“Gee Toto we are not in Kansas any more.” If it was not so green here in Portland my animal name sake would be right at home. (Beep beep) Holy cow it is hot here! Went out for a “warm up” this afternoon and burned my hands on my handle bars – 97 degrees. Tomorrow is going to be really interesting.
The month of June went well. Not as many miles but I was able to stay over 100 each week. My only concern is I need to be more careful eating on the days I do not ride. Packed on a couple extra pounds for the 3,000’ climb tomorrow.
July will be the real test. Starting tomorrow with the Portland Livestrong Ride. Two weeks from tomorrow will be San Jose. And I still plan to ride at least 100 miles each week. My goal is to get over 700 miles by the end of July.
I must do something about the tan lines. I cannot wear tank tops, regular shorts, or sandals. Tried the tanning booth but that is really bad for me. I am building all this muscle but I scare the crap out of Jeri when I take my shirt off. Maybe I will have to try some of that spray on stuff. NOT!
The dinner tonight was pretty cool. Got to see and listen to Lance speak and also got to hear some amazing stories. The individual winner (most money and most donors) was a 15 year old cancer survivor. He and his younger sister raised over $35,000 with over 1,000 contributors – all this while going through chemotherapy this winter. With stories like this one you can bet your ass I am going to make it up that mountain tomorrow even if it is 110 degrees. If he can do that, I can do this.
As of this past Friday the total all of you have contributed in my name is just over $19,000. Wow! Thank you! This means that I need an additional $11,000 to meet my goal. (Jeri and I are going to match.) My next goal is to get 200 songs. Shortly you will receive information about my song fundraiser. No donations are required, just a little time.
Time for me to get some sleep. The ride starts tomorrow at 7:30am PCT and I must be finished in 8.5 hours or get pulled off the course. In Michigan this would be a piece of cake. I am a little worried about the heat and climbing here. Well if they do pull me off, I will just ride around the parking lot until I get my 100 miles in.
The Road Rider
|WEEK OF||MILES||HOURS||BIKE TO WORK||ASCENT||WEIGHT|
|Livestrong Portland||June 29||100 miles||1|
|Livestrong San Jose||July 13||100 miles||14|
|ODL across Michigan||July 29||152 miles||26|
|Livestrong Philadelphia||August 24||100 miles||56|
|Apple Cider Century||September 28||100 miles||91|
|Livestrong Austin||October 26||100 miles||119|
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“There is something else I am after, out here in the wild. I am searching for an even more elusive prey…something that can only be found through the help of wilderness. I am looking for my heart.”
John Eldredge Wild at Heart
People occasionally ask me, “Why do you do those long rides?” Even if they do not ask, I can see the question in their eyes. My shrink recommended this book Wild at Heart (He recommends a different book every time I see him!) that I started reading on my flight out to Portland. The quote above comes pretty close to the answer. Doing these rides is my way to find out if I have what it takes. I do it because it is there. I do it because I want to find out what I am made of.
The Livestrong – Portland ride was a bigger test than I thought it would be. There were some time cutoffs that if I did not make it to point A by this time, they would re-rout me or pick me up. In the back of my mind I had a little concern but the time limit was 8 hours and I have done a 100 mile ride in less than 6. Well, I made all the cutoffs but only by 30 minutes. I averaged 18mph for the first 20 miles, and probably less than 6mph for the second 20. On the climbs the percent grade was rarely under 10%. There were a couple times I looked down at my computer and saw that we were going up at 14%. (Next time you are at the health club crank up the treadmill to 7% and then double it.)
It was tough but I was happy with my performance. I never stopped during a climb and I did not walk – just kept putting one foot in front of the other. I was surprised at how many really good bikers stopped and walked. They probably all passed me during the rest of the ride, but I never stopped. (By the way, the key is not ever letting your legs start to burn. If they are burning and you are not feet from the top, you are finished.)
Two weeks until San Jose, CA. Should not be as much climbing there, but I am not taking any chances. I will take Monday off to fly home and put my bike back together. Then on Tuesday get going again.