The question surprised me somewhat because I am a big believer in preparing for things and avoiding problems when I can. I’m not a person who signs up for stuff just for the heck of it to see how I’ll do. If that means training, then so be it.
Gear Prudence did an excellent job summarizing my perspective, and as a follow-up, I put together a more complete response to training for a century. Some people see training as a dirty word, but I think it’s helpful to train or build one’s fitness in order to better control a ride experience. Continue reading “Training for a Century Ride”
During the winter months I like rides that start from home. I wake up, put on my cycling clothes, drink an espresso, and wait for the sun to take the chill out of the day before heading out. No car needed, just the way I like my bike riding, especially during the winter.
This past weekend, Felkerino and I met up with our friend Lane to ride from D.C. down to North Beach, Maryland. You can see the route here.
We sort of interrupt the Coffeeneuring Challenge for a couple of ride reports.
I say sort of because Sunday’s ride included coffeeneuring. My 87-mile Tuesday Fun-Odyssey also included coffeeneuring, but my documentation is questionable thus, did the coffeeneuring even happen? You tell me.
100 Rainy Miles for Coffeeneuring
This weekend Felkerino and I craved an escape from the city so we ventured out to do a century in horse country Virginia.
Having designated all of my bicycles “Excepted Intermittent,” they are all required to help me with any “excepted” rides I might perform. Today, I called on my Bike Friday Tikit to assist me with such a ride.
I departed my house around 10:30, figuring that my Tikit and I would ride out a ways on the C&O Towpath and then make a U-turn when I felt like it was time.
Initially my Tikit was happy as a lark to be out. We wandered by closed monuments together and over to the C&O.
The past two out of three weekends, Felkerino and I have headed out to Skyline Drive to test out the Co-Motion Java’s feel on long steady climbs and to condition our legs for summer rides ahead. Felkerino has a great write-up of Sunday’s ride on this other blog I know called The Daily Randonneur.
Even though it has been cooler than my druthers on Skyline, I’m sure that one day soon, say today or tomorrow, I’ll be remembering these recent rides fondly and wishing for the milder temps we’ve had lately.
Saturday’s weather was so stellar that Felkerino and I agreed to spend the day together out on the bike. I know that must be shocking news to all of you reading this.
This time of year is wonderful for riding. The humidity has not yet settled into the area, overnight temperatures are high enough that you don’t spend the morning hours in uncomfortable cold, and the days are easily long enough to fit in a century.
Lately, I have been mulling over the question of what we can accomplish even when we do not set specific goals. This is a concept I was first introduced to when I read an interview with Leo Babauta, the author of the Zen Habits blog.
Babauta writes that goals foster inflexibility and turn activities into work, but that if you act on what you are passionate about, you will find yourself achieving even in the absence of goals. Also, because a life without goals is more flexible and open, you may find yourself accomplishing things that you did not even know you could.
Babauta’s ideas throw me off-balance. Life without goals?! How can you achieve anything if you don’t know where you want to go?
The past two weekends, Felkerino and I put the brevet cards aside to enjoy some excellent training rides. As you may know, I like to qualify weekend non-brevet cycling as “training.” It’s like a doctor’s note that excuses me from my household responsibilities.
This weekend Felkerino and I headed into Pennsylvania to check out some roads for the upcoming D.C. Randonneurs 400K that we agreed to organize. It was a gorgeous day on the bike and I’m glad to have ridden farther out than my usual D.C. to Poolesville, Maryland loop.
Our route took us from Emmitsburg, Maryland, into Adams County, the Michaux State Forest, a brief passing through Caledonia State Park, and up to Newville, Pennsylvania.
We then rode back through the Michaux State Forest into Pine Grove Furnace, climbed out of Pine Grove Furnace and reversed through the orchards to our starting point in Maryland.
This past Saturday, Felkerino and I met up with a couple of riding friends to take on some challenging terrain near Skyline Drive. Starting in Marshall, Virginia, we scaled Massanutten via Chester Gap, rolled our way over to Edith Gap, descended into Luray, and climbed back over Thornton Gap under Skyline Drive before biting off the final miles back to Marshall. Truly beautiful riding.
Felkerino wrote up a fine summary of our challenging day, and you can find it here.
The extended climbing on this ride was definitely one of the aspects that made it special, as was the unseasonably warm February weather.
Another highlight was the number of dogs that pursued us at various points during our day. I don’t recall the last time so many dogs tried to chase me. At a convenience store about 18 miles out from the finish I saw this sign.
Chained-up pups were certainly not an issue on this ride.
Even though the holidays are quickly closing in on us, Felkerino and I made a joint escape from our chores on Saturday to do a century ride. We then made up for our day at play by doing car-free errands on Sunday, including a few with the Burley trailer.
Crofton, Maryland, Century Ride
Saturday, Felkerino and I met up with Mike B., fellow D.C. Randonneur and Severna Park Peloton member, for a 97-mile jaunt out of Crofton, Maryland. Course description: rolling; no mountains; a few busy suburban roads; and several quiet, rolling, wooded sections. Overall, it was a great ride considering it started from such a built up area.