Thursday, October 28, 2010

Weather, traffic and gear - October 28, 2010

Weather, traffic and gear.  Just about covers everything, but I figured if I’m lazy and don’t post for a few days I might as well cover it all.  Of course I may not touch on them in that order.
In this instance I’m going to cover gear first.  I am now running pursuit style bars on Mr.Fixie.  I make the change to accommodate better power and hand position while climbing out of the saddle (something I end up doing a lot), that and it looks better on the bike.  The bar change is great!  I can grab the bar in a natural position and use my upper-body strength to rock the bike more easily than before.  That plus the flat bar brake lever gives me better stopping power compared to the previous lever.
Also upgraded this year are the fenders.  Clip-ons are great if you need a temporary fix and protect you from the worst of the road water, but don’t protect the bike  and only provide about half of the needed coverage.  I have bolt on, full fenders with long buddy flaps on both the front and back.  Running the wider tires (more on that in a second) plus the 27” diameter means my fit is tight but also means that very little stray water is getting on me.
The tires are upgraded to Specialized Armadillo’s with Mr. Tuffy liners.  The combination should prevent flats this winter, which with a bolt on/off rear wheel is a relief.  The other change to the tires is diameter.  I put the widest tires that I could fit 1.25”.  This gives me a lot more tire on the pavement and better traction in the wet.  Of course the downside to having heavy duty tires, with heavy duty liners and a lot of tire contact means that getting them going is a tough job and hills have become a bit more of a challenge.  Not the worst thing in the world as my riding time will drop in half to a third over the winter.
Other changes include a new jacket (my old one finally died).  I went to a Cyclight jacket.  It waterproof, breathable, reflective, blah, blah; but it also has LED’s built into the jacket that give me added visibility.  The jacket is great!  It breaths moderately well and completely cuts the wind.  Even in heavy rain it stays dry and with a couple of little interior pockets I am hoping to have it five years from now.  Also added to my wardrobe is a ball cap style, cycling cap.  It looks utterly ridiculous on me, but it keeps the rain of my glasses, even when it’s blowing over 20 mph.
The rest of my outerwear is the same and has had lots of field testing.  In torrential downpours I can stay completely dry for about an hour, after that it depends.  I can also ride at temperatures down to about twenty degrees with no problem and probably colder, but haven’t had that opportunity yet.
It is definitely heading towards winter in the PNW.  I’m ok with the rain, but two mornings this week I’ve had to ride into 20 +mph winds.  At one point I was having issues getting the bike to go down a six degree slope; the wind was strong enough it felt like I was going up that road instead and was lucky if I was able to hold 10 mph.  In a fair world those winds would be at my back going home.  While there was wind, it was probably half that speed, which I suppose is better than being into the wind both ways.

The other lovely thing with the wind are all the branches on the ground and the threat of them falling on your head.  Helmets have another use!  The best thing about fixed gear is no derailleur to get banged up or ripped off by a tree limb that can’t be avoided.  The carpet of leaves are also pretty but deadly, they impede most traction and cause the roads to be very slippery.  The upside to all of this is that traffic moves slower and while the drivers may wonder at the maniac zipping down the street past them in the blowing rain, I’m moving and they’re not.

All in all traffic has been pretty good.  It generally is on the route I take.  Between my riding style  and the fact that I travel on main through-fairs for bicycle traffic it is rare that I get an unsafe or aggressive driver.  I have watched people carefully pass me to then drive on and four or five blocks later get into a horn blowing competition with another car.  This morning was special though.

At the top of one of the hills there is a “T” junction that I go through.  I travel straight and the traffic goes straight or right.  Pulling up behind a car stopped at the light I move to the right of the lane as on the other side of intersection there is another hill and a fog lane that I like to ride in and get out of the traffics way.  I heard a semi (turned out to be a dump truck), coming up behind me set to turn right, so I scooted myself and my bike over a foot so he had lots of room to pass.  As he got up beside me he slowed and I heard his window being rolled down.  Great!  Some yahoo about to tell me that I was doing something wrong or they didn’t like.

Nope!  He hollered down a good morning, asked how my ride was, commented that the weather should be getting better, etc.  The light turned green and he wished me a good ride before we parted ways.  Weird, not just because it was a truck driver, but just in general.  So I carried on and even with a lot of traffic I had lots of careful passing going down one of the busiest sections of my ride.  The hit another major hill in my commute.

This time it was a metro-bus that surprised me.  This particular road is not structured to accommodate buses well.  They basically pull off the single lane of traffic into the parking area/bike lane for their stops and then back into traffic.  Normally I am either far enough ahead or behind them that there isn’t an issue or on the occasional time I catch one, I pull up behind it and wait, knowing that I can zip around it on the downhill portion if it stops again.

This morning though, the bus had just passed me and I could see someone waiting at the next stop, so I slowed down assuming that the bus would pull in front of me.  I was wrong; instead he stopped in the car lane and waived the pedestrian to cross over to board the bus thus allowing me to continue without being impeded.  WOW!  Of all the drivers that have made me jump, busses normally are at the top of that list so this was a long way from the norm.

I did have an uneventful ride home as well, although maybe there had been an announcement for “extra nice driver day”, because I saw five or six times the number of cyclists then I normally would.  All in all it was a good day to be a bicycle commuter.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The horrible 15 - October 22, 2010

I hate 15.  My favorite number is 12, but even though it’s only 3 away, 15 is an evil number; and more so lately.  15 is the current body fat percentage that I am at.  15 is the current percentage of muscle I need to gain.  15 is the number of pounds I need to lose (well that might be overkill but you get the point).
On the positive side I am making gains towards that end.  I am down about a pound after 4 days of food monitoring and my experience tells me that it will accelerate a bit over the next couple of weeks before slowing again, so getting to about 160 by the new year shouldn’t be that big of a problem.  I had a moment of weakness last night and brought my calories flush to my BMR for the day (about 1800), with a bowl of cereal.
I found a place that may be a good resource for me later down the road in terms of biometrics and training.  It is a relatively new place in Seattle called Herriott Sports.  They seem to handle everything from VO2 max testing to a bike fit.  They currently support a number of professional teams and will be hosting the RAAM seminar in November.  Based on the web information they don’t have the “bike-snob” feel that so many other shops and trainers have, yet they obviously know what they are doing.  Hmm…future sponser?
Oh I managed to finally get my hands on a used copy of Bicycle Dreams, and hope to watch that soon.  I am basically in sponge mode, trying to get as much information as possible right now so that I can churn it around and get a more detailed plan in motion.  This movie should be great for showing the emotional drain that comes with this type of racing.
Another 15 I hate.  I will develop a whole body training schedule within the next 15 days.  12 is such a great number (just because I said so).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Water, water everywhere - Ocotober 19, 2010

The supposed source of life: water.  I really need to take after Trisha and drink more of it, but I don’t, except when I am really watching my food intake.  All the normal things, it helps make you feel full, good for you, blah blah.  The issue I have with water isn’t the water itself but all the things it does and isn’t.
It isn’t coffee.  MMM, coffee.  If I was smart I would drink less so that it had a larger effect when riding, basically a legal stimulant; but I’m not.  I love coffee, strong and black.  I actually drink about 4 cups a day now which is way down from my high at one point of probably 4 pots a day.  Water interferes with my ability to drink coffee because I can only pour so much fluid down my throat in a given period.
Water also often makes me feel bloated when I manage to drink the required amount per day (based on my weight, activity level and protein intake about a gallon), which is messed up because at the same time I need to visit a toilet every hour.  Probably due to the fact that I wander around in a perpetual state of dehydration, except when riding, it makes me feel “slooshy” (the technical term!), and sluggish, which is the opposite of what it’s supposed to do.
So while I like the concept of drinking more water I find the practice of it challenging.  Coffee should be water, than it wouldn’t be an issue.  I would say more on the topic, but I have to run and find a toilet.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Much hate about food tracking - October 18, 2010

I hate tacking my food.  HATE IT!
It is boring and monotonous.  I have a great program that I work with – Training Peaks – and when I am tracking food I do get  the results that I want, but ugh!  I just hate it.
I actually don’t do it all that often.  Generally about twice a year for two or three months (my record is four and half) to get to my weight goals or when I’m in the process of changing my weight goals or just eating poorly (which is still probably better than 80% of the country just based on my overall health).  Eating poorly for me, means eating lots late in the day to the point of overeating.   I don’t get that “full” feeling easily and if I’m not paying attention can happily eat an entire pizza or its equivalent.
So I fight a bit with portions even though I eat healthy foods and I couple that with cravings for carbs in the evening.  All through the day I can keep a pretty good balance of 50/30/20 (carb/protein/fat) or even 45/40/15 on a great day; in the evening when I should basically be eating fruits, vegetables and meat, I want breads, potatoes and rice.  This is where tracking comes in.  I can see how I have been doing through the day and know exactly what my consumption can be at night before I bump up against my food limits.
I just hate doing it.
Right now I just crossed over the 170 pound threshold (actually I screaming past it to 171) and need to see if I can step my maintenance weight down.  A couple of years ago I was at about 190 pounds and after monitoring and adjusting my foods several times I realized that if I dropped weight for a bit, I would plateau.  Then if I maintained that plateau until it started to climb, basically when my body had recovered, and went back to eating carefully I would drop even lower, until another plateau and…
So I hit my last plateau late this spring and settled around 168 pounds.  Each step down seems to be 6 to 8 pounds from the last plateau.  This time I should be able to reach a weight of 160 to 162 which should be my final big drop, with little ones just to help me not creep up too high again.  So with Christmas and Thanksgiving in the way I should be close to 160 by the New Year, at which point I can stop tracking food for awhile.  I could probably get lower but considering that I am looking at endurance riding having an additional five or six pounds, or 20,000 calories, of energy is probably a lot healthier.
It’s actually a good time to do it, my activity level is consistent, so I don’t need to make huge daily adjustments for calorie burn and with a couple of exceptions there are unlikely a lot of instances where my food plan will get derailed.  It will be nice to maybe lose some of my gut and get back to having even my tightest pants fit comfortably.  But I hate tracking food!  There is something to be said about liposuction.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fund raising - October 17, 2010

Which good cause to do fund raising for?  At this point I have three I’m considering: Livestrong, Bikes for Africa and the Major Taylor project.  I have about another three or four years before I really start needing to worry about which one to pick and maybe by that point there will be something else.  Of course a lot of the fund-raising effort and personal sponsorship will fall into Trisha’s hands to do, not because I’m incapable but because she would be so much better at it.

Each of them has pros and cons.  For instance, Livestrong already has a lot of exposure and funding that it receives which means that one of the others may benefit more from funds.  One of the obvious upsides of course is the fact that everyone is aware of what Livestrong is and that might appeal to a wider range of sponsors and individuals who may donate.  One of the other positives is the additional marketing help that the organization would add as well as the possibility of a training ride with a group of pro-cyclists if certain donation levels are reached. 

The other one I like is Bikes for Africa.  This organization buys and fixes bikes for donation to southern Africa to benefit the poorest people there.  They often travel long distances everyday for basics like water, firewood and work or school.  The bikes provide them a way to accomplish this transportation cheaply and quickly.  One of the downsides to this cause is the funds are not benefiting people in our own country.  It is pretty well known and something tangible that people who may sponsor or donate can understand easily.  Another positive is that they again are a big enough organization that they would probably be able to assist in fund-raising.

Finally there is the Major Taylor Project.  Within the immediate area and within the cycling community this program is pretty well known.  It provides bikes and training to a diverse population of low income kids in the PNW; teaching them about cycling safety and bicycle maintenance.  The obvious downside is that it isn’t as noble of a cause compared to the other two and not well known outside of the region.  However it would directly benefit an organization here and at a local level would be well received by sponsors and individuals.

I still have awhile to figure it out.  I will have to find sponsors for equipment needs, but more importantly need fund-raising for whichever organization I commit to.  If I am willing to make the commitment to cycle across the country there should be a benefit for other organizations that do so many good things for a whole range of people.

Riding and training - October 17, 2010

There are lots of reasons for riding and lots of different kinds of bikes to do it on.  Even within major groups of bikes that include: road, mountain, bmx and casual/commuting there are infinite sub-groups of bicycles depending on use and requirements.  Then there are all the different types of equipment within the subgroups to further specialize a bicycles use.  And all of this because everyone is enjoys riding a specific way for specific reasons.

Some like hard-short efforts, some are technical riders, some like long touring rides, high jumps, racing and leisurely riding.  Even within a fairly specific type of riding there are people that will focus on different aspects, generally those they enjoy or excel at.  In a road race some people will focus/excel at climbing while others look to sprinting down the flats and still others look forward to technical down-hills.   

Very competitive cyclists will train measuring various metrics, looking for improvements in their specialties and improving their weaknesses.  Here again there are as many theories and training programs as there are cyclists.  Lately I have seen a lot of numbers coming in from different riders, from faster speeds, to shorter times to better power that have been attained for the year. 

For myself, I know that I’m faster.  I have very few numbers that show that directly but there are some.  I have set new speed/time records on my commute and I was far faster on the HPC (over 30 minutes) this year.  I travel at a higher rate of speed on average and climb much better.  In high power groups I can hold my own both on climbs and flats; I’m not the fastest at either but I can stay with the front group for both.

Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely a lot of riders that climb faster, ride faster, longer and generally better.  Had I started riding competitively when I was younger and made different choices concerning my health I could probably have been a fairly competitive Cat 1 or 2 as a GC.  But I didn’t and I’m not so I have to work with what I have.  I will probably never measure metrics closely as I don’t need to, I just need to add to my general fitness and focus on my general abilities.

So part of it comes down to why RAAM; why if I’m in the 10% of the riders in this area in my category and maybe only the top 25% (if that) in the world is there not a lot more people at RAAM and why am I?  One piece is that I am fairly well rounded; I can jump out and catch another rider, I can climb, I can ride for long periods and I am a pretty good technical rider.  Another part is that I can and do push myself very hard, recover and push hard again.  I also want to do this where a lot of others simply don’t.  I don’t expect to win, simply succeed.

I do have work to do to get into better physical shape, but I probably won’t be measuring a lot metrics to do so.  The biggest issue I have to work on is pacing.  I tend to push too hard; part of the issue that I had on the S2S.  I made great time into Orondo and then suffered.  I need to back off my pacing a bit on longer rides and do a better job of resting and feeding.  That over everything else is going to be the metric I measure; did I ride the ride I was on and pace for it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

RAAM presentation - October 15, 2010

So in the end Trisha helped me with the decision to go to the seminar.  It was great; George is a great speaker and he had a well laid out presentation.  There were several RAAM riders present to add input from their personal experiences.
One of things I have had concerns about is whether RAAM will even exist in 8 years but those were quickly put to rest.  George (race director) has a clear plan to grow RAAM from its current point to nearly double in the next few years.  They will be focused on team participation which makes sense; with a really good crew, even fairly novice riders can jump onto an 8 person team and be fairly confident they will make it to the other side with a few hours of riding each day.
I think it is a great idea as it will introduce more people to endurance riding and give them an epic ride that will cause excitement among their cycling peers.  Considering there is almost a million dollars raised each year for various causes, an increase in the number of riders will greatly benefit all the organizations.
After attending I realized that Trisha and I really need to attend a seminar fairly soon.  Prior to RAW and RAAM, Trisha will most often be the entirety of my crew and the information in one of the seminars will benefit both of us on any future rides as well as help us prepare for RAAM.  I think that even if she is not part of the final crew, she will be able to provide a lot of insight into the planning stages.
For the upcoming year I need to look towards the S2S and possibly the Cannonball and Ramrod as well.  I thought about maybe the STP, but then adding the ride back.  It would eliminate the expense of a hotel and I would see how a 400 mile ride would feel.  With the excellent support down there, I think I could get back to Centralia in the daylight and then have someone leap frog me for support the last hundred plus miles.  I don’t know, it will depend on a lot of things.
It’s funny to me that I don’t tend to get excited about a ride or race until right before the event.  I may prepare, but I don’t anticipate it.  This time it’s different, I am excited to do this.

Monday, October 11, 2010

RAAM seminar - October 11, 2010

It has horrible timing.  First it’s in the middle of the week and then it’s in downtown Seattle (ugh!) and then it starts and runs late.  If anyone of these were different it would be very doable. 

At this point I still haven’t ruled it out, but really 7:00 to 8:30?  The only upside to this event is that it is free.  My choices are drive to work, on a really nice day for this area in October, get off of work and either hang around in Bellevue or Seattle and then get home late.  I won’t have time to go home (or I would, but I would have to leave as soon as I got there) so I will miss bed time and everything else that night.

My other option is to take my bike to work and ride to the event.  Again I may have some time to kill (it won’t take me two hours to get to Seattle), but I may get a chance to talk with the RAAM people.  Here lay this issue.  I would then either then have to bike home and get home around ten or ask my family to come and get me which would keep the kids up past bed time.

Of course the third option is just to not go.  They are holding a seminar later this year, but that one is $125.00.  ARGG!!! I just don’t know.  Ah well I have 3 hours to figure it out.

UPDATE: Trisha helped me figure this out.  I will drive to the event, but she will bring everyone down to meet me for dinner first.  So very excited!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The first victim - October 9, 2010

Two posts one day!  It’s just catch up for not having anything for the last five.

I have worked out a few possible logistic items in the last couple of days. 

The first one concerns Trisha.   I had hoped to include her in the crew as she has so many strengths and such fantastic communication skills that she would be able to make decisions and get a team moving in the right direction if they should falter.  Sort of like a back up to the crew chief.  She is also an excellent navigator and I would prefer her as a masseur over anyone else (personal space issues).  In the end even with the huge benefit she would be as part of the on-road team I don’t think it would be fair to her and may be detrimental to me and completing the race.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that she would pursue my dream with me on the road as far as she could, but I don’t think it would be far enough no matter how hard she tried and I don’t want to have her hurt by seeing me do it.  Having her at the finish to celebrate with me when I cross the line will be the moment I want her to be part of; not the personal torture getting there.

I could change my mind on this, but even knowing how strong I am (and multiplying that) and ready to let Trisha pursue her dreams regardless of the cost to her, I don’t think I would be able to see her put herself through something similar without trying to stop her and I don’t think she would want me to be in that much emotional anguish over her actions; so I won’t do it to her.  We are too close, too in touch with each other and really what one of us experiences, we both do.  Knowing that I need to finish the race in order to have her with me at the finish line will also work as an amazing incentive.

As to the rest of my family, I haven’t ruled out Sean as a possible driver/co-driver; he will be old enough by then and this would be a huge adventure for a 17 year old.  My in-laws may also choose to participate and they have a huge range of skills including possible mechanic and crew chief material as well as cook and gopher.  There are lots of possibilities there and with others people in the future.

I have currently a great possible victim for a medic/driver.  In a conversation with a friend/co-worker who asked me “what next?”, I discussed my plans for RAAM.  Corey immediately offered to take up the position of medic (he has similar training to an EMT) and also to drive.  WOW!  One down.  That is if he is still on the crazy side of normal in eight years.

People are going to be a hurdle (one of many, but a big one) for me.  I am not social and tend to have issues asking for help, but if I can ride across the country I’m pretty sure that I can overcome that as well.  At least for this.

Planning - October 9, 2010

I am a person who does routines very well.  Once I start to do something consistently I streamline it into a series of flowing steps and can put together a fairly intricate routine quickly.  However until it is a routine, I remain challenged.  I have a hard time planning for one time events.  It took me nearly 3 months before I remembered everything I needed for my daily commute. I was constantly forgetting something, at least one thing each time.

Thank goodness for Trisha, the maker of lists, the super organizer.  She has the ability to take one time complex plans and break them down into a series of lists; to do, to pack, etc.  So Trisha...HELP!  Please take my ramblings and organize them into a list or lists as you see fit.  My hope is to post them on the blog somewhere and have them in front of me as a reminder of what I need to accomplish.  

In no particular order here are some things that will need to be done or acquired over the next few years: 
I need a crew.  Based on what I know so far that will be a minimum of six people: 2 drivers per shift in 8 hour shifts.  Of those I will need a mechanic, cook, gopher, masseur, medical and crew chief.  Some cross over (besides driver) would be good so there is someone that can step into a position if needed.

I need another bike.  I anticipate that I will probably run two different types of bikes to keep up with the different terrains and provide different riding positions to alleviate muscle soreness.  I want to experiment with a triathlon bike; maybe a Softride before committing.  I will also need to have a couple of sets of wheels, especially rear to provide different gearing options.

I need to figure out food.  One of the lessons learned from the S2S was that I need to figure out a way to get more calories in my system.  Hammer seems to provide a wide range of products that work for a lot of cyclists and endurance athletes, but I need to work it out to a science.
I need to work on endurance riding.  Part of this is just riding, part of it is riding with more specific training, and part of it is developing a plan with known biometrics.  I will probably consider joining SIR (Seattle International Randonneurs) as this is the type of riding they do.

I need to get my weight consistent.  Fluctuations are ok but they need to be at lower weights.  If I ran between 162 and 167 as opposed to 167 and 172 I will struggle less with my overall fitness.
I really (REALLY!) need to work more on my overall body strength, especially core power.  I think this is more critical for endurance riding and preventing injury than anything else that I can do for improvements.

These are really long term goals and I will use them to develop intermediary goals and then short term goals from there.  Things I can think immediately think of include: developing a training plan for core strength, look at power meters and replace the headset, cables, crank bearings and upgraded wheelset for my bike.  I had considered a set of rollers for training, but instead will use my rower and outdoor training in the form of commuting.

I am missing a ton of things, but they will get added as I go. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Qualifiers - October 3, 2010

The Furnace Creek 508 is running this weekend.  It is a 508 mile race with 35,000 feet of climbing that goes through Death Valley.  The top competitors will finish in around 35 hours.  Competitors like Chris Ragsdale; a Seattle native who holds the world record for fastest 1000km ride (31 hours).  It is also a RAMM qualifier, but not one that I have on my “to do” list.  Riding around in the heat with a large ultra-competitive field late in the year; nothing there appeals to me.

The current RAAM regulations state that you have to either complete or complete a minimum distance in 24 hours or finish within 20% of the race leader depending on the race within the two years immediately preceding RAAM.  My focus will be on the first two types of competitions.  With those I don’t have to worry about whether there is a super cyclist entered that year, so that even if I have a good race I don’t qualify.  The logistics of finishing a 24 hour race with 425 miles covered seems easier.  It is measurable and obtainable and effort can be adjusted during the race.  The same goes for finishing with a specific time period.  It is a challenge against my abilities not someone else’s.

I don’t remember the names of them, but there is a challenge in Sebring, others in Iowa, Georgia, Montana and finally Alaska.  They tend to have smaller fields and moderate temperatures.  Of course in six years time those events may not exist or the requirements may have changed.  Of course there could be new events as well (a combined S2S/Cannonball – into Spokane on Hwy 2 and back to Seattle on I90, that would be a 550 mile race with 18,000 feet of climbing with a 36 – 40 hour time limit).

I will probably plan on attending three or four of the events in the two years prior to RAAM.  I want to cover a couple different types of events at different times of year so that I am guaranteed to qualify at least once.  With the growth RAAM has seen in the last couple of years I could see the requirements being raised in order to make the field more competitive.  Possibly moving to an Hawaii Iron-Man event where you need to qualify in a number of races.  It will all depend on what the owners decide to do.

One last event I am considering before RAAM is RAW.  This is the Race Across the West.  It starts and runs at the same time as RAAM, but only covers the first 800 miles of the race, typically ending in the Colorado area.  Most competitors are completing it around 3 days.  I think that this will be a great way to get a feeling for the next year as well as shake out some of the logistics with the crew as well as using it as a backup for qualifying.

Good luck to all those on the 508 today and go Chris!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Around which all things revolve - October 1, 2010

Many times as this blog continues, Trisha will be at the forefront (so get used to it).  With good reason; she is my source of, well, everything!  When I think of the general courage and determination that she has for everything she does it can’t help but inspire to try big things.  She supports me and with that I can do anything, which is good because RAAM will be brutal.

Trisha has two bikes that she rides (soon to be three).  One is a big Schwinn cruiser with mustache handle bars and big 700x32 tires, add in a suspension fork and seat post that this thing defines cruiser.  It is her bike to keep up with the kids when they want to go off the beaten path, when we are biking down the Hiawatha trail.  At over 35 pounds it rides like a Cadillac, but it’s not fast.
Enter the road bike.  I built up an aluminum DBR frame with a carbon fork and Campagnolo Mirage components and mid-line FSA rims.  Because of the small frame the bike comes in between 17-18 pounds.  To accommodate her style of riding I converted it to a high rise stem and flat bar set up.  This gives her a good position on the bike and allows her to develop power naturally.  She easily holds 15 mph or better on flat surfaces.
Her third bike isn’t built yet.  That is the semi-recumbent tandem.  This will be a fantastic bike for us when I am out doing longer rides.  It will allow us to share the work and provide us positions that work to our body strengths and well as allowing for conversation and “together” time.

So outside of having a clear understanding of the dedication it will take to get to RAAM and the time involved and supporting me she is also determined to help me with the logistics and planning of the next few years.  Everything from making sure that I can attend information meetings (and finding them) to making this blog functional and readable.  She will eventually develop the website that will be used and begin creating the lists of things that need to be done each step of the way.  It is all of this that makes it possible for me to concentrate on training; on getting to the next step.

I will say it here and know that I will say it again over and over and over.  Thank you Trisha!  Oh because I need to get a head start on it, “You were right”.