Trip Summary

Day 52: 2929 miles completed, 8 states, 7 flat tires, 4 flat mattresses, 40 new friends and Bruce #1, 8 rest days

Sunday, January 25, 2015


I learned or was reminded of a few things on my ride yesterday:
  • Lost a lot of fitness over the last three months
  • Good endurance, but slower
  • Need to work harder when training on-bike
  • No substitute for climbing (running hills simulates climbing)
  • Mechanically sound bicycle makes for a happier journey
  • Need a tune-up before shipping bike
  • Mentally prepared for the daily grind, otherwise I would have stopped after problems
  • I am over training, not having fun on the bike - hated my bike yesterday
  • Reduce on-bike training, more cross training
  • Need to use my own Facebook account to post comments/rides
All that said, I need to remember that C2C is a tour, not a race. 

If I ride it like I have suggested, I am ready for the C2C challenge.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

January Ride in Wisconsin

One doesn't get many good opportunities to ride a road bike in Wisconsin during January.  Today appeared to be a good day:  roads free of snow and ice, 32 F rising to 40 F, calm winds.  A chance to experiment with the Garmin GPS, test cold weather C2C clothing, gauge my fitness level with some climbing.

A half mile into the ride a rubber band which secures the Garmin flew off.  Fortunately I saw it, stopped, located the band in the road, and re-attached it. Back on the bike I proceeded on my planned four hour ride.  Not sure if it was the wind, the weather, or my leg warmers, which were constantly sagging toward my knee, my pace was much slower than usual.  My laborious pace caused me to question my fitness.  Had I lost that much speed in during my three month indoor training?

As I struggled on my first short climb, two miles in, I heard a strange noise coming from the bike. It didn't take long to identify the source of the noise - my rear wheel was rubbing.  Tried spinning the wheel and it stopped.  Shoot, I did not bring a spoke wrench.  Loosened the brakes; still stopped. It was rubbing on the frame and just needed an adjustment.  My pace quickened a bit, but I was still struggling.

After thirty minutes, I was tired of pulling up my sagging leg warmers every two minutes and stopped in on the side of the road to rearrange my clothing.   Apparently I need larger thighs.  Leg warmers off.  Tights off (brr). Leg warmers on under shorts, and tights back on.  Now I am ready to climb Paoli hills.  As I get to the top, I shift into the big ring and "SNAP", my front derailleur cable breaks. I can no longer use the big ring.  Quick decision to return to the local bike shop (LBS).

Having a terrible ride, should I continue or just go home and take a nap.  I figured I needed a good assessment of my fitness, so I hit the road on a route that normally takes less than two hours.  I should be home by 2 PM.  Although I feel like my training indoors has been going well, it appears that I have lost a lot of speed/fitness.  The ride took two hours and twenty minutes.

I have a lot of work to do and only 41 days before Coast 2 Coast 2015.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Luxury Item

One rule for our coast to coast trip is "Do not take anything that you haven't tried." Yesterday, I started testing one of my luxury items.

Every day we will be in a different campground.  Imagine waking up in the middle of the night when nature calls, waking up in the morning and fumbling for glasses, or trying to clean contacts in a dusty environment.  Those of you with 20/20 vision do not have these issues and if my test goes as hoped, neither will I.

My trial of contact lenses that can be worn for 30 days began roughly 24 hours ago.  The benefits so far have been minimal: the ability to see clearly while feeding the dog, shaving, and showering. I stated "roughly" because the lenses are thicker than my usual ones and with every blink I can feel the increased edge and irritation. 

We have scheduled a seven day test, so, I am still hopeful that my eyes can adjust and eliminate the daily procedures associated with contact lenses and provide clear vision 24/7.  If not, another option is daily wear lenses than get tossed each evening and every day starts with a new pair.  This does not solve the problem of a midnight trek to the  restroom, but keeping the lenses clean is less of an issue.

Update 1/25:  I am loving the new contacts.  Eyes seem to have adjusted.  Thinking it might just be the stress and fatigue of working at a computer all day that was causing issues.  We will see what happens tomorrow.  Either way it appears to be a go for C2C.  The best part is being able to roll over in the morning and actually see my lovely wife.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


During my most recent ten day indoor training cycle, I ran across an article on overtraining.

 Symptoms of Overtraining Syndrome

  • Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy
  • Mild leg soreness, general aches and pains
  • Pain in muscles and joints
  • Sudden drop in performance
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Decreased immunity (increased number of colds, and sore throats)
  • Decrease in training capacity / intensity
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Depression
  • Loss of enthusiasm for the sport


I decided to take an extra day off.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

First Rest Day?

What to do on the first rest day of a coast to coast bicycle tour? 

After studying the route and looking for things to do, I ran across this in Bicycling magazine:

"Rising gently out of the scalding heat of the desert, Catalina Highway (also called Mt. Lemmon Highway) ascends from 3,000 feet of elevation to 9,100 feet over about 27 miles. The grade holds at about 5 percent for nearly the entire climb as saguaro cacti and mesquite trees give way to cool pine forests, brisk air, and dramatic windblown igneous rock formations. Enjoy the vistas on the way up; heading back along the velvety-smooth road, you’ll be more focused on the sweeping, no-brakes descent." 

This is my plan for Day 9 of C2C,  our first day off.


"Cycling up the Mt Lemmon Hwy in Tucson, Arizona is an epic ride and will rival some of the best climbs across the country.  If you love to climb and descend this is the ride for you!"

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Just In Time

Training on our bicycles for hours at a time, in the basement, has been getting more difficult.  At least for me.  Not only the fact that we spend two hours each day pedaling without traveling an inch, but we wee running out of recordings of good television.  The only reprieve from the unchanging scenery is getting lost in an intriguing movie plot.

This weekend our satellite provider gave us a Free View weekend.  All HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax channels were available for free.  We now have 50 hours of "new" movies recoded. Hopefully they are good, because I attempt to have something recording all weekend.  Sometimes we barely get through the opening scene before we hit the delete.  Stationery cycling is difficult enough, but nearly impossible while watching a terrible movie.

On Saturday, we biked through "Lee Daniel's The Butler" and went past our scheduled time without complaint.

BTW:  We spent Friday night sorting through 120 t-shirts, preparing for distribution.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Mother Nature

Mother Nature makes it difficult to train outdoors during December, January, and February.  Current temperature is below zero as is the expected high temperature for Wednesday.

Although limited this year, she usually provides plenty of opportunities for cross training.  After only 0.1 inch of snow last month, the full body workouts shoveling snow began yesterday and should continue for the next two months.

The C2C route files were recently made available, so we took some time to copy and download the files to our GPS unit.  We are hoping to reduce our off route mileage this year :-)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Back in the Saddle

Lisa has restarted her training after her two week medical recovery.  I decided to cut my two week break from cycling short (eight days) to resume training for our cross country journey.

So with 65 days before we depart San Diego, we are both ready for the final push.