Tag Archives: training

40 Miles DONE!

It was a beautiful day for the Lancette Memorial Ride in Canby, Oregon — cool but sunny in the morning, warming up just enough later in the day (it eventually reached 83 in Portland).

The ride wound through several of Oregon’s small, country towns and hamlets: Canby, Mulino, Liberal, Macksburg, Lone Elder, Barlow, Butteville. Wendy instantly described it as “bucolic.” And wow, yes. Horses, hay bales, corn fields, farmhouses, rural post offices, and a perfect white church with stained glass windows and a steeple (which was our first rest stop). We picked out many houses we wanted to live in. And we could have had so many adventures along the way! We pictured ourselves crashing weddings, joining a family reunion, taking a detour to check out the town of Needy (also known as Hardscrabble), stocking up on millions of peaches, and “borrowing” a boat to float down the Willamette (undoubtedly encountering a mystery along the way). If I had had my Xtracycle bags and racks, we would certainly have indulged at one of the farm stands.

But we stuck to the course, and to our 40-mile goal. My longest ride so far had been 30 miles, and indeed, by the time we got the rest stop at the Historic Butteville Store (at 28 miles, been operating since 1863!), I was tired. Of course, we persevered, fueled by excellent snacks provided by the ride organizers and volunteers and Wendy’s margarita-flavored Shot-Bloks. It took us just under five hours total, including two 10-15 minute rest stops and a few unofficial stops to recover from hills and deal with my watering eyes. I did have to walk part of the way up two hills and all the way up another one, due at least partially to the limitations of my bike (it weighs 40 pounds and only has an 8-speed derailleur). But most of the course was fairly easy to ride.

Yes, I did ride all the way up this hill.

So what’s next? I still want to work my way up to a full century and then the Seattle to Portland ride (two centuries in two days). But I think, and Wendy agrees, that I’m going to need a different bike for that. I’ve thought of getting my Radish re-geared (which might not be a bad idea anyway), but a lighter bike would be good, too. So unless I decide to sell the Radish, I’m going to have to set myself a savings goal for that. I also need to get ME lighter. I’ve been burning lots of calories, but not losing weight because I’ve also been eating a lot to fuel myself for those long rides. Weight loss and distance riding don’t really mix (at least for me), because I can’t ride without the fuel. So over the fall and winter, I need to work on weight loss, aerobic capacity and muscle strength rather than distance. It’s rather less exciting, but it needs to be done.

If you are an Oregonian, I can definitely recommend the Lancette as a ride. It was well-planned and well-supported. I can’t speak for the longer routes, but the 40-mile was a great route with plenty to see and not too many hills. You could even do the 40-mile route on your own if you wanted to — there are stores conveniently located in Mulino, Lone Elder and Butteville for rest stops. You can view the route map and cue sheet here.


Ride Time!

It’s almost here! The Lancette is tomorrow. Wendy and I have made our plans (I wonder how our dad feels about giving his 30-and-40-something daughters a ride to their sporting event?), and all equipment seems to be in working order. I have a water bottle in the freezer, and I’ve packed my tiny equipment pouch (I’ve removed my Xtracycle racks and bags for the duration). Wendy has the energy bars/gels/blocks/whatever.

So. 40 miles!  We’ll be on the road tomorrow between about 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Photo from Flickr by onohiroki, used via CC BY-ND 2.0

Bonking It Out

So, you’ve probably heard the term “hitting the wall.” Cyclists seem to mostly call it “bonking.” I’ve always figured it meant something like “I’m super-tired and I feel like I can’t go any further but I’m gonna push through and do it anyway.”

It’s not always surmountable, though. Saturday I bonked hard enough that I couldn’t keep going. I was near the end of a 30-mile ride, but it had taken a little longer than I expected (had to stop for a repair and also got a little lost), and I hadn’t brought enough snacks. I should have just stopped to get something (I had opportunities), but I wanted to push for home and get it done, dammit! I was a little worried about one steep climb getting there, but hey, I’d done it before!

But when I stopped at a park about two miles before home (and a little bit before the overpass climb) for a water break, I suddenly felt nauseated and then light-headed. I called home for a ride and lay down on the grass, and when my husband came to get me I honestly couldn’t do much of anything to help load my bike into the van.

I’m sure it didn’t help that it was already 90 degrees and climbing by that point, either. I’d drunk plenty of water, but still.

I’m not discouraged, though. I’m certain I can do this if I just manage my food intake better. And it was a beautiful ride. I rode four different multi-use (bike/pedestrian/etc.) paths in the Portland area: the I-84 path, the Gresham-Fairview Trail, the Springwater Trail all the way from Gresham and through Sellwood, and the East Bank Esplanade along the Willamette River. After that, I had to climb through the neighborhoods back to East Portland, which was the hardest part (and where I bonked out).

Now to research energy bars! Or something.

Training Update, Week, Um.

I have no idea what week number this is for my bike training. I’m still at it, but I’ve adjusted my goal to doing the 40-mile Lancette Memorial Ride, rather than the 60.

Why? Well, that’s what seems most achievable at this point. I’ve been riding every week, but I missed a long ride one weekend because my bike was in the shop and another because we were on vacation. Then I worked for two weeks, and I did bike commute during that time, but I was utterly exhausted. Last weekend I did a 26-mile ride, and this weekend I did 30 (more on that later). This week I’m going to California to visit my grandmother, and may or may not get to ride at all (got a bike, Aunt Susan?), and next weekend we have a big Girl Scout event.

So, life happens. I can work with that. I’m feeling good about my progress — I feel stronger and am getting faster.

Training Update, Week 1

This week’s goal was to do three 10-mile rides during the week (or 30 miles total), plus a 25-mile ride on the weekend.  So far, I have 26.46 miles for the week, between four different rides, and I’ve dropped my bike off at the shop for a tuneup.

I’ve been meaning to get a tuneup for a while, and the Radish is definitely feeling sluggish, so I figured I might as well take it in. It really does make a difference; last time I got a tuneup I promptly said “WHY didn’t I do this sooner?” So I rode 6 miles to my current bike shop of choice (Meticon Bikes for you Portlanders) and left it there; they said it should be done in a day or so. I’ll have plenty of time for my long ride, and maybe a short one to make up the 30 miles during the week.

I am also realizing that I do need some decent padded bike shorts. I’m not TOO saddle sore, but I’m definitely feeling it when I’m on the bike. And my knees were hurting a bit today — what’s up with that? It was mainly at the beginning of the ride; my knees would hurt right in the lower kneecap area when I was pedaling. It went away once I got warmed up. They don’t bother me while walking or anything. So I don’t know whether it’s old age (almost 42) or something I’m doing wrong. Any ideas?