I just noticed it has been six days since my last posting. I have been training and getting some logistics accomplished. With better weather here at home now, I'm three days into an "every day" riding schedule. Wednesday I did a 12-mile loop, and was pleasantly surprised that I averaged a bit over 12 MPH. Thursday I did a 14.5-mile ride that included a steady hill on an old railroad grade, so it was about 3 miles long, but not too steep. I also dealt with some headwinds blowing up the valley, and that was no fun. My average speed was about 11.5 MPH--again, I'm pleasantly surprised. Yesterday I did the same 12-mile loop, but this time I pulled Max in his trailer so I could see how he and I did on a longer ride. He did not fuss, but he does get hot in the open sun, so I'll be working on a way to keep him cooler--maybe an additional sun screen inside the trailer, or maybe a damp towel for him to lie on. The wind was swirling on the route but not strong, but it always felt like I had a headwind. What took me 56 minutes without Max took me 63 minutes with him, so I need to expect a drop off in my average speed. I still did the 12 miles in about 11 MPH.
I also began to shop around for a shop to produce a few T-shirts for my ride. I'm going to use ones, too, from my Hike three years ago--it's magic what you can do with a marker pen to change an "H" into a "B". I have emailed all the ID affiliates with my one-page press release for the ride, and I'll be writing them all this weekend to share specific details that apply to each site.
Thursday I drove up to REI in Bellingham and bought some "performance" gear for the ride. I bought a pair of bike shoes for SPD clips, and the Shimano pedals to match. Everyone tells me to expect to fall a lot as I learn to use them, but I'm hoping to shorten that learning curve by using them on my stationary bike in the basement first. The shoes alone do help some, as the sole is quite rigid, but I really do need the clips to get the full benefit. Yes, I'll let you all know when I fall off the bike as I'm learning.
I'm really pleased with the performance of the Burley Tail Wagon trailer. It pulls smoothly and is simple to break down and set up moving from home to the ride start point. Of course, once I'm on the ID ride, I'll keep it intact until I'm done. It is a good product. I'm also pleased with my bike, and am beginning to get used to it more. I've signed up for a Bike Maintenance 201 course at REI Bellingham, so I'll be able to make small, simple fixes and adjustments to the bike.
Today I'm going to do a 15-mile ride and meet Linda for a late lunch at the end of the ride. I'll be riding every day--weather and schedule permitting--from here on out, and will work to get up my mileage as I go. I'm confident that I'll work into the daily distances on my actual ride, since I have virtually no schedule and can take as much time each day to cover my planned distance. I suspect that once the ride begins on 25 June, I'll probably average between 8 and 10 MPH, and will likely stop every hour to take a break, and let Max have a break, too.