I’ve been kicking around a new goal for 2013 after one of my new cycling buds from the Tuesday night club ride invited me to join them on this year’s ride the other day. It was too close to try this year (the ride starts this morning), but I’ve got plenty of time to get ready for next year.
I’m referring to the DALMAC (Dick Allen Lansing to Mackinaw Bicycle Tour)… It’ll be a challenge right up my alley – Four Centuries in four days – 404 miles. It’s a camping tour, so the accommodations are cheap, and the gear is toted from the start to the finish in semi’s… Unless Mrs. BDJ wants to bring the kids on a camping adventure to Mackinaw, which would be right up her alley – a road trip and four days of camping, in that case I’d have her SAG our stuff. I’ll be checking that out with her over the weekend to begin plans.
The group I would ride with averages 20 mph on the first and fourth day and 18 (give or take) on the two middle days. That won’t be a problem at all – I’m already in good enough shape to handle that (I think). The thing that really appeals to me with the ride is that it’s quite over-the-top. Four hundred miles in four days? Now that sounds like fun.
To put my short cycling career in perspective for folks who may be afflicted with the “I can’t do that” bug… After a decade of running to “not get fat” (slow – 8-9 minute miles I wasn’t some 6 minute marathoner), I started riding a year and two months ago because I wanted to do a Sprint Triathlon. Two weeks into training I realized I was in way too good a condition for a Sprint so I upped that to an Olympic length. Two months later I’d done two – on a mountain bike. Two months after that I had my first road bike and started upping the miles – riding every day. My longest ride last year was in the neighborhood of 35 miles. Four months after that I bought a used properly sized racing bike. I rode on a trainer in my office through the winter to maintain my fitness. In March I hit the ground as soon as the weather broke and the weather became warm enough to ride… My longest ride through March and into April was 35 miles. On April 29th I did my first Metric Century 63.3 miles, beating my 4 hour goal by a half an hour. I continued cycling every day, 16-35.5 miles until I did an 80 mile ride (technically 90 – I rode to and from the bike shop) on July 4th. Then this month I participated in my first Centuries and beat my time goal from January by more than an hour for each. I’m up to 50 miles on Saturdays, and 16-35 on Sunday and week days. I take at least one day off every two weeks, whether I need it or not. I’m not particularly strong, though I am driven when I find enjoyment in something (and I love cycling almost as much as breathing).
This may sound like a lot – it is – but riding like this doesn’t actually take a lot of time… 50 minutes to an hour and a half during the week and on Sunday and 2 to 2-1/2 hours on Saturdays. What’s 50 minutes out of 1,440? The answer is not, “I can’t do that”. The answer is to figure out how I can.
With the season at the mid-point (March to November or December depending on snow), I’ll continue with the daily cycling until it becomes too nasty and then I’ll get the trainer going in my office again through the winter. Next year will look a lot like this year with the exception of the DALMAC capper. I can’t wait.