WOW! It’s been nearly four months since my last entry. As stated in September, I’ve returned to my roots and have been doing shorter club rides to recover from last year’s setbacks. The photos below were taken during 26-mile coffee shop rides. Snow, rain, ice and frigid temperatures have kept me off the bike for weeks. But it looks like the weather may be turning around soon. Sunday was a good day for a club ride. About 20 riders met and formed 3-4 groups to ride a series of out-and-backs along the roads of Poquoson, VA. I rode about 25 miles today. Here is a map of most of my ride. It’ll be good to accumulate more miles in the coming weeks.
I still have not had a credible diagnosis for my fatigue issues. For now, I’m not letting that stop me from making plans for 2015, including something new (for me). First, I’m making another attempt at a Super Randonneur series with Tidewater Randonneurs. The 200-km brevet is on March 21. I expect that ride to be tough since I have no real training rides under my belt this year. I should probably hit the road with Chuckatuck Chainring at least once. They’re known for their 50-mile rides three days a week. Sure, it’s “only” 50 miles. But their slower overall pace means the rides last for several hours. That’s good “neck and butt training.” I’ll take it! There’s also a 200-km RUSA Dart on April 4th. That will be my first team event. I think I’ll feel better on that ride since I expect to have more miles behind me by then. Teams also ride together. That’ll make the ride more pleasant, too. The 300-km brevet is on April 18th. That’ll be the ride that indicates whether I may be able to stay awake for the 400-km. If all goes well on the 300, then I’ll attempt the 400 on May 2nd. That’ll be my first attempt at a truly grueling ride since my failed attempt at a 400-km brevet in 2013.
I have a few other rides speckled in between. Among them is a 40-mile ride to benefit Wound Warriors, the Tour de Cure (probably 65 miles), and BikeMS (aka “MS-150” with two 75-mile days). The new endeavor I’m trying is my first overnight camping ride, sometimes referred to as an “S24O” (pronounced, “ess-two-four-oh”). A fellow PBA rider is organizing the ride as an intro to touring with the hopes of growing a regular touring group. I’m not sure if I will love or hate this ride, or whether it will lead me to some touring. We’ll see! Some say the S24O is “the gateway drug” to touring. I’m currently shopping for panniers, a lightweight tent and compact sleeping bag. Hopefully, I won’t hate it. HAHA! I actually have a good feeling about the weekend. “Rain, rain, stay away!”
I’m painfully aware of my physical challenges on longer rides. I have two logistics challenges as well. One is my plan to travel to Texas during my daughter’s summer break. She has two windows during which she is available to travel. One is over the same weekend as Tidewater Rando’s 600-km ride. This season’s snowfall may preclude her from being available for travel that weekend since the lost snow days may have to be made up. Our backup dates are in August. That would eliminate any conflicts with the Super Rando series. My other conflict is currently fluid. I expect to consult with an ophthalmologist about having LASIK performed in the coming weeks/months. I don’t know if I will have the flexibility to choose an appointment for my surgery that does not fall between March 21 and May 2nd. So it puts a big question mark on my schedule. LASIK any time during that period could sabotage at least two of my scheduled rides. It would be disappointing; but I think the long-term benefit will outweigh short-term loss.
Those are my plans. Hopefully, everything will work out. Regardless of whether I complete the series or miss out on a few rides, I look forward to a great year of cycling. Hopefully, I will have some worthwhile rides to share with you.
See you soon!