“The storm had now definitely abated, and what thunder there was now grumbled over more distant hills, like a man saying ‘And another thing…’ twenty minutes after admitting he’d lost the argument.”
– Douglas Adams
May marked really the last month of freedom when it comes to training. The big focus of June will be crushing the Great Cycle Challenge and getting used to new experiences, but more on that later. May was the last “laid-back” month of the year heading into the big ride.
The Great Cycle Challenge
This challenge is my first major charity riding event for which I am able to help raise money for children’s cancer research. Never having done an event like this and also not knowing how it would be received by friends and family or strangers on social media, I started with a modest goal of raising $500 and riding 1,000 miles. To my surprise, I reached the dollar goal before the event even started (June 1st) so I increased it to $1,000 and am still making great progress. Thank you to all who have donated to my challenge thus far.
Any help would be greatly appreciated in reaching this new goal of $1,000 for the challenge month of June. I will keep my mileage goal at 1,000 but I have my sights set on getting between 1,200-1,500 miles. This challenge is not meant to be competitive, only to raise funds and have fun, but I know I will enjoy keeping track of my mileage in relation to others for the motivating factor.
If you would like to donate to my challenge and see my daily route maps and other stats, please visit my challenge page. Thanks again for your support.
May was interrupted a few different times, messing up the general rhythm of my miles and my eating habits. I introduced caffeine again finally into biking because of the biggest interruption of my schedule in May. My wife and I headed out to New York from Iowa, putting in 1,605 miles in 59 hours, visiting 28 people for the Mother’s Day weekend. So instead of putting up crazy miles on two wheels, I drove some 25 hours and endured a 2am, 2-hour hold-up in traffic on the way to New York. But, we got the news of our pregnancy to all 28 people and a few via phone call on the way home so the trip was a success even without any miles logged that weekend.
Another interruption was not nearly as detrimental, but did prevent some miles during the week. I needed to bring my bike into the shop because of this ridiculous grinding sound that would occur any time I stopped pedaling and my front tire was balding pretty decently, showing that tell-tale orange shine. As a result, I only put 13.8 miles of total commuting up in the four days I usually get between 80 and 100 miles.
Even with all these mile-total setbacks, I was still able to put up more miles than the month of April, continuing the trend of increased mileage every month.
For the month of May, I put up 883 miles, which included almost three century rides (one ride was 95 miles). I never would have imagined getting so close to 1,000 miles in a month before this particular idea of biking partially cross-country. Now, I am gearing up to have back-to-back months of mileage closer to 1,500 miles.
Best and Worst Rides
The best rides I had by far were during Memorial Day Weekend. On the Saturday before Memorial Day, I cruised around the city of Madison, WI, to the tune of 28 miles along the city’s great bike lanes and trails. The next day, I pedaled north to Wisconsin Dells for 55 miles on a ride that had me so pumped up for rain that never came.
My worst ride also came on that weekend with the ride on Friday meant to get me to Madison. I was supposed to do a minimum of 150 miles and aimed to make the full 200. Instead, I got to 107 miles before my wife picked me up because the driving rain caused me some serious chills. I was quite disheartened by my complete lack of preparedness.
June is going to be a massive month. Even without the Great Cycle Challenge, I had full intentions of blasting out a huge mile month. I want to do a minimum of two back-to-back century rides over two separate weekends and plan on getting in at least two rides of 150+ miles to get used to that distance. The goal is a minimum of 1,000 miles for the month with my sights set more on the 1,500 mark. If I hit my 100-mile commute goal each week and have the two back-to-back weekends plus two 150-mile trips, I should be up to 1,200, so I would just need to reach deep for 300 more miles somewhere along the way.
The Big Ride Plan
Heading into July, I am not sure what my training regimen will look like. I will want to log a certain number of miles and probably two to four more century rides, but then I will want to relax a bit and get my legs rested up. If I could get in 400 miles before July 15th, I think I will be in good shape. I plan on leaving on July 18th around four in the morning, biking about 160 miles a day for 5 days, pulling into my New York hometown by 7 pm on Saturday, July 22.