For today's training ride I rode west on the John Tyler Memorial Parkway. I had planned to do a loop back north, but I missed a turn somewhere so just kept heading west. It was actually a very beautiful stretch of road, pine and diciduous forests on both sides. Not a lot of traffic (and basically no shoulder either, but that wasn't really an issue), and it was Very Flat!
My intentions right now are to slowly increase the amount of time I spend on my bike, as well as the amount of weight I am carryig with me. In considering time - since I have trained for and completed both a marathon, and several half marathons, I know that my body can keep going pretty well for at least three hours (my time for a half marathon) and it might be able to work back up to six hours (my time for a marathon). However, at six (more or less) continuous hours of exertion, it's easy to start losing too much weight, as you simply burn more calories than you can consume later. (Of course, that's a good thing if you WANT to lose weight. :)) I don't mind losing a little, but I'm not planning on losing a lot. Therefore, I'm looking at riding on average about four hours per day - or less.
In my mind, I'm thinking about this like a "job"; i.e. it is going to be my "job" to get on my bike and ride for three or four hours/day. I know the real "professional" riders do A LOT more than that, and I may do more as my body gets used to it as well. In the other hours of my "work day" I will be managing my gear, food, clothing, etc., setting up and tearing down, preparing, and cleaning. I also have plans to be taking pictures and videotaping and then, of course, there is writing on this blog and on Facebook.
Furthermore, I'm considering how many days I want to ride in a row, and if I want to alternate between longer days and shorter days as well as full rest days. Right now I have enough gear that I can ride three days without doing any wash. To do four days, I will need another set of shorts - and as much as I am liking these Gore "bib" shorts, I may just have to get another pair of these (although they are Really expensive). But, you know, the folks at Revolution Cycles in Rockville warned me - once I tried these, I wouldn't want to use anything else! : )
And for my 34 miles today, in 3 hours and 45 minutes, I'd have to say, I was really comfortable. Furthermore, I fell into more of a "meditation mode" as I was just pedaling along that very long, flat road. Some people might be frustrated by the monotony of a circumstance like that, but I realized it was a wonderful opportunity to just practice Being Happy and Feeling Without Limitation. And besides, it was really beautiful out there in the fresh air and bright sunshine filtering through the cooling shade of the trees.
To think - I have much more of this to look forward to. : ))
If you would like to add your support to my journey (let's say, in this particular case, helping me buy another pair of Gore Bib Shorts) please feel free to use the PayPal "Donate" button below, and "Thanks" in advance for your contribution. : ))
Pedaling for Peace
On April 15, 2012 I started riding my bicycle cross-country from Jacksonville, Florida in voluntary support of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) and the work of author and Peace Leadership Director for the NAPF, Paul K. Chappell. By July 4th, I had covered over 1300 miles to just west of Luling, Texas where a major mechanical failure brought this first stage of my cross-country journey to an end. After storing my bicycle and trailer with my aunt and uncle in Weatherford, Texas, I flew from Dallas to Santa Barbara, California to attend the NAPF First Annual Peace Leadership Summer Workshop. I then lived and worked in Santa Barbara for several more months before I returned to Jacksonville and sold off the rest of my possessions that I could to help fund a continuation of my journey. Starting June 8, 2013 and ending August 9, 2013, I rode from Weatherford, through 400 miles of the central Texas hill country, including Austin, Texas, back to Luling. It was at this point that a friend of mine invited me to work for a brief period in Pennsylvania before flying me back to Santa Barbara where I continued volunteering for the NAPF as well as for the Santa Barbara Bike Coalition. As of August 9th, 2014 I began"Stage III" of my cross-country adventure, this time heading south from Santa Barbara to San Diego and then east to El Paso, TX. It was there that illness, winter weather, and diminishing resources brought that leg of my journey to an end. After staying with another friend in Columbus, GA for several months, I moved "back home" to Kentucky to stay with my dad for a while and build a better "resource base" for future endeavors including review and further tracking and primitive survival skills training at Tom Brown, Jr's Tracker School , and a possible longer tour of the east coast, northern tier, and north west coast back down to Santa Barbara, CA.