ride Report
This was day 4 of a 4-day training ride I did for Petoji. I stopped and did this ride on the middle of my drive from Death Valley back to Reno. It was colder than Death Valley, but not too bad considering that the whole thing was above 5,000 feet. The wind really seemed to pick up in the valley as I made the turn north towards Hawthorne, but the scenery was great out there and traffic was super light. You really couldn't ask for more this time of year.

My legs felt pretty good considering that (A) it's January and (B) I was riding my 4th 100-mile day in a row. I've said it before and I don't know why it is, but the 2nd day is always the worst. By days 3 and 4 you start getting into a groove. Who knows how long that groove lasts. I guess we'll find out in August.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Week 2

Date
January 9th, 2015

Distance
112 miles

Strava Link
Week 2

Route Map/Profile



Weather


Picture

Dante's View

Ride Report
This was day 1 of a 4-day training trip I did for Petoji. The route includes the Dante's View climb and the entire Daylight Pass climb. This is probably my favorite Death Valley route, with an out-and-back on 190 from the Mesquite Dunes area to the western border of the park coming in a close second.

The Dante's View climb is a lot of fun. It starts off long and steady, then finishes with a bang. The final section is 0.4 miles at 13% with a few switchbacks. It all pays off in the end with a great 360-degree view of Death Valley.

Daylight Pass is no slouch. It's 13 miles at a steady 6%. There aren't many twists and turns in the road, which means that you can really let loose on the descent if you want to.

If you've never ridden in Death Valley, you really need to give it a try. There are so many great routes to choose from and you can mix it up with climbing routes and flat routes. There's not that much traffic and most of the roads are in good shape. There are even a couple of free campgrounds. What more could you ask for?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Week 1

Date
January 3rd, 2015

Distance
100 Miles

Strava Link
Week 1

Route Map/Profile


Weather


Picture


Ride Report
Happy New Year. It feels good to be back doing this again in 2015. The weather was pretty good today- warmer than it has been recently and there wasn't any wind.

I have some time off next week, so I plan on going to Death Valley to get a few good days of Petoji training in.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015: The Preview

Introducing Petoji.net

2015 is going to be a little different. I'm focusing 100% on one goal: riding across the country. It's going to be a credit card tour from Pescadero, CA to Jekyll Island, GA that I've named Petoji (PEscadero TO Jekyll Island). The dates are July 30 - August 22.

Riding across America has been a dream of mine for more than 10 years. I've always wanted to do it at 100 miles per day for ~30 days, similar to what America by Bicycle  does. Quite frankly, I've always made the excuse that it's hard to find 30 days off to complete the ride. I thought I'd be able to take the time off after I did this or I did that.

It's time to stop making excuses. I can take 24 days off this summer, which gives me 23 days to ride. So I made a route that starts somewhat close to home and is close to 3,000 miles. Here it is: Petoji.net

I'll have a few extra goals, but Petoji is by far the highest priority and I'll build my whole year around it. Here are the goals for 2015:

  1. Ride across America
  2. Ride a century per week
  3. Complete another Everesting ride
Happy New Year to everybody and best of luck accomplishing your goals.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: Year in Review

2014 certainly had its ups and downs. I had high hopes and a solid January, but broke my hip on February 3rd. As a result, I had to scrap most of my goals. Here were my 2014 goals:

  1. Ride a century every week. (Out the window. I've ridden 1 per week since August.)
  2. Complete the California Triple Crown. (Technically possible, but DMD was too early for me, so I set new goals and moved on.)
  3. Ride a century in 3 new states. (I actually accomplished this one. Check out the Century in 50 States blog for reports on KS, OK, and AR.)
  4. Ride across Nevada in 30 hours. (Didn't happen. I would prefer to do this in the middle of the summer when the days are the longest. I wasn't ready yet this summer.)
1 for 4 isn't good, but after I broke my hip in February I had to set new goals. First was to simply complete the Alta Alpina Challenge double, which I was able to do. I did it slowly, but I did it. After that I shifted my focus to Everesting. I did 2 of those: Geiger Grade and Monitor Pass. I also tried to Everest 2 different shorter climbs, but I failed on those attempts.

After I was done Everesting, I shifted my focus to 10,000 miles for the year. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but I spent 2 months off the bike in February and March and had a slow April. I am happy to report that I was able to reach my 10,000-mile goal, which isn't too bad for essentially 10.5 months.

I know you're all tired of hearing about it, but 2014 was the year of the broken hip. It was a scary time for me. I wasn't sure I would ever be back to "normal" again. What would life be like if I couldn't ride my bike the way I wanted to? That's a very difficult question to think about. I was lucky. I was able to come back. Some people aren't so lucky.


I plan to make the most out of my good fortune. There's no telling how long I will be able to ride, but I am determined to make the most out of whatever time I have left. That's the lesson I took away from 2014 and the reason behind my lofty ambitions for 2015. I don't want to mention my hip too much in 2015 (I'll probably bring it up on the 1-year anniversary, but that's it). Nobody wants to hear my lame excuses. However, it's always going to be that motivating factor in the back of my mind.

2014 Numbers

10,948 total miles
728 total hours
43 centuries 
2 Doubles
2 Everests

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Quick Update and a few Death Valley Photos

-I finally got around to updating the Century in 50 States list. I rode 3 new states in 2014, which brings my total up to 24. Almost halfway there.

-Century Per Week is on for 2015. I'll be posting a recap of 2014 and my goals for 2015 at some point next week. I have big plans for 2015.

-I just got back from a solid 4 days of riding in Death Valley. Here are a few pictures.

Day 1: Headead towards Badwater
Day 1: Looking behind towards Badwater
Day 1: The sun was setting and a sliver of sunshine was peeking through the clouds.
Day 2: The road (374) from Beatty to the Park entrance
Day 3: Sorry for the blurry picture, but I saw this guy on the way to Scotty's Castle. He was jogging uphill towards Scotty's Castle and I was coming from behind. He heard me coming, but didn't seem to care. He just kept jogging towards Scotty's Castle and stopped when I passed, as seen in the picture above. I kept riding along, not thinking much about it. A few seconds later I noticed that he was right behind my rear wheel, chasing me. It looked like he was just having fun, but you never really know when it comes to wild animals. I steadily increased my speed, but this guy was fast and he had a lot more endurance than the average pet dog. I was able to keep him at a comfortable distance, but I couldn't really drop him until I hit a flatter section of road.

Day 3: Ubehebe Crater