Friday, February 02, 2007

New Stats & A New Mission

This week’s bike mileage: 56 miles

Total mileage in 2007: 276


Starting this week I’m simplifying the bicycle statistics that I’ve compiled since last July. Everything from 2006 can be found in previous postings. For 2007, I’ll just post the weekly mileage and total mileage for the calendar year.

The original purpose of all these statistics was find out how much gasoline I could save by using a bicycle instead of a car for getting around town. The numbers showed that I could save up to four gallons a week, although most of the time the savings were around two gallons a week. That’s $250 to $400 a year in gas savings, depending on a variety of factors.

I started with an electric bike, which was my “poor man’s moped.” That was fun, but the range was limited – so limited that it required a lot of pedalling. This got me in shape even though that wasn’t my intention.

I started riding my other bicycles and eventually rediscovered the joy of cycling. Besides using a bike for general transportation, I started going on longer recreational rides. I stopped using the electric bike, which I now plan to sell.

So my focus shifted.

A few months ago I told CP that I was thinking about riding the “Tour of the Unknown Coast.”

Her reply: “You should do it.”

That’s easier said than done. Not only is the tour 100 miles long, it’s brutal with about 9,000 feet in elevation gain. It’s known as “one of the toughest centuries in the West” for a reason. Below is a map:

(Source:TUC website)

Will I be able to complete the ride? As of today, the answer is no. Will I be able to complete it in May after a few months of training? Maybe.

It’s an iffy proposition, but one hell of a goal and an excuse for some really painful training rides.

So I’m tentatively planning on riding in the upcoming Tour of the Unknown Coast, with some caveats:

1. Rain cancels the ride for me. I don’t plan on freezing my ass off and being wet for 100 miles.

2. Before I commit to the ride, I plan to visit the Lost Coast and pedal up a mountain or two. If that works out, then I’ll sign up.

I’ll have to seriously increase my weekly mileage as well as the length and difficulty of my training rides.

If for some reason it doesn't work out, then I'll have to find another opportunity to complete a century this year.


Blogger OrangeElmo said...

I used to work with a guy who tried the TOC. Hitting the wall (the steep climb up from the beach) 2/3 of the way through was the killer. He said if that had come earlier in the course he could have done it. I don't understand why riders don't get off and walk up that part, but I guess it's "simply not done."

I say go for it. You won't know until you try. As the endurance riders say, "To finish is to win."

If you are seriously training for the TOC, what is the most miles you've done in a day so far?


10:49 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

So far, the longest ride was this week – 45 miles. (My rides during the Reagan and Bush Sr. years don't count.) That's why it's important that I get as many training rides in as possible between now and May.

As for the TOC, my only goal is to finish. I'll walk about the hill if I have to.

(I'll actually ride that mountain in the next few weeks to see what I'm getting myself into.)

5:40 PM  

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