Monday, July 01, 2013

Lessons from the road

The final long training ride is done. Heather and I spent Saturday riding 162 miles to make sure we’re ready for the Fireweed 200. We’re there. H rode like a high-octane machine, and two days after a hard effort, I’m tired but feeling no pain.

Now it’s time to taper. What better opportunity to share the lessons I’ve learned from this experience (so far)?

  • Long-distance riding is a great escape from reality. There’s a beautiful freedom in having nothing to do but ride and eat for hours at a time.
  • A person can get REALLY hungry two days after a really long ride.
  • All bike shorts are not created equal.
  • There is such a thing as too much chamois cream.
  • Use a metric assload of chamois cream anyway.
  • Flats suck. (I already knew this. I just like repeating it.)
  • The food in Hope, Alaska, is pretty good, but it tastes better when you ride there to get it.
  • It’s fun to drink gin and tonics in the bar car on the Alaska Railroad train from Seward to Anchorage. (I assumed this. I just liked confirming it.)
  • Good riding partners are always important, but even more important after 100 miles. If you can end a marathon day with a friend who lapses into giddy laughter at the sheer insanity of it all, you’re doing it right.
  • I’m doing it right.
  • It’s highly entertaining to watch the reaction of “normal” people when you meet them at a roadside rest area, a restaurant, etc., and they ask how far you’re riding ... and you tell them.
  • I miss trail time, and plan to get dirty again very soon. I love bikes in all forms, but I’ll always be a mountain biker above all else.
Let's do this thing. See you in Valdez.


cycleofaddiction said...

Thats the kind of ride I'm aspiring to do, , i've done about 80miles mixed road offroad but I would really love to try 100 miles plus, my girlfriend is just starting to get the mtb bug and I'm hoping one day we'll do it together. Chapeau on your ride and love your insights too..

Tim said...

Thanks, David. I hope you and your girlfriend hit the century mark soon.

lemmiwinks said...

I wish I had a legitimate excuse for my tiredness/continual eating but it ain't so. My tapering normally involves beer but then I've never done such a serious ride as the one you're embarking on.

Good luck and I'm looking forward to the post ride post.