Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The lofty cycling goal

I'm still having fun cycling everywhere this summer. My commute is short enough that I can treat it as exercise, rather than solely as transportation. I've been doing a cycling version of interval training in the mornings, and on the ride home I'm trying to get a workout by pedaling in a higher gear than I normally would. I'm trying to get in shape for a big ride later this summer: I want to bike to Kokomo for the John Scalzi/Tobias Buckell book signing at Don's Books. The bike-safe (or safer, at least) route is around 62 miles each way, which is quite a ride.

I'm planning on a few test rides between now and then. I'm planning to head to the Monon Trail on my next free day and riding until I can't ride anymore, to see what my current endurance limit is. I also need to hit the Monon to see how long I can maintain speed. Pick a fast pace, maybe 17 or 18mph, and see how long I can keep the pace. I recently read Lennard Zinn's Cycling Primer, and it's packed with good advice for increasing pace, handling hills, and increasing endurance. Now I need to transition from the easy part (reading the good advice) to the hard part (actually following the good advice). With luck, I'll be in shape for a trip to Kokomo.

I'm considering making the trip a micro-vacation: ride up for the signing, get a hotel room in Kokomo and read the books that evening, and bike back to Indy the next day. Not only will it be nice to have quiet reading time and restaurant dinner, breaking the ride into two days might be a much better idea in terms of safety and trauma-reduction.

I should also mention that neither Scalzi, Buckell, or Don's Books have yet made any mention of a signing. I'm just working on faith. Worst-case scenario, if there's no signing, I'll just be in good cycling shape by the end of the summer.

1 comment:

Ted S said...

60 miles is a really long ride. 120 in a day might be too much, so stopping overnight is a good plan. Make sure you take tools, and plan for a rest stop or two en rout. Good luck!