Preparing For Winter Commuting

Usually around this time I’ll put the bike away.  I’ve got a trainer setup that I’m trying to force myself to use on crappy days.  During non-crappy days I usually have something going on and find an excuse to not commute.  The time of the year when I’m most freed up is the time of the year when the weather is worst.

I need to stop being a pansy.  Rule #5 if you will.

I have a Cannondale Quick 5 Hybrid that I’m going to turn into my off-season commuter.  Below I’ll collect links that I’ll use to figure out what I need to pull this off.  Hopefully it won’t be too expensive but I figure it’s going to be free.  What?

Free.  That’s what I said.  Well maybe not “free” but net ZERO cost.  Here is my rationale.  Each full commute saves me about 30 miles of driving.  Each day I drive I’ll get the cost of gas at the place I normally use and I’ll put the amount if would have cost me in my “bank”.  I will use that to buy the things I need.  I know it won’t be exact math as who knows if I would have bought fuel that day, who knows this and that and the other thing?  It’s what I got to go on so I’m using it.  I’m going to have to get going to put some money in the “bank” because there are a few thing I’m going to need.

What I Have

Cannondale Quick 5
Cannondale Quick 5

Bike – Cannondale Quick 5 (Hybrid) and a Raleigh Revenio 2.0.  The hybrid is the bike I bought for myself when I first started to lose weight and I needed to add in some exercise.  My road bike will still be used on days that are good to fair condition but this trusty fella will make a fine off-season commuter.  As you can see on the right it already has a carry bag on the back to keep things to account for some of the season’s unpredictable behavior.

Lights – I’m pleased with the lights that I have and use them currently.  A rear blinkie (shown in above photo) and two cygolites up front (also shown but not easily seen).

Tires – On this bike I have Continental Gatorskins.  Those will do just fine until slicker conditions exist.  I’ll address additional tire needs below.

Foot Covering – I have a light pair of shoe covers.  They are good for a chilly fall day but that’s pushing it.

Hand Covering – Gloves you could call them.  I’ve got the minimum for the Fall chill but they don’t breath and I’ll sweat in them.  The good thing is I’ll get where I’m going and can dry them.  I’ll need something better but that’s an expense.  Bank those miles!

Pearl Izumi - Ride Men's Elite Softshell Glove
Pearl Izumi – Ride Men’s Elite Softshell Glove

UPDATE:  I’ve purchased the gloves I had below as a “Need” item.  They haven’t arrived yet but they are on their way.  They are the “Pearl Izumi – Ride Men’s Elite Softshell Glove”.  I also have some wrist warmers but will use them with some gloves that I use for “cool to chilly” days.  If I need the wrist warmers with these gloves either I’ve got a gap between my arm and hand covering or it is VERY cold out.

Eyes – I have some pretty good sunglasses.  They are the wrap around type and I have them mostly for when I am helping my daughter’s fastpitch team out.  Good protection from the side, etc.

In the late Fall and Winter unless I am riding in the middle of the day on the weekend it is going to be either dark and getting light or light and getting dark.  The dark tinted sunglasses won’t do.

Red Baron Motorcycle/aviator Goggles Day Night
Red Baron Motorcycle/aviator Goggles Day Night

While riding a few weekends ago a person on the ride had some goggles on.  Looked goofy though they look like they would work in the colder weather.  I found a very cheap set that had clear and slightly tinted.   The ones I purchased are the “Red Baron Motorcycle/Aviator Goggles Day Night”.  I got them on Amazon.com for $11.61 though you can get them many places.  I got the cheap set to see if I can stand to look this goofy.  If they work I won’t really care.  My kids may not talk to me anymore but that’s ok!

What I Need

Tires – As the surface I ride on starts to get slick from ice, snow and rutted melted then refrozen snow/ice I’m going to need a set of tires that can handle it.  I need to find out how wide of a tire that my bike can handle and what is the right tire to get.  I’m sure I’ll need them studded and it has been recommended that I get carbide ones so they don’t rust in the first year.

Fenders – I think fenders will go a long way to making foot covering and leg covering less of an issue.  If I can keep wet spray from coming off the tires that will eliminate one reason that the feet get cold.  Wet I don’t care about by itself but when it contributes to cold, like it will, then it is an issue.  I’d like for my foot and leg covering to do their job without having to fight the spray.  Another side benefit is that it should keep my chain and cog cleaner.

Foot Covering – I got a slight case of frostbite in my toes a few years ago and since then they get cold quicker.  I need to get a really good pair of covers and I’ll cover that below.

Hand Covering – There are many options for keeping the hands warm and each option is based on layering, just like the rest of the body.  I will pick up a lobster glove that is just a shell (wind, rain) if needed but I don’t anticipate it.

 

Resources

Tires – Guide For Winter Bike Tires – Studded Tires and Fat Bikes

Dayton Cycling Club Class Qualifications

FeaturedImage_ChainRing_01Below are the rider classifications of one of our local ride clubs. They are used to let the rider know what a ride will be like. A ride leader will say something like “Saturday 40 mile bike path ride, B- level”. That should give the participant an idea of the distance, pace, etc.

Dayton Cycling Club Class Qualification Standards
Dayton Cycling Club Class Qualification Standards

In addition to that value I am using it as a target. I already know that I can do the “D” and then the “C” but I’m not ready for the distance of the “B” classification. Last night I schedule a “D qualification ride” for anybody in the area who wanted to a ride with the sole purpose of qualifying. Did that one with no real issue. Saturday I scheduled one for the “C” qualification. Though I feel I could do 65 miles this year still I don’t want to increase my miles too quickly just for the sake of qualifying for the “B” level. As part of my training for the 100 miler next year I’ll do a 65 miler and try to use he minimum pace.

So… basically for me it is an indication of my level of fitness and commitment to riding.

New Rear Wheel Configuration For Raleigh

280 Dude On A Bike
280 Dude On A Bike

Coming out of what I consider my consistent riding season (nice weather, birds chirping) I had to take my bike in to get some work down on it. While I am improving at doing some of the work myself I still like to have certain things done by a trusted professional.

While at the bike shop I was going to pick up a trainer tire to use on my …. trainer …. and was whining about having to switch the tires on my rim.  I was also whining about my rim going out of true more often than your typical rider.  The main reason for this is that even though I am dropping weight I’ll ALWAYS be heavier than your “typical rider” due to my height and body structure.  Add into this mix is that sometimes I carry extra weight when I have the bike packed for camping and the stock rims were barely holding up.  Not the rim’s fault of course.  Poor things.

While whining the bike guy suggested I get a new rim, a cheaper one that would do just for the trainer tire.  “What about being out of true so often?”.  “Well helping that is more expensive.”  We went over the various options and he actually steered me away from a few costly things I was considering and got down to what would be effective for me based on how I ride and my frequency of getting on the bike.

Here is what we ended up with:

Shimano Ultegra FH-6800/Mavic Open Pro Rear Wheel plus SRAM PG-950 Road Cassette

A few highlights from Performance Bike’s Site..

Shimano Ultegra FH-6800 Rear Hub:

  • Cup and cone for durability and best performance
  • High durability, smooth rotation bearings
  • Easy maintenance
  • Digital adjustment system is easy to adjust and reduces QR axial force
  • Resilient steel freehub body and axle
  • Lightweight and strong aluminum hub shell

Mavic Open Pro Rim:

  • Maxtal aluminum alloy rim offers a higher strength-to-weight ratio than conventional 6106 alloy
  • SUP welded rim with double eyelets increases the rim joint strength, provides superior wheel balance and eliminates vibration when braking
  • UB Control braking surface is milled to improve braking friction and eliminate shuddering
  • 32 stainless steel, double-butted spokes laced 3-cross add durable strength and resilience

The reviews on the SRAM PG-950 Road Cassette are mixed.  Some like it and many don’t.  I’ll pay attention to it and if it causes me grief I’ll replace it.  I don’t want a part of my bike that holds the rest of it back.  I can do that on my own!

If I like the Mavic Open Pro Rim I’ll get the matching front if for no other reason is that it will reduce how often my rim goes out of true which admittedly for the front is not that often.

Fifty Mile Biker Ride Planned – What’s Different About This One?

280 Dude On A Bike
280 Dude On A Bike

Edit: I did the 50 miler.  Results are way at the bottom.

Fifty miler.  Woo.  To many people that’s no big deal.  To some who are just starting their biking journey it is as impossible as swimming across the ocean with an elephant on their back.  Others never want to do that distance or prefer not to spend the time preparing for it.  Tonight I am planing on riding 50 miles, maybe more and I’m not doing several days of planning for it.  THAT is what is different about this one.

When I am going to do something that I’m on the edge of accomplishing I massively prepare for it.  I do route-sheets, plan water breaks, over-eat to make sure I’m nutritionally prepared and send out 15 emails to make sure everybody is also ready.  When I feel I am JUST BARELY going to be able to accomplish something or I’M NOT EVEN SURE IF I CAN do it I need to reduce possible errors and obstacles.

Fear of failure?  You bet.  That doesn’t stop me from trying though.  If I try and fail then it’s no big deal… get up and try again another day.  However if I FAILED TO PREPARE and then fail then I’ve let myself (and others) down.

For tonight’s planned 50 miler here is what I did.

  • Arranged take-off time and location with my riding buddy
  • Bought a dry bag (lost my old one) to attach to my handlebar
  • Last night I threw some on-the-bike nutrition into the bag along with my head lamp
  • Charged my handlebar lights

That’s it.  Oh I’ll also fill up my water bottles (Rehydrate and Spark), check the air in my tires and such but that’s all generic stuff anyway.

Notice there were no emails flying about, no issuing of routes with water points annotated, no “Hey does this look right?” calls… For me now 50 miles is still a fair distance but it is more “normal”.  For me the only difference between 15, 30, 40 and 50 miles is time.  Of course each will tire me out a bit more than the one before but it’s not going to hurt me.  A fifty may bring on a wee nap later in the day but more so because I may get up at 4 am to start the ride at 5 am.  Who wouldn’t want a nap after waking up at 4 am?

Last year I want from going ZERO miles at the beginning to doing a painful 100 miler in late fall.  Even though I had lost a bunch of weight and increased my fitness a fifty miler was still something that caused me a bit of stress.

Bear in mind that I’m not saying a fifty miler is EASY.  It’s not.  It’s just not the stressful event it used to be.  So what’s the difference?  Why is a fifty miler no big stressful deal?  Glad I asked!

Consistency With Exercise – Even though I am not a nose to the grindstone person when riding my bike I am consistent “enough”.  I’m more conscious about using the bike as part of my exercise plan.  I’m fortunate to have a shower facility where I work and can go on lunch-time rides.  That in itself has really helped me be consistent.  It has removed ANY obstacle that I ever had for getting the time to workout.

Consistency With Nutrition – Many of you know that I am using AdvoCare as my choice to keep me on a tremendous path with my nutrition.  I’ve also using their Sports Performance line (which is nutrition, again) to help fuel my workouts and recover.  Recovery allows me to benefit more from my efforts therefore allowing me to do more, etc.  By being consistent with my nutrition I am dropping unwanted fat, fueling my workouts, recovering from those workouts, getting MORE from my workouts and increasing my belief that “I am can do this, no big deal”.

How I Exercise – At the beginning of this year I started to explore how to get the most out of the time I put in.  My goal was to lose unwanted fat with the side benefit of increased fitness.  This pointed me right to intervals, and variations of them.  Not only did I work towards learning to do the intervals themselves but I also worked towards RECOVERING from them, which is equally important.  As I learned more about the tremendous stress (and benefit) that intervals (and their cousins) put on the body I looked to AdvoCare’s Elite line to take care of things.

Doing very intense 12-15 mile workouts makes riding a moderately paced 30 miler an enjoyable outing.  Doing a 50 miler is just a bit more time and you end up being a bit more tired.  The only real challenge for me is that my rump gets sore because it’s not used to being in the saddle that long at a time.  My legs can handle the distance… my MIND can handle the distance…. and there is no fear of bonking if I at least reasonable take care of things.

Next Steps – I want to do a 50 miler faster.  If I can reduce my time to do a fifty miler I can do them more often.  My lunch-time interval workouts will need to get faster and I’ll do more intervals in one outing.  My section sprints will get faster.  My pace rides will be faster.  Instead of just riding my 30 milers I’ll push hard and end up laying in my yard trying to not pass out (this is what I consider fun) after rides.  All this will make me faster on the 50’s.

While I am getting faster on the 50’s I’ll make 75 the new 50, and 50 the new 30.  In late fall I’ll probably do a 100 miler.  I could do one NOW but I want to accomplish it easier and not have it be painful.  By the time I’m doing regular 75’s the end of my comfortable riding season will be ending.  My challenge will be to use the indoor trainer during the Winter to keep a certain level of fitness and be able to get out in the Spring ahead of where I did this year.  I’ll want to do consistent 30’s as soon as possible in 2015.

So that’s it.  I’d love to hear about what is not “normal” to you that used to be a stretch, or even seemingly impossible.

Edit: I did the above 50 miler.  It was fun.  Finished just before a large drop rain shower came in.

2013 Henry-2-Hofbräuhaus Training Miles

280 Dude On A Bike
280 Dude On A Bike

I’ve received several “I’m looking to do a 100 miler but so far I’ve….” questions.  I thought I’d post my rides to see what I did so you can compare.  The data starts on July 4th of 2013 when I completed a metric century (I actually went 65.99 miles).  That was a push for me but I did it and was not in a bunch of pain but I WAS wiped out when I was done.  When discussing if I was in shape to do the 100k I say “no” but that’s because I didn’t finish it in reasonable comfort.  I felt I was in “50 miler” shape but extended myself to the 65.99 miles.  Leading up the 100k I had a period where life jumped up and didn’t let me properly prepare.  It’s a trend and I see that continuing for a few more years.  I’m ok with it as the things that keep me off the bike are my kid’s activities, etc.

So…. the general training plan for distances is to ride as much as you can during the week and one long one on the weekend.  Super.  I did that for a while and 28 days out from the 100 miler I did a 75 mile ride.  It destroyed me.  I wasn’t in 75 mile shape.  I knew I had to do better to make it 100 miles.  From that point on I did a few 30 milers, a 50 miler, and some shorter ones.  In the two weeks leading up to the ride I only did a total of 42.9 miles and some of that was on an indoor trainer.  In short I was NOT prepared.  I knew I was NOT in 100 mile shape but was I in enough shape to finish it by being in pain for a good deal of it?  I convinced myself that I was.

To sum up before showing my miles I need to be in much better shape before doing my next 100 miler.  I feel I am in metric century (62) miles shape right now.  I need to do one of those every weekend with two or three 30 mile days between.  If I can get back to commuting to work that will give me some decent daily miles and will really help condition my rump.

OK…. here is my miles chart.

H2H Training Miles
H2H Training Miles

Trip Report – 1st Annual Henry-2-Hofbräuhaus Memorial Ride (Oct 5 2013)

This writeup is long and a bit jumbled.  I’ll clean it up in the next few days but a few people are asking for it so I’ll just throw my hands to the keyboard and have at it.

On October 5th a group (Marni, Mike, myself) rode in the 1st Annual Henry-2-Hofbräuhaus Memorial Ride.  This event is something I came up with to give us a target to get out and train for.  I decided to create the event on the 22nd of August and it has its roots in a proposed “Beavercreek to Paul Brown Stadium” ride which would have been around 75 miles long depending on where we started.  I could not commit to that ride initially and by the time I knew my schedule that ride was up in the air so I created my event.

Mid-Report Chatter – Two days before we took off my wheel went out of true.  Whitman’s Ride Shop helped me out.  Read about that HERE.

Why Make It An Event, Can’t You Just Say “Hey let’s ride 100 on such and such day”?
No, what fun would THAT be?  A bunch, actually, but I thought it would be fun to ride down to Newport (where the Hofbräuhaus is located) and spend the night.  All that would attend would ride at whatever pace they wanted and we could all end up hanging out for the evening.  I’m a social creature at times so I enjoy that.  At other times one of us will set an informal date with a “sort of” distance and off we will go.

Mid-Report Chatter I fight the tendency to over-prepare for things.  Over-preparing removes some of the fun.  Under-preparing removes some of the fun.  What I tried to do on this is make sure that the core group was ok with when were leaving, where we would stay, and such.  Once these things are set it doesn’t bother me if something has to change for whatever reason.  I don’t over-prepare because I need it that way, it’s more that I have invited people to an event and I want to make sure that things go well for THEM.  Failing those that are trusting me would pain me greatly.

As our intended destination was the Hofbräuhaus house I called them to see when they usually got busy as I wanted to not stand around after riding.  It wouldn’t normally be a huge deal but the was a home Bengals game the next day (they beat the Patriots, FYI) and with the added people in town and this being a popular place it would be a downer on the day to sit in the lobby for an hour while space freed up.  They notified me that 4pm is when we should arrive by so we used that to go backwards and set a start time.  Adding in some time to get to our hotel & shower we figured we would start at 5 am.  Five…. am.  Ouch.  That would mean a wake up time to get something to eat, let it digest a bit, do final prep and hit the road.  My wake up time was 4 am.

Mid-Report Chatter – I don’t feel I was prepared for the distance of 100 miles.  Leading up to the ride I had a two-week period that I couldn’t get on the bike for many longer rides or consistent shorter rides.  Previous to that two weeks my longest distance was 75 miles and that was almost a month earlier.  The 75 miler hurt.  Was I 25 miles better NOW than I was THEN?  Nope.

Rather than drive to my house and her vehicle to be picked back up on Sunday Marni decided to leave from her house and ride towards me.  She picked a spot that was close to the same distance I would have gone (upon meeting up) and was also sort-of safe to be at 6 am in the morning.  Mike couldn’t ride the whole way with us as his son had a soccer game so his plan was to ride with Marni to our meet up spot and then go with us until we hit the spot he wold turn off and go home.  After his son’s soccer game he would take a short cut and meet up with us while we stopped for lunch.  He would have to pedal pretty hard but he is in much better shape than we are and is used to longer rides so I knew he could do it.

The night before the ride I had trouble falling asleep.  I was nervous.  I know I’m going to make it but I wonder how painful it will be.  Will I hold up the others too much?  I know I can make it but can I really?  I get up a few times to take care of things I forgot but at some point I fall asleep and suddenly THE ALARM CLOCK GOES OFF.  When I wake up I’m fine.  It’s here, we are doing it, it’s a go.  Awesome.

Here is the route sheet from the 1st Annual Henry-2-Hofbräuhaus Memorial Ride (Oct 5 2013)
Here is the route sheet from the 1st Annual Henry-2-Hofbräuhaus Memorial Ride (Oct 5 2013)

Mid-Report Chatter I made a cue sheet that showed the total distance to various spots along the way as well as the distance to the next spot.  It was most useful when making decisions on when to stop for something.  If we need to stop to use the bathroom did we do it at the next stop or the next one?  Was there a good water refuel spot close or do we need to take care of that the next time we can?  ARE WE THERE YET?  etc. The actual distances were a bit different from what I had calculated (google maps) but that was to be expected.

When I left my house I resisted the urge to put the hammer down and set a few land speed records.  I knew that I would need everything I had to finish.  The last 25 miles was my focus, not the first 15.  I arrived at Deed’s Park, the meet up spot with Marni and Mike.  They had been there just a few minutes.  I admired the new lights Mike had purchased and off we went.

Beavercreek Station (26.12 miles biked) – I figured every 25 miles (or so) would be a good time to take a longer-ish break, even at the beginning.  The first spot was Beavercreek Station.  This was also the place where Mike split off and went home.  I’m still feeling good.  Took a photo with the metal beaver.  We all look like we just got out of bed.

Beavercreek Station - Bicycle Beaver
Beavercreek Station – Bicycle Beaver
Beavercreek Station - Don't we look lovely this early in the morning.
Beavercreek Station – Don’t we look lovely this early in the morning.

Our next scheduled stop would be Xenia Station.  Prior to that Marni’s chain broke on her red recumbent so we sat for a bit while her Mike (husband-SAG) brought her blue recumbent to her.  We got to sit on a picnic table and make fun of a few people so the time was well spent!

Marni and I at Xenia Station
Marni and I at Xenia Station

Xenia Station was 34.4 miles on the cue sheet but 36.03 on GPS.  I already knew that by the time we did little detours, wobble from side to side on the bike path, etc. that there would be a difference.  Still the cue sheet was handy for letting us know how far (pretty close, anyway) the next stop was and generally how far we still had to go.

Xenia Station is another place that has bathrooms, water and a place to sit down.  My arm wasn’t long enough to take a good photo of us so we had to scrunch down and such to get what we wanted.  The sun was out so we looked all Hollywood in our cool rays.

I was still feeling pretty good at this point but I did notice that Marni was trying to kill me on the pace.  For the first 75 miles or so I would guess our ride pace was about 14.5-15 mph.  That is above what I normally do on my shorter rides!  However now that I know I will be riding with a highly motivated extreme athlete here and there I’m going to have to up my game!

Mid-Report Chatter – I’m glad that the 100 miler is done because it changed how I rode.  I tried to ride distances with the pace of “I have to finish”.  Fear-riding I called it.  Now that we are done with the event I can up my pace and and improve my distance from there.  I’ll still try and do a longer ride on the weekend and do whatever pace I have to do in order to finish but I’ll be more local to my house and won’t worry about being way far away if I struggle.  I’ll also work in more intervals to increase my natural speed little by little.

Corwin Station (50.3 miles biked) – I had always targeted Corwin Station as the “half way point” and on paper (google maps) it was just a bit less than half.  However with a detour and a bit of this and that it was right at half way to 100.  By this time I knew I was going to struggle the last 25 miles.  My rump was starting to feel being in the saddle just a bit and I knew this would just accelerate.  My legs were starting to feel a bit of the stress as well.  When we stopped to make sure we filled up on water, ate a larger snack, etc. I chatted with two fellas who had real nice bikes.  One was all carbon and the other just had a carbon fork but both were very light.  One had a Brooks saddle and the other had one of a different brand but looked like a Brooks.  I had saddle envy and I am considering putting one on my list for Christmas so I can break it in while on my indoor trainer.

Mid-Report Chatter – I was concerned that by riding a heavy bike that distance when I wasn’t ready for it I might hurt my knees.  When I’m tired I lose form a bit (bit=bunch) and fall back to trying to power through my spin.  I felt a bit of pain during my ride that wasn’t related to exertion but it went away around mile 60.  I’m going to have to really work on my form and try to minimize the chance of hurting myself.  One reason why I bike and not run is the non-impact versus impact aspect for my knees so I have to get this figured out.

Loveland (78.45 miles biked) – Loveland was our next major stop (we did minor ones the whole way) and was where we would stop and get lunch.  This is also where we expected to meet up with Mike, who was melting the road to get to us as soon as he could.  Marni had received word (texts) earlier in the ride that he was on the way and we figured that meeting while lunching would work out well.  I was secretly hoping it would take him long enough to sneak in a nap but that didn’t work out either.

By the time we stopped in Loveland I was in pain.  My rump hurt.  My legs hurt.  My mind was showing the first signs of bonking.  I knew that the next 25 miles was going to be a challenge.  Luckily we were stopped for lunch and I could recover a bit.

Lunch was at a nice bike trail-side cafe thing.  Two guys were playing guitar outside where we were seated.  We ordered too much food and of course ate it all.  Mike caught up and joined us before the main food came out and we enjoyed the rest.

I let Marni and Mike know that I was probably going to fall behind.  I didn’t want to hold the group up if I had to pull over frequently and recuperate.  Waters were filled, bathrooms were visited, and we headed out knowing we had about 10.5 miles to go before we had to start looking for the turn off the bike trail (a few more miles) and onto an unknown 10-12 mile stretch through town.  One report was that there were no sidewalks or trails and we would have to be in the road.  We were hoping this individual was wrong.  HE WAS!

Mid-Report Chatter – After any stop you feel good for the first bit afterward once you get over the first “OH MY GOD!” 10 pedals.  Then your body is used to being back on the bike and you move forward.  I moved past this initial “feeling good” stage pretty quick.  I was happy that my mind wasn’t fuzzy anymore…. no bonking symptoms existed.  What existed now was the fact that I was pushing my body further than it was prepared to go.  Just a fact.  No amount of hydration, snacking, etc. was going to change that, though I did all those things to give me the best chance.  I started to do what others have suggested and that was to just focus on the next milestone.  I had already resigned myself that I would not be keeping up and that was somewhat of a liberating feeling.

Avoco Park was the last milestone before we had to turn into no man’s land.  We went past it and located the turn off using the printouts of some turns that I brought with me.  We used those printouts and Mike’s google maps to make decisions the rest of the way.  The route we took through the outskirts of town was at times interesting and at times sad.  The interesting parts were where the upkeep was there, some shops, and generally thriving areas.  The sad parts were where there was a fair amount of industrial businesses with people living among it.  The city basically ignored these areas and the streets, sidewalks and general living conditions were not something I would want to be in for very long.

Sometimes the sidewalk would disappear and we would have to take the street.  We don’t normally mind the street but the sidewalks were empty and with the rain that had started the road was not the safest option for all involved.  We also ran into some construction and had to go through some gyrations to adapt and overcome but we did it and it all worked out.

One of the things I noticed when we were still on the outskirts of town is that we would come up a small hill and I could see downtown.  It still looked WAY off.  Were we ever going to get there?

Mid-Report Chatter – Once we got into the outskirts of town and had to start using the sidewalks, stopping for intersections, etc., my pain went away.  We would be up out of our saddles, only doing moderate lengths of pedaling before having to stop for something, and going slower than we would on the path.  I’m sure the adrenaline of almost being done helped as well.

Here and there throughout this last leg we were able to use a bike path.  Other times the bike path was on the street and we opted to use the sidewalk.  Then with a few miles left a bike path was there and we took it the rest of the way until we hit the bridge.  THE BRIDGE!  It was great to see the bridge over to Newport, KY getting close and closer until finally we were getting ready to cross it.  Awesome.  Yes.

Here are some photos of “the bridge crossing”.  I’ll get more from Marni and my wife who took a few and update this post later.

 

Marni coming over the bridge from Ohio into Newport, KY.
Marni coming over the bridge from Ohio into Newport, KY.
Hofbrauhaus From Bridge
Hofbrauhaus From Bridge
Little 1-0-0 in the parking lot of the Hofbrauhaus.
Little 1-0-0 in the parking lot of the Hofbrauhaus.

My wife (Colleen) had already arrived at the hotel and met us as we were coming across the bridge.  She then went into the Hofbrauhaus and grabbed a table while we showered.  The 1/4 mile walk (if that) walk from the hotel back to the Hofbrauhaus was more difficult than I would like to admit.  After the meal we went to a local store and bought a few beverages and some cards.  In Marni and Mike’s room we had two very subdued (hey, we were tired) games of Euchre and then we all went to bed.

One of the best nights of sleep I have ever had.

In the end I had biked 104.01 miles.  An Imperial Century.  It hurt.  I wasn’t prepared.  I’ll do it again.

For fun here is the tracking from Endomondo.com

This ends the basic Trip Report.  I am going to cover lessons learned, things I would do differently, my nutrition leading up to the ride and while I was on the bike, etc. in others posts and link them here.

Thanks for reading, and let me now what you think.

Edit: Here are some posts that talk about specific topics and have come up from questions I have received.

Henry-2-Hofbrauhaus Training Miles

Tips On Riding An Imperial Century – BikeForums.net

280 Dude On A Bike
280 Dude On A Bike

I am part of BikeForums.net and get a great deal of valuable advice from there.  Yesterday I made a thread in the “Training & Nutrition” sub-form about the H2H 100 Mile Imperial Century that is planned.  So far several have chimed in with helpful hints and encouragement.

If you ride a bike at whatever level I encourage you go join this forum so you can interact and get the most out of whatever it is that you want out of your bike.

Here in this post I’m going to capture a few things that were new to me or that I feel is something I wasn’t doing or doing well enough.

A sticky thread on BikeForums.net to capture many people’s thoughts on riding a 100.  Link -> Tips for riding a Century

How to Bike a Century: 4 Steps to Survive 100 Miles

Eating

H2H – Getting The Rump In Shape

280 Dude On A Bike
280 Dude On A Bike

H2H = Henry-2-Hofbräuhaus because I’m going to get tired of typing it in the various posts.

As I train for the 100 miler the biggest issue I am going to face is the pain that comes from sitting in the saddle longer than I am used to.  If I go more miles than normal that means more time in the saddle.  My legs can handle that up to a point before the pain gets too great but my rump is the limiting factor right now.

Why?

I’ll tell you why.  My legs are in better shape than my rump and therefore I can be on the bike beyond what ye ole sit bones can handle.  Part of my focus during my training isn’t just to get in the miles but to do it in a manner which allows my rump to handle the abuse.  I realize that last sentence doesn’t sound exactly right but hey, it’s what my fingers typed, I have no control over them.

My approach to getting the rump in shape is to do more consistent, shorter outings during the week with long rides during the weekend.  A “shorter outing” is a ride which doesn’t get so uncomfortable that it affects the next days ride “too much”.  What I have done in the past is go out and ride 60 miles with the last 15 being very painful to my rump.  I would then have to take several days off the bike to recover.  It became counter-productive.

Yesterday I did a small group ride (Marni & Mike Collins, Gabe Knight) and could have gone much further but I didn’t want to enter the pain zone on the keister.  We ended just as I entered the phase of standing up on my pedals more often than is normal to get some blood flowing.

So what is this all about?  Why does the rump hurt?  Sit bones?  I thought I’d look into all this and capture it here.  Much of it will be links to web resources that already do a great job of going over it.  No need for me to mess it up by pretending I know what I’m talking about. More information will be added to this as I come across it. Much of the info will be how to find the proper saddle, position, training, etc.

Here is wikipedia’s explanation of what the sit bones are – Tuberosity of the ischium

A major factor in how well you do in the saddle is the saddle itself.  Here is a great article by a bike manufacturer – The Four and a Half Rules of Road Saddles

How do you find the width of your sit bones?  Check out this neat video.

Are you sitting on your sit bones?  This rider found out he wasn’t – Sitting on the Sit Bones? Maybe Not

That’s it for now, I’ll update as I find more things.

The Road To 100 Miles (H2H) Started Today

280 Dude On A Bike
280 Dude On A Bike

H2H = Henry-2-Hofbräuhaus because I’m going to get tired of typing it in the various posts.

I’ve done a metric century but have never accomplished the standard 100 mile bike ride.  I’m on a hybrid which makes it tougher to accomplish but that’s no excuse.  As with many health goals that I have I advertise that I’m going to do it then try and sucker as many people as I can to join in.  This makes me get out the door and DO SOMETHING rather than let life pull me back in.  With that in mind I created an event called 1st Annual Henry-2-Hofbräuhaus Memorial Ride (Oct 5 2013). Basically it is a 100 mile ride that leaves from my house (Henry) and ends at the Hofbräuhaus in Newport, KY.  According to Google Maps the bike ride is 99.6 miles, which means we will either be slightly over the 100 miles or we will have to do circles in the parking lot until we get the verifiable miles in.

I’m busy.  Everybody is busy.  I would fathom that not everybody is the same busy.  I have optional things in my life that are there to improve things for my family moving forward so while they are “optional” I don’t consider them so.  With that, youth sports, etc. taking up time I needed something that created a sense of urgency and let fear of failing (not being able to do the 100 miles) get me out of the house.  Done.

I’ve been on the bike here and there but today marked the beginning of my training for the 100 miler.  In the next few days I’ll detail some of my concerns, approaches, nutrition, failures, etc. leading up to the ride.  Until then I present to you a small group ride designed to start to get my rump (sit bones) in better shape.

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