Changes for Captain Overpacker; I’m Still Alive…


It’s been over four months since my last entry. I’ve seen many ups and downs during that time. You may recall that I suffered a back strain during my ACP 300km in April. Something unexpected happened after I rode in the Tour de Cure the following weekend: I suddenly found myself with absolutely no desire to ride my bicycle. It was actually worse than that. I had no motivation to do anything. I was suffering from chronic fatigue, chronic joint pain and a general feeling of blah! 😦 It was bizarre. I also put on about 20 pounds… as if I needed that. I went through two months of just going to work and going to bed. I had a series of blood tests and various doctor’s appointments. The results have been inconclusive so far. I’m still awaiting a follow-up with an endocrinologist. Continue reading

Posted in General | 1 Comment

2014 Tour de Cure (65 miles)

Tour de CureI took a good beating on last month’s ACP 300 km ride. I took most of the week off so I’d be fresh for the Tour de Cure (TdC) the following Saturday. I opted to ride the easier metric century. I’ve ridden enough centuries in the past two years that I have nothing to prove in riding yet another. Instead, I wanted to hit the road early, have a good ride, and finish up soon enough to get back home with daylight left. The weather forecast included clear skies and temps rising from 63 to 75 degrees. My CrossRip is awaiting parts to adjust its fit, so I brought out the Domane along with my large Banjo Brothers saddle bag to fit the clothing I would inevitably remove. Continue reading

Posted in Rides (100km+) | 2 Comments

ACP Suffolk-Lake Gaston 300 km (Run #2, 191 miles)

Screenshot_2014-04-19-04-47-50I rode my second run of the Suffolk-Lake Gaston 300 km on April 19th. It was the second ride in my planned pursuit of a Super Randonneur achievement. Since I had a decent finish last year (17h:15m), I was confident that I would be okay this year even though I wasn’t riding with the same strength just yet. The only downside to the morning was the weather. Here is a screenshot of the radar map when I awoke. Most cyclists, including me, don’t like to see a Saturday that looks like that. Regardless, I had already mounted my fenders and packed the rain gear to prepare for a long, wet ride. In addition to rain, it was 45 degrees and expected to warm to only 53 that day. I wore tights, a wool base layer, a balaclava, Gore Windstop gloves and my Gore raincoat. I also stretched a liner over my helmet. This was my attire for the vast majority of the day. Continue reading

Posted in Brevets (200km+), Super Randonneur Series | 8 Comments

ACP Suffolk to Skippers 200 km (130 mile, Run #2)

20140322_MapIt’s been quite a while since my last rando. The weather has been unpleasant and other pursuits have kept me busy this winter. I’ve even delayed my blog entry longer than usual. I’m looking forward to some predictable weather. A pop-up calendar notice reminded me of the first ACP event in this year’s Super Randonneur Series. “DOH! That arrived quickly!” 😯 I hadn’t ridden nearly enough miles this year to feel ready for a 200k this early in the season. Regardless, I wasn’t going to miss this ride just because I’m overweight and out of shape. I packed my things and prepared to grind out a long, slow ride. Continue reading

Posted in Brevets (200km+), Super Randonneur Series | 3 Comments

Product Review: B&M Ixon IQ Premium LED Headlight

IxonIQ-vs-Premium_09January has been a slow riding month for me. I knocked out a calendared RUSA populaire on New Year’s Day. I had hoped to perhaps complete a permanent as well. However, weather and health issues have compelled me to stay with shorter rides near home. A perm before February is possible, but not likely. Until my next good ride, I’ve decided to write a review (and make a video) of B&M’s new Ixon IQ Premium headlight. I had learned about this light early in December. At first glance, it appears to put out twice the light of the Ixon IQ (80 lux vs. 40 lux) while maintaining the same impressive battery endurance. Research has shown (and reminded) me that the light still casts the same amount of total light (lumens) while making better use of it with a wider and better-focused beam. One of my gripes with most lights is the lack of good side coverage. Being a skeptic, I scoured the Internet for photos or info about the new IQ Premium. I found one good photo which was enough for me to make a purchase. Continue reading

Posted in Product Reviews | 8 Comments

2013: Overpacker’s Year In Review

8768079765_15d3b942d5_o2013 was a good year for cycling! Those who rode with me in the 2011 Bike MS Ocean to Bay Ride may recall me saying after the first day century, “I don’t recall ever finishing a century where I could say I felt good afterward, was glad I did it, or that I was looking forward to the next one.” So it’s a bit ironic that I joined RUSA, an organization which is focused on ultra-distance riding, the following year! Sixteen of my rides exceeded 100 miles in 2013! These rides include eleven 200 km rides (126-130 miles), one 300 km ride (189 miles), 124 miles during my attempt at a 400 km ride, the Tour de Cure (103 miles), the Civil War Century (104 miles), and the Sea Gull Century (101 miles). Those rides total just over 2000 miles. I rode another 3300 miles with local groups. My mileage goal in was 5000 miles. I made that goal fairly easily, even with many “bad weather” and “I don’t wanna get up” days. Can I ride more in 2014? Probably. Will I? Who knows?  😉 Continue reading

Posted in General | 2 Comments

R12 Success! Hertford-Edenton Permanent (128 mi)

20131215_MapIt had been nearly four weeks since my last ride. I had a command duty phone over Thanksgiving week (no riding with this phone and its associated briefcase) and then I had riding conflicts with either rain, cold, school programs or holiday parties. Regardless, I had let my friends know that NOTHING was going to stand in the way of finishing my R12 endeavor! Last weekend’s weather was forecast to be questionable with heavy rain on Saturday and light rain on Sunday morning. The forecast for the following weekend was not looking good*. I could either ride early in a little rain at 40-50 degrees or risk having a really crappy ride later in December. I opted for an early ride. So did four other riders, Brent, Jacob, Tom and Keith. Continue reading

Posted in Permanents (200km+) | 2 Comments

Windsor-Woodland Permanent – Run #2 (126-mi)

20131102-ThreeThe first weekend in November was beautiful! I was hesitant to hit the road for a permanent since I had been off the bike recovering from a knee injury for two weeks. I also felt I needed to get my legs back into shape before tackling a long ride. An initial proposal to start the ride at 6:00 am on a Saturday and a slight chill in the air were both playing head-games with me. Once the ride moved to Sunday at 7:00 am, I decided to join with short notice since the end of Daylight Savings Time would give me an extra hour of sleep before the ride. I also did not want to risk having to compete with upcoming holiday weekends and/or bad weather to achieve my R12 goal later in the month. I went to bed early and, when considering the time change, still awoke 30 minutes later than I normally do during the week. I even arrived to the starting point quite early. It was going to be a good day so long as my knees held up. Continue reading

Posted in Permanents (200km+) | 4 Comments

Suffolk-Skippers 205 km (132 miles)

20131019_WeatherI’m getting closer to my R12 goal. I didn’t make an attempt at a permanent on October 5/6 due to the Sea Gull Century. It was raining almost continuously for the next week or so. As a result, I opted to skip October 12-14. With only two weekends left in October, I knew I had to jump on even a less-than-desirable Saturday to knock out a perm. Rain was in the forecast; but thunderstorms were not. A rainy October ride seemed fitting since that’s how my very first permanent turned out last October. Brent, aka “RecumBrent,” was the only rider to accompany me. There are only three control points on this out-and-back route. The stop at Boykins Beans & Ice Cream was used twice. We had ridden through some heavy mist and even encountered wet roads. Mounting the fenders was a good move even though it did not rain. I snapped this radar image on my phone at our first stop in Boykins around 41 miles into the ride. Brent said he would have stayed home had he seen so much rain ahead of us. It seemed like a miracle that we weren’t drenched. We were headed almost due west toward Skippers, VA. The rain system was moving northeast which put us constantly in the dryer areas. We followed the rain as we returned east. However, the roads were dry for the rest of the day. Continue reading

Posted in Permanents (200km+) | 1 Comment

Sea Gull Century (101 miles)

20131005_SGCOctober 5th marked the 25th anniversary of the Sea Gull Century (SGC). Held on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the SGC is probably the flattest 100 miles anyone can ride. Flat rides usually mean one thing: WIND. Past years reported plenty of wind and even heavy rain. This was my first time on this ride. The weather was PERFECT. The wind was very light for the first 90 miles. Temperatures started in the low 60’s and eventually reached the mid 80’s. Some felt that was a tad too warm. But I like riding warm. Sometimes I even like it hot. The ride offers three routes, all starting at Salisbury University: a metric century (100 km/62 mi) or one of two full centuries (100 miles). Over 7000 riders rode that day. Riders came from all over the Eastern U.S. I even saw a group from Texas. It was good to have us spread out over three different routes. Continue reading

Posted in Rides (100km+) | 1 Comment