I logged 84.3 miles on the bike this week, which was not only a personal best for me but exceeded almost any 2 combined weeks since I started biking regularly in September.

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Facelift to Site

January 29, 2012

The original appearance of this blog was more or less a placeholder format to get things up and running, until I could settle on another layout that I preferred.  After examining and testing several, I’ve settled on this new layout.  It may yet change again, but for the time being, this will be home.

Marathon Man

January 28, 2012

As previously mentioned, the first major milestone goal for most long-range cyclists is the half-century.  It’s likely that the first time I will achieve that particular goal will also be the completion of my first major trail ride, on the Prairie Spirit Trail.  However, today I accomplished a new first/best milestone: cycling the well-known marathon distance of 26.2 miles.

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Set a new personal best yesterday (January 25th) for longest distance biked, at 24.4  miles.  Taking place in a single ride, this represents my personal best for daily distance as well as single-ride distance.

My previous best daily distance was 21.7 miles, set on January 13th. My previous best ride distance was 20.3 miles, set on January 23rd.

I’ll be posting more about this ride, as part of a grouping of a few similar rides, shortly.  The last few bike rides aren’t simply longer mileage than I was previously doing; they were qualitatively different approaches to the ride, in similar style to the much longer rides (40-60 miles/day) that will allow me to conquer the long trails.

No new posts in several days, but I’m still around and still putting in the miles.  I have a few posts in the works, which should be up in the next day or so.  Sorry for the absence of update, and thanks for keeping the faith!  I’ll return to posting very soon.

In the meantime, one more peek at my brand new baby…she is so beautiful 🙂 The bike and I are getting to know one another, and are looking forward to tackling the PST and not long after, the Katy.

Five Bridges

January 14, 2012

The vicinity of my hometown of Ottawa, Kansas has a number of bridges/overpasses stretching over water, roads or railroad tracks.  I’ve intended for a little while to take a “mini-tour” of several of them, with pictures.

This morning didn’t seem to be a good fit for the plan, with a 14 MPH sustained wind from the WNW – which would be a headwind for the direction I’d need to approach several of them.  However, although my nerve initially faltered, I decided to press on.  Climbing elevation into a decent headwind is hard work, even on a good bike, and I was good and tired by the end of my 9.3-mile route, but it was a great workout.

Following are some pictures from the ride…

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New Bike!

January 14, 2012

I’m a little late in posting this, but I finally upgraded my bicycle.

I needed a bike with several improvements over my existing starter Wal Mart bike.  First, it should not be a girl’s bike  🙂  Second, it needed the ability to add a rack for panniers for long trails and touring. Third, the gearing needed to be more robust.  Fourth, it needed to be lighter (the performance-to-weight ratio of my WM Schwinn is shockingly bad).  Fifth, it needed to be more efficient (higher speed for equivalent or lower effort).  Finally, with flat tires being a major concern with me, it needed to have the most puncture resistance I could reasonably equip it with.

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Set a new personal best yesterday (January 13th) for longest distance biked, at 21.7 miles. It wasn’t a continuous ride – 15 miles was covered in the afternoon and then, a few hours later, another 6.7 miles.

My previous best daily distance was 15.2 miles, set on January 4th.

…or, freezing drizzle mixed generously with snow, and high winds.

No biking today.  I have a distant dream to one day bike the GDMBR, but I don’t want to start training for it tonight  🙂

The forecast calls for a couple days of unpleasant weather followed by a return to the more moderate stuff we’ve been spoiled with so far this winter.  Here’s hoping that’s accurate!

Immersing yourself in the lingo of long-range cyclists, you quickly pick up several phrases and motifs.  One of the first I learned was the “century”, which is cycling 100 miles in a single day.

The first major goal of many long-range cyclists is the “half century” – you guessed it, a 50 mile ride.

Well, I’m not able to fit into those shoes, as it were, just yet, but this week I did accomplish a “half century” of another sort: my first 50+ mile week.

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