Refinement of “The Strategy” + Odds and Ends

March 12, 2012

Weather has been unseasonably nice in Kansas City the last few days.  Unfortunately, as mentioned previously, I had come down with a cold+ear infection combo which laid me low for over a week during this time, keeping me off the bike.  But, knock on wood, I am gradually coming back to 100% from that and have eagerly returned to riding.  

A second, welcome factor is the recent time change, which basically has given an “extra” hour of daylight at the end of the day, which can be conveniently utilized for cycling. 

As a result of these favorable conditions, I’ve logged 64 miles in the past 5 days.

I’m getting closer to aligning my in-ride technique with the tried-and-true method of long-range cyclists.  I’ve rigged up a serviceable handlebar bag, with two compartments.  In one I keep my water bottle (easier to grab than the cage under the saddle) and in the other, a whole-wheat bagel which has been cut into multiple equal pieces.  As I ride, then, I take X number of bites of bread every X number of miles, along with a little water.  This method is a refinement of “The Strategy” which I first described in this post.  In this way, I am able to spend more time on the bike versus stopping and resting; plus I have a more consistent flow of carbs as opposed to riding 7, 8, 9, 10 miles, then stopping, taking a (relatively) larger intake of carbs & water, getting back on the bike, and resuming. I’m still stopping every several miles to just stretch my legs, but it’s not to take in carbs now.  This is much more in keeping with the big boys.

I’m still trying to find a good tradeoff in the amount & frequency of what I eat during the rides.  On the one hand, my primary reason for riding is to lose weight.  So, I’m hesitant to just replace what I burn during the ride.  On the other, it’s very important to sustain oneself with a flow of sufficient carbs in order to enable longer, more consistent rides, with easier recovery time.  So, I have tried this new refinement three times, and have used three different portion/frequency approaches.  I’ll continue to fine-tune this as time goes on and find the correct balance.

Below are just a few miscellaneous pictures.  The first couple show the newly-added handlebar bag, with contents.  Following that are two pictures from the road today (17.8 mile ride, around Ottawa and then on Highway 59).

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