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.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Week 5

Date
January 31, 2017

Distance
100 miles

Strava Link
Week 5

Route Map/Profile
Weather
Ride Video


Ride Report 
I was in Reno returning a rental car (that I used to buy a motorcycle, believe it or not), so I rode some old familiar roads. It was a pretty nice day, but I just didn't have good legs today. That happens from time to time. It's not like I'm fast even when I'm feeling good, so I shouldn't really worry about it.

That's it for January. I actually managed to squeeze in 988 miles for the month, which was somewhat surprising considering how terrible the weather was. I'm still on pace for a century per week, but I'm behind on my other goals. However, I am very close to finalizing my plans for my south to north ride across the country in June. I hope to have all the details ready for next week's post.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Week 4

Date
January 24, 2017

Distance
100 miles

Strava Link
Week 4

Route Map/Profile
Weather
 Ride Video

Ride Report 
I wasn't looking forward to today's ride at all. The forecast was calling for sunshine, but I waited until almost 10:00 to leave and it was still cloudy and cold out there. I figured it was going to be cloudy all day. The weathermen haven't exactly been on a roll lately.

Luckily for me, the sun finally came out and it actually ended up being a nice ride. It was still cold out there, but the sun made it feel warmer than it really was. It just goes to show you that you should always at least get out there and give it a try. You never know what might happen. In the worst case scenario you can at least turn around and go back home. If you're sitting on the couch and the sun is out, what can you do? You'll never get that time back.


That's supposed to be the end of the snow for a while. I'll believe it when I see it. It's supposed to stay cold for a while, which isn't great, but at least if it's not snowing you know you can ride. I know this has been a super big storm and I'm probably overly emotional about this right now, but I'm not so excited to be living in Northern Nevada at the moment. Most of the year is great, but since I'm not into skiing I don't enjoy winter. So let's assume that December, January, and February are bad months to ride. That means that 1/4th of the year is sort of wasted. That's a lot of time if you look at it that way.

Would I be better off somewhere else? There's always the argument that having a bad winter makes you appreciate the summer more. There's probably some merit to that argument. The summers here really are fantastic. I'm always thinking to myself, wouldn't it be great if I could live here during the summer and live somewhere warm during the summer? That's the dream. So far I haven't been smart enough to turn that dream into a reality.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Week 3

Date
January 17, 2017

Distance
100 miles

Strava Link
Week 3

Route Map/Profile


Weather
Ride Video


Ride Report 
It's been a gloomy January. I did my last century on a Friday and haven't seen the sun in the 3 days since then. That's the bad news. The good news is that at least the roads were clear enough to squeeze in a ride today. I'm still on track. January will be a low month mileage-wise, but hopefully I can get out of it with 4 centuries and without any crashes.


The ride started out foggy, and I didn't even start until about 10:00 AM, which I figured was the latest I could start and still finish in the daylight. Eventually the fog went away and there was even a period of maybe 10 miles or so when the sun was actually shining. The rest of the ride was cloudy and cold.

There's one other positive to take away from the bad weather. I've had a little extra time to do more weightlifting than I normally do. I'm getting better at squatting. Maybe that will pay off in the summer.

Summer Plans Update

I'm flip-flopping a lot on my S-N ride across America. At first I was planning on this route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/17397532

It starts reasonably close to home and finishes close to Kalispell, so I wouldn't have to waste much time traveling to and from the ride. The main problem is Las Vegas. The city itself is fine. I lived there for a little while and there are good routes through the city. The main thing I'm worried about is riding on 93 north of Vegas. It's just a 2-lane road and it doesn't look like there's any shoulder. I might be going to Las Vegas later this year, and if so I might drive a little on 93 to check it out. I made an alternate route through St. George, UT, but that ends up being a little more mileage than I want to do.

I started looking at other options and I came up with this: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/18587885

Originally I had this planned out to where I could camp every night and go fully self-supported. I changed my mind on that and this is the credit card tour version. There are definitely some advantages to doing this route. First, I'll get to add a couple more states to my list. Second, I'll get to pass through Eagle Nest, NM again, which was one of my favorite towns along the Petoji route. I don't know why, but I really like the idea of both routes crossing like that. Third, I get to ride near Rapid City, SD. That's been on my list of places where I want to go for quite a while now.

The main issue with this route is the travel time. The start would be right next to an airport, so that part is great. However, there aren't any airports all that close to the finish and I have no idea how I'd get from the finish to the airport. I guess it's not that big of a deal. I just know I would need 1 extra day off for travel.

Any other routes I come up with end up being in the 1600-mile range. I'd rather keep it closer to 1500 if I can. However, if I need an extra day for travel on that second route, why not do 1600 miles in 11 days with no travel days instead of 1500 in 10 days with no full travel days? Maybe I'll start working on something like that. There aren't a lot of airports close to the Canadian border, though. It looks like mainly Kalispell and Vancouver.

I'm not sure why I'm so undecided on this route. When I planned Petoji the route came to me very easily. I guess I was a little more limited in that I knew I needed to start within driving distance of Reno. With this route I can start just about anywhere between San Diego and El Paso. My mind goes a little crazy and I'm always looking for something better. I have my 40 hours of vacation built up and January is almost over, so I need to finally decide on something.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Week 2

Date
January 13, 2017

Distance
100 miles

Strava Link
Week 2

Route Map/Profile
Weather
Ride Video

Ride Report 
The weather has been terrible all week. There's been rain, flooding, and snow. I haven't had a decent ride since last week's ride, really. I've been riding in the rain/snow on the road on my mountain bike. Even with those rides I was somewhat lucky that there wasn't ice on the roads. It was either rain or snow. Ever since I crashed on the ice in 2014 I don't take any chances with ice.

Which brings me to this week's ride. I was a little nervous about this week. The weather looked good for Friday, but it snowed quite a bit on Thursday, so I wasn't sure there would be enough time for the roads to clear up for me to get my ride in. I ended up driving to Yerington, partially to check out the roads and partially because there's a flat loop there that I figured would have clear roads. I ended up doing 3 loops plus a few extra miles on the side.

It didn't make for the most exciting ride, but since I haven't been able to ride as much as I've wanted lately I was just happy to be out there.






Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Week 1

Date
January 2, 2017

Distance
102 miles

Strava Link
Week 1

Route Map/Profile

Weather

Ride Video

Ride Report 
The year is off to a windy start. I did a windy century on the 1st and was hoping to take it easy and do a little mountain biking today. However, the weather forecast changed and there might be some snow tomorrow. What to do, fight the wind on a sunny day or hope to beat the snow on a cloudy day? I decided to go ahead and fight the wind. It's not fun, but at least I knew I'd be able to finish the ride. It may not snow at all tomorrow, but you never know. I wouldn't want to lose the whole year based on a stupid decision during the very first week.

As promised, it was windy. The weather chart above doesn't match what I was feeling out there. It wasn't all that windy to start, but picked up as the day went on. I did 30 miles or so riding back and forth on 395. The wind wasn't all that strong yet and only started to pick up towards the end of that section. Then I headed towards Yerington and it started getting bad. I did the first half in 3 hours, but due to the wind the second half took me more than 4 hours.


The good news is that the sun was out and it didn't feel all that cold. It was a long day, but it could have been worse and at least I was able to get my ride in. At the end of the year that will be the only thing that counts.