My Strategy for Attacking 60-80 Miles/Day
My good friend Jeff Furnia is training to join me on the Ride in Illinois. He asked me how I manage to do 60-80 miles/day when he is working up the energy to get on the bike for more than an hour or so. I felt the same way! When I started back in SF 60-80 miles seemed like such a long ride! This spring in NJ, I was only doing 23 miles with my biking friends in the mornings and 50 on Saturday with Chuck, which felt like a huge commitment each weekend!
I needed a new approach if I was going to make it 3,700+ miles. I decided to look at each day on this Ride as a series of 10-mile rides with eating opportunities in between. Justin drives the RV 10 miles ahead and waits for me. I ride 10 miles and then I get to eat something. I actually say to myself, “In 10 miles, I am going to eat my delicious almond butter-banana-honey sandwich!” That usually does the trick. Suddenly 60 miles feels do-able, like a normal ride. (And Justin is amazed at how much food I can consume each day!)
We met Ben in a crunchy coffeehouse in Telluride. He was in charge of making coffee and sandwiches and running the place. Ben is also a fly fishing guide for an outfitter in town. On top of all of that, he just invented his own hot sauce launching soon. Ben is actually using the kitchen at the coffeehouse to make the hot sauce and he’ll be selling it there as well. What he loves about his job at the coffeehouse is that his boss encourages Ben’s personality and entrepreneurship to contribute to the success of the business.
Made it to Montrose, a sprawling suburb (of what city, I’m not sure…) with every possible fast food restaurant and strip mall imaginable. While I was craving it in the canyons and on the mountains, I’m suddenly missing the innocence of the tucked-away mountain towns, like Rico and Telluride.
(Historical Note: Montrose is the sight of the the crazy Meeker Massacre, in which the Ute Indians killed U.S. Agent Nathanial Meeker in 1879 resulting in Congressional legislation to relocate the Ute Indians from this area in Colorado to a reservation in Utah taking away land previously guaranteed to them. No wonder so much around here is named “Ute” …)
The RV battery has been draining for the past week and we didn’t know why. We would turn off everything and the about-to-die alarm would go off every few hours if we didn’t start the RV or plug it into an outlet at an RV park.
Finally arriving in a city of more than 10 people today, we headed right for the local Auto Zone and met Tyler. Tyler checked the engine battery and assured us it was working great. He then discovered another battery for the internal accessories (who knew!?) and declared it dead (more road kill!). He sold us the right replacement battery, but then it was his lunch break and he was required to clock out. None of the other 10 employees meandering around the store seemed willing or able to help us, so Tyler spent his lunch break installing our new battery. When I asked him what he loves about his job, he said working on cars. He spent 6 years in the Navy as a mechanic and he loves fixing cars for people, as evidenced by his heroic feat today! We bought him lunch and gifted him with a LifeMoxie book.
- A field of alpaca (pictured here)
- Tee pees at the base of the mountain (pictured above)
Day 23 Stats
Day 23 miles: 67.35 miles
Total mileage: 1,471.52
Day 22 ascent: 2,152 ft
Total interviews: 40
Road kill count: 161 (another porcupine! I’ve never seen one live and now I’ve seen 2 dead)
Destination for Day 24: Gunnison, CO