First, I’d like to thank everyone who has pledged support or indicated that they plan to do so. Thanks also to those who have provided encouragement. It means a lot.
The response has been outstanding and very inspirational. It adds a little pressure since I don’t want to have to come back to you in July and explain why I failed to complete the ride. Fear is an excellent motivator.
The current fundraising total has surpassed $2,000 and I am hopeful that we can reach $3,000.
Since I’m about halfway in, I thought I would update you on my training. Still a long way to go, but I’m making progress.
I have a combined total of 56 rides and/or workouts to date. I’ve focused on core and strength development during the past three months, increasing my gym time significantly and adding more weight to my lifts.
Workouts = 28 – This includes gym and home workouts that typically involve some combination of hill climbs, spin bike, general cardio, weights, and core exercise.
Rides = 28 – Most have been in the 2-3 hour range and have all been on trail.
Weight = 189.6 – My weight fluctuates pretty dramatically, even on a daily basis. I’m down from a high of 198.4 on January 4th. My lowest weigh-in to date was 187.0. In a perfect world, I would be at 180 for the ride. Since the world is less than perfect, I will focus on getting to 185 and see what happens from there.
Trail Miles Aren’t the Same as Road Miles – I’ve had a couple people mention that they didn’t think it would be that challenging to ride 60 miles on road. They were wondering if riding 60 on trail would really be that difficult. If you’re a mountain biker, you already know the answer. If you’re not, trust me.
There is no precise scientific calculation to support this, but a general guess-timate is that one mile on single-track requires about the same energy expenditure as three miles on road. That’s a shifting scale because so much is determined by the terrain.
In 1998, I crashed hard, blew a lung, and broke three ribs and my collarbone. Two weeks later, I completed the Tour de Blast – a road ride from Toutle High School to Johnston Ridge that includes 6,250 feet of vertical gain over 82 miles. And I was on a mountain bike. Those 82 miles paled in comparison to the 35 we did on the first day of the Boundary Trail Ride in ’06. From Council Lake at Mount Adams to Norway Pass in the blast zone, we were in the saddle for 12 hours.
The 60 @ Sixty route won’t be as vicious as the Boundary Trail, but there will be plenty of rocks, roots, loose spots, trail debris, big exposure, and demanding climbs to add to the challenge. It will take everything in the tank and virtually the entire day to pull it off.
What’s Next? – In April and May, I will be stepping up my interval training. Mountain biking is, by nature, conducive to anaerobic output so amping up the training in this area makes sense.
When I’m at the gym or on my spin bike, this translates into trying to hold my highest possible pedal cadence for 30-60 seconds. Rest. Repeat. When I’m on trail, this means amping up the ride pace, which rarely seems to be a problem when riding with the sick bastards at Growlers Gulch.
I will also be doing longer rides as we hit May and June. On May 22nd, I’ll be participating in a local race called the Growlers Gulch 5,000 that will be a good test. A friend provided this GPS schematic of the 5K. It isn’t a physical representation of the terrain but it gives you a good feel for what the 27 miles and 5,000 feet of climbing will require.
In addition, I plan to hit each of the four trail segments we’ll be covering on the big ride to acclimate to higher elevation. I’ll check back in with another report as we get closer. Thanks again for your support.
BTW – I’m not taking any chances. I just bought a rabbit’s foot and a half-dozen horseshoes.