Monday, June 2, 2008

Three Day Shake Down

Tangle of driftwood and bikes on Lake Roosevelt.

I got away from work to do the last real shakedown ride. The route was all road but included 5 long climbs in a 400 mile 3 state loop. The climbs ranged between 2000 and 3000 feet in gain with the highest point being just under 5000 feet above sea level. The point of the ride was to practice more than to train. The pedaling was the easiest part. I can turn the cranks over without problem but there are so many other things that can go wrong. One of the biggest lessons I have labeled "personal maintenance".
A surprising amount of time must be dedicated each day to washing and drying clothes, washing body parts, applying sunscreen, applying bag balm to my backside, brushing teeth, stretching and massaging. All of this is in addition to bike maintenance, navigation, shopping, purifying water, eating, pissing, shitting and of course biking.
The bike worked great but I did decide that I will add some bar ends to the inside of the handlebar like mini aero bars. The purpose will be to provide some additional hand positions more than to lower my body position. I like to ride upright. Even on my drop bar bikes I never ride in the lower position regardless of how windy it is. Too late to develop a new position now.
It was nice having Noah along for the ride. Having someone with me helped me push the second day when a decadent refueling stop in
Sandpoint forced us to ride until 11:00 p.m. to reach our mileage goal.
The next couple of weeks will involve more off the bike
chores than training. I still have to finish the map project and do some last minute bike modifications. It is becoming harder and harder to focus on things not related to the trip. My mind is locking down on the task and soon it will not allow me to think about anything else.

1 comment:

mc. said...

Oh man! We could have crossed paths. I've been riding a lot in Stevens and Pend Oreille County. Cool that you went over Flowery Trail Rd. - I use it a lot. There so much easily navigable dirt that you can traverse so much of the area away from traffic, even with the low snow line.

Being efficient with off-the-bike stuff and getting your ass out of bed *early* is the real key to doing well as long as you're consistent on the bike - regardless of speed. Kent doesn't push hard, but he absolutely doesn't screw around and that takes some focus. It is easy to be pretty blown up in the early evening as you roll into a town and get sucked into eating a monster dinner and then getting a hotel room and ultimately sit idle for 8, 10, 12 hours because you're "tired." But everybody's hurtin'.

That's the difference between scraping the cutoffs and not. That's what I learned as far as "racing" this way.

Go get 'em Dave. I'll be pulling for you.