Hey there! My apologies for going quiet after my first post. Life has been hectic with school, work, an internship, celebrating birthdays, spending time with family, and training, of course! In the past few weeks, I have taken critical steps towards starting the Trans Am Bike Race 2019. With only 52 days left before the race, everything is kicking into gear (pun intended)! Most recent to my last blog post, I purchased a ONE WAY plane ticket to Portland, Oregon. No turning back now! I will fly from Philadelphia to Portland on May 29… crazy. I will say “see you soon” to my family, friends, and everyone who has supported and encouraged me thus far. Once again, a big thank you to everyone included on that list. It may be cheesy to say, but it is a humbling experience to receive all of the support that has been provided through generous people.
One other major puzzle piece that I purchased was my insurance policy for the race. It is a new rule this year that forces riders to take out a cycling specific insurance policy in case of emergency. I asked for some recommendations from others, and I am all set to go to the starting line with my cycling insurance policy in place!
A lot of people have been asking me the popular question of “how do you train for this??” Well, to be honest. It’s really hard to prepare yourself for riding 100+ miles a day for 30-40 days. Especially with being a full time student and involvement in other areas of life, it is almost impossible to train my body to sit on a bicycle and pedal for 8-10 hours EVERY day. A lot of my training has been mental training in which I live long days. I sleep well, but I never stop moving during the day. I ride my bike everywhere. To work. To internship. To my apartment. Anywhere! Anytime I can sneak in a few miles in between tasks, I take full advantage of it. Riding in the city of Philadelphia is also quite challenging (I attend Temple University in case you weren’t aware). With so many stop signs and traffic lights, it takes a substantial amount of power output to get from one place to another. My goal is to live each day so that by the end of the day I am tired, wanting a break, eager for sleep, and physically exhausted because these are some of the exact same feelings I expect to have during the race.
Other than this, I was able to put in a serious weekend of training/testing to see where my body is at physically. This past Friday, I took the train home from Philadelphia to Lancaster where my grandparents graciously picked me up and drove me home. My intentions for coming home were to spend two long days in the saddle to see how my body handled the stress of back to back days of long distance journeys. On Saturday, I rode from Lititz to Harrisburg and back while stopping to visit one of my good friends who has been a part of my cycling journey since a very young age. This ride was challenging, but it was an extremely exciting and fulfilling ride as it was my first long distance ride on my new bicycle. I didn’t have any issues with the bicycle as we traveled 100.1 miles on Saturday!
Sunday did not include as many miles as Saturday, but the hills were way more challenging. Once again, I started from my Lititz in the morning and rode down into a small town called Rising Sun just below the Maryland border! I stopped at a local sandwich stop to refuel for the rest of my ride. This ride lasted for 88.3 miles, and I was pretty tired by the time I got back. I felt like I could have ridden more after eating another meal, but I had to get back to Philadelphia at night to be ready for another week of school, work, and internship hours in the city. On our way to the train station, my parents and I got dinner at Saladworks where we were actually able to spend some time together since I had been out on the road all weekend.
These two full days of riding (188.45 miles) were challenging, but I feel really good about where I am physically. The Trans Am will require more effort than this as these types of ride will become a daily occurrence, but I am confident in my abilities to ride consecutive long days after testing it out this weekend. I also loved being able to spend some time out in the country and enjoying the views. One of my favorite things about Lancaster County is the sunsets over the fields. To finish up this blog, I will share with you one of my favorite pictures from the weekend. Thanks so much for reading, and I can’t wait to update you with some more exciting news in the future!