A Lot of Cycling

Monday, February 12, 2018

There is not much going on in Greece these days, at least not for me.  My focus is on riding the bike, boredom activities while it rained, and recovering for the next ride.  Over the next two weeks I need to make a final decision on riding Race Across the West (June 12), and that will inspire a whole bunch of activities.   I have a lot on my mind to say the least.

Yesterday I ended up riding 100km and tested my speed again.   I was a bit shocked actually.  I averaged over 29.3kph for the full distance, but I was over 32kph at the half way point (with a wind assist).  I figured the wind would kill my time on the way back, yet I was still well over 30kph until I hit my ‘cool down’ stretch and the final short but brutal climb.

Since my long ride on Thursday I have put in about 230 additional kilometers and the speed work is making me very sore.  My lungs are getting a significant workout and still I improve.  The good news is that other than the one rainy day, the weather has been sunny and modestly warm.  Not perfect riding conditions, but very amenable.

To prepare for RAW, I need to change all of my scheduling.  I will need to spend time in California or Arizona training and getting accustomed to desert heat and altitude.   It makes a huge difference.  I rode part of the route in September when Jinhee and I were in Arizona, and it was so, so hard to ride at altitude without pre-conditioning!

On top of that, I will need two new bicycles, one setup primarily for climbing, the other for flats.  I will need to add more crew, make logistical arrangements and make sure the boat requirements are taken care of.

Funny enough I don’t worry too much about the psychological requirements.  I just know that I need to clear my mind of outside stressors, and then it is just a matter of surviving on the bike for 3 days.   I have done that a lot of times, and with crew (and no luggage on my bike) it is so much easier.

My hopeful crew chief, Steve is a calming influence in my ear while I ride and I have complete confidence in his navigation and demeanor.   For this ride, I will need a second navigator with randonneur experience and a calm demeanor.  There needs to be two separate crews, of at least a driver and a navigator.   Anyway, there is a lot to do, and I have a few more days to figure out if I believe I can make the speed happen.

I am going to post a bit less until the boat leaves Athens.  I am bored with Athens, but still don’t have a working freezer in my refrigerator.  It is not a positive review of either Athens or Sub-Zero service.  I will go back to Toronto soon and so will not move the boat until I return from Toronto.   Meanwhile I know there is a lot more to see here, but with the riding and the amount that I have seen to this point, I am finished being a tourist for a while at least.


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