Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Techie Tuesday - Prepping for Long Miles

Lake near top of Ebbet's Pass. June 11th, 2011.

It's raining here again today, perhaps as much as a half an inch. Wow, really? In late June? Unheard of! Likely this still frozen lake will get another foot of snow tonight. Wow!

I've been ramping up my mileage again, with a goal of 100 miles per week, every week, week in and week out. Recovery time can make this difficult sometimes, so I've yet to hit 400 miles in a month, but I managed to get in 137 miles last week, in spite of 100+ heat on Tuesday.

When I start riding 100+ miles (and climbing 7,500+) I start to notice little things that become more important.
  1. Getting my clothes washed so they're clean, dry, and ready the next day
  2. Keeping the drivetrain properly cleaned and lubed
  3. Inspecting the rear tire before I'm riding on thread-bare tires
  4. Making those little adjustments that irk me on the ride, but I forget once home (a note pad, voice message or email to yourself also works well)
  5. Cleaning the bike and wheels before totally filthy
  6. Having pre and post-ride food prepped and stocked. Rice, potatoes and milk respectively in my case
  7. Having spare stocks of Gatorade, PowerBars, electrolytes in the cupboard
  8. Keeping waterbottles clean, sterile and in the fridge if filled
  9. Having meals, especially protein rich meals, prepped or at least stocked
  10. Having spare tires and wheels on hand
  11. Having plenty of spare inner-tubes, and patch kits on hand
  12. Remembering to patch or replace the tube in my saddle bag
  13. Keeping fresh or freshly charged batteries in my lights
  14. Recharging the Garmin after each ride, and deleting old rides from it
  15. Keeping my activities uploaded to the computer and tracking my progress.
  16. Remembering to stop and smell the roses when serendipity happens
The biggest challenge seems to be updating my grocery list and making small adjustments to the bike. Since I'm still dialing in my seat choice, and seat position, I've ended up making adjustments in the field of late. I'm still tweaking the shifter position, handlebars and aerobars too as longer miles aggravate my wrist pain.

Specialized Avatar Gel Saddle. My next iteration in the search.
 Spares, in general, just become so much more important when doing serious training. Sure, you can run to the bike shop for something you need, but there goes your training window for the day. When you're at the bike shop pick up some extra tubes and patch kits, and maybe some more ride fuel.

Serious training is much more of a logistics battle than recreational riding. It's an unwelcome distraction to have to break your routine, or from you planned training because of poor planning and preparation. Fortunately, a few lists can make things very manageable.

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