Training Day

Even as I am very much in the planning stage for my September 2022 bicycle tour adventure along the Southern Tier of the Trans-American Bicycle Trail, I am starting my training. Actually, re-started, as I started pre-COVID, but had pretty much shut it down as discussed in my earlier post on “My Last Great Adventure.” As I wrote in that post, currently my plans are to start on the second leg of the Tier, from Tempe, Az, headed toward El Paso, Tx, some 512.9 miles. The total trip is some 2,148 miles, minus any side trips I decide to take.

The first leg, from San Diego, CA, to Tempe, is some 432.4 miles, and would add an additional 9 days to my ride–and through yet some more very HOT desert and challenging mountain range. I at first rejected starting in San Diego as it would add the time and miles to my trip, and because I “didn’t leave anything there” in San Diego. Visited it once when I was about 10 years old with my parents and brother. I didn’t know anyone in San Diego area. However, since then, through a sale of a CD player I had on FB, I now have a contact in San Diego. Then, I also remembered my editor, Rick Benzel, for my Guru book lived in the LA area (Marina Del Rey), and my internet marketing person for the book, Darcy Hughes, also lived in the area (Vence). Hmm. Maybe, I’ll put San Diego back on my “possible” list, via LA.

Today was the second day of restarting my training for this lifetime adventure. I’m starting with my favorite ten mile circle route that takes me through some very pleasant rural/countryside riding with low traffic. There are two pretty good hills on the route. When I get where I can do that route pretty well, I’ll up the ante to a 13 mile circular route that has some even more challenging hills. My training plans are to do several of the standard workout rides each week and at least one longer, harder ride, more like 26 miles into Clemson, SC and back. I want to build up to being able to do 50 miles a day, which is my daily average I’m shooting for on the tour. There are a couple at least of 70 mile runs along the way too.

Along with the above, I’m increasing my protein intake. Right now, with summer temperatures in full force, I’m riding in the early mornings while it is still reasonably “cool,” as in “not hot”. I’m doing a protein shake or smoothie before I go on the rides as breakfast. These are supplemented with powdered milk whey, micronized creatine, and organic wheatgrass powder.

Additionally, I have bought me another Brooks leather saddle so that I will have the same saddle on both my bikes, my touring bike, which is my training bike, and my e-bike, which is the one I’ll planning to do the actual tour on. The second saddle just came. Now I have to break in the new saddle. That involves soaking it in a mild detergent solution for thirty minutes or so, slapping it on the bike and going on at least an hours ride with it. Have to do that three times! That molds it to my posterior.

Brooks Leather Saddle

Although, I have mixed feelings about taking the e-bike as I really like my R.E.I. ADV 1.1 touring bike (below). It is a smoother, more comfortable ride, and is designed and built for touring. It has a special low gearing I’ve had put on it for mountains.

REI ADV 1.1 touring bike

The e-bike, a Cannondale Synapse Neo, I’ve had equipped for touring, and on those high mountains, it would be a blessing (below).

I’ve driven over some of those passes in my truck or cars. On a bike, they are going to be killers, gonad chomping, testosterone-testing! Yeah, they’ll put hair on my chest, if I can do them. I’m an old man. Don’t need no more chest hair. If it was back on my head, now that would be different, maybe.

Finally, I have started going back over my bikepacking gear and decided to resurrect my old Optimus 8R camping stove for the tour. It caught on fire several camping trips ago when I forgot to put the cap back on the tank after filling it. (My BAD and SAD). I really liked that old stove. Had it since around 1970. It made the hike into the Grand Canyon and back in 1970, and all over the place since then. I don’t like the other stoves I’ve tried since it died nearly as well. The Optimus 8R is no longer made, but you can still get parts for them. I bought a repair kit. Had to clean the stove cover first, sand it, and repaint it from the fire. I have the repairs done, thanks to two Youtube videos, but somehow misplaced the burner cover. It’s around here somewhere. I’ll keep looking. This getting old sucks!

Until next post, Gassho.