To healdsburg and back = 150 miles. I left this morning at 4:45am and rode in the dark for a solid 2 and a half hours, getting a good preview of what the night ride will bring. Pretty cold at the get go, but I was fairly warm with my skull cap and layers. I had a heavy bag of food and fluids on my back. I was determined today to keep extra close tabs on my food and fluid intake. I set a timer on my watch for every 15 minutes, where I had either a 1/3 a bottle of gatorade and every other 15 minute interval something to eat; PB and J's, cookies, bananas, an apple, bagels, jelly belly sport beans. Eating on the bike is a great distraction, but takes some serious coordination, I almost busted 3-4 times fumbling for food and drink. The attention paid today to my food and fluids paid off tremendously, I had great energy the whole ride and never once felt maxed out or exhausted, I could feel my body turn into a furnace that required constant fuel to avoid meltdown.
I biked right at 150 miles (actually had to ride around my neighborhood trails 5-7 more miles to get up to 150!), it was a beautiful ride up through petaluma, cotati, santa rosa and finally into healdsburg. I planned on waiting until the last second to put new tires on my bike specifically for 30for30th and I thought I could eek out one or two more rides before they blew out...I was wrong. About mile 90 in santa rosa I blew my back tire out all the way through! I patched it, but knew I needed new tires asap. I passed a trek store about two miles back, actually the timing of the blowout couldn't have been better. John from the trek store, super nice place by the way (i'm a big Trek/Gary Fisher fan, they are all I've ever ridden) set me up with some new gatorskins and I was back on the road in no time.
Oh yea, the saddle, felt great (how about good, no saddle could ever feel "great" after 100+ miles.) I was really pleased with the Selle Anatomica and actually started to feel more accustomed to it on the higher miles. I think it will be perfect for the long ride.
Overall the ride was excellent, I felt good, strong and never over the edge. My legs are tired now, but no more tired than when I bike an intense 30-40 miles. My triceratops and neck took the brunt of what little struggle there was today. I averaged about 14.5 mph which is faster than I plan on doing for the 30for30th ride. I'm shooting to do about 10 mph average, so I will have to be diligent and methodical about maintaining this pace. Further conclusions that the night will be challenging especially after a day or riding beforehand. The warmth of that sunrise felt so good this morning...
Good training ride, one more closer to the big one.
Nobody can miss you with these babies on your bike. My buddy Brent (college roommate and dude I bike across the country with) invented these, they are patent pending and in the early phases of development but will soon be available at an online store near you! I've used them for late night/early morning rides and they are incredibly effective. The material is so reflective it looks like you literally have lightsabers for a bike frame. Best of luck to Brent getting them on the market, I'm a big fan and I think tons of other cyclists out there will find a substantial demand for the Bike Wrappers.
Its hard to beat the sunrise over SF from the Golden Gate Bridge. Now that we’ve finally had a streak of dry beautiful weather I’ve been riding my bike to and from work. It turns out to be about a 30 mile round trip from the north bay over the Golden Gate bridge into the presidio. It’s been refreshing to get on the bike and not the car to head into the office, not to mention actually saving about $25 a week on tolls, let’s face it that $$$ adds up! I took this picture with my iphone about 7:45 this morning. San Francisco is a stunning city especially with the magical golden hour light.. Riding in all this week just reminds me how spectacular this area really is.
The wine country is beautiful and the Bay Area is lucky to be so close to Napa and Sonoma. I biked to Napa and back this past weekend and had a stellar ride. I’m working to get up and out of the house early to get used to riding in the dark and being tired when I start riding. The dark hours on the 30for30th are going to be the toughest and I don’t want to be surprised by them. Not to mention I like to get home early to spend a little more time with my family on the weekend. That said I was on the road at 5:30 on my way to Napa. The ride from southern Marin County to Napa is good but not great, unfortunately I had to ride for a section on the dreaded route 37, aka Blood Alley (don’t tell my wife). The shoulder is huge on this section of 37 and if you can deal with cars passing you five feet away at 70+ miles an hour it’s not that bad. Although, there is one bridge that completely bugs me out with no shoulder and a tiny maybe foot and a half wide curb. I’ve encountered this brief section before and was ready. If you time it right with the traffic it’s not that bad, but needless to say, it ain’t fun. The biggest challenge of the day was finding coffee! I got to Napa about 9AM, rode through town quickly, scarfed some snacks and turned right back around. Napa was dead quiet on a Sunday morning, I guess everyone’s sleeping off their wine hangovers. On my training rides I’ve been pushing it hard to get my heart rate up and give my legs a seriously solid work out. I think this hard approach to training rides will help a lot for the actual event. Just so we’re clear, I’m not trying to break any speed or mileage records, I just want to bike for 30 hours, that’s all. So, the idea is to conserve, manage my body and exersion levels for 30 hours. That is the goal. On the ride to Napa I downed quite a bit of food and drink. Eating is the key, I have to eat eat eat in order to make this happen. Literally every 15 minutes I need some form of caloric intake, preferably carb based to sustain my energy for that long period of time. Eating and riding is an art and the food tastes so good while you ride.
All in all it was an excellent ride to Napa, right at 90 miles roundtrip, I felt strong, saw some beautiful scenery in perfect weather and got more excited about the 30for30th ride. Let’s do this!