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March Madness (Week 12)

I ain’t talking about basketball. Average daily ascent is still creeping upward, as it needs to if I ever hope to make my 100 vertical miles goal.

Rides of Week 12

DateLocationDistanceAscent (day / total / avg)BikeBuddies/Notes
Mar 19 (day 78)Auburn, CA12.74 miles2,459' / 80,845' / 1,036'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeed15 vertical miles
Mar 20 (day 79)Pilot Hill, CA12.46 miles1,829' / 82,674' / 1,046'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedsingletrack & dirt roads w/ Mike B
Mar 21 (day 80)Cool, CA9.60 miles1,253' / 83,927' / 1,049'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, light rain then thunderstorm deluge
Mar 22 (day 81)Cool, CA9.58 miles1,204' / 85,131' / 1,051'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, break in the rain
Mar 23 (day 82)Cool, CA11.29 miles1,556' / 86,687' / 1,057'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, mostly sunny
Mar 24 (day 83)Cool, CA9.58 miles1,179' / 87,866' / 1,058'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, rain
Mar 25 (day 84)Auburn, CA6.68 miles1,374' / 89,240' / 1,062'Spot Rocker SS 27.5+first ride on a new bike 🙂
Total71.93 miles (week) / 742.86 (total)10,854' (week) / 89,240' (total)

Twenty Percent (Week 11)

Although it’s hard to believe, the year will be 20% over in the middle of this week. It’s nice to (finally!) see my average daily ascent back up over 1,000 feet but I still have a long way to go if I want to get to 100 vertical miles.

Rides of Week 11

DateLocationDistanceAscent (day / total / avg)BikeBuddies/Notes
Mar 12 (day 71)Cool, CA9.55 miles1,204' / 70,320' / 990'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, sun
Mar 13 (day 72)Cronan Ranch, Pilot Hill, CA12.12 miles1,778' / 72,098' / 1,001'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedsingletrack & dirt roads w/ Mike B
Mar 14 (day 73)Cool, CA9.55 miles1,217' / 73,315' / 1,004'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, sun, day 73 = 20% of 365
Mar 15 (day 74) Olmstead Loop, Cool, CA8.94 miles876' / 74,191' / 1,002'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeed14 vertical miles, forearm injury from sheep wrangling (no kidding)
Mar 16 (day 75) Foresthill Divide Loop Trail, Auburn, CA10.64 miles1,395' / 75,586' / 1,007'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedmostly sunny, but forearm is still sore
Mar 17 (day 76)Cool, CA9.57 miles1,178' / 76,764' / 1,010'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, sunny & warm
Mar 18 (day 77)Cool, CA11.24 miles1,622' / 78,386' / 1,018'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, wet roads but mostly dry skies
Total71.61 miles (week) / 670.93 (total)9,270' (week) / 78,386' (total)

Waning Winter? (Week 10)

Just a couple more weeks before the official arrival of spring, so winter should be waning, right? Although last week turned out to be pretty darn nice, the current 15-day forecast still has 9 days of rain. I guess I should be grateful it isn’t snow. 😳

Update: the forecast changed and now there’s very little rain in the forecast, so maybe winter really is waning after all.

Rides of Week 10

DateLocationDistanceAscent (day / total / avg)BikeBuddies/Notes
Mar 5 (day 64)Cool, CA11.26 miles1,573' / 58,014' / 906'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, mixed clouds & sun, but cold
Mar 6 (day 65)Cool, CA9.56 miles1,164' / 59,178' / 910'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, mostly cloudy & cold, 11 vertical miles
Mar 7 (day 66)Cool, CA11.28 miles1,597' / 60,775' / 920'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, cloudy & cool
Mar 8 (day 67)Cronan Ranch, Pilot Hill, CA12.11 miles1,765' / 62,540' / 933'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedsingletrack & dirt roads w/ Mike B & Michael S 🙂
Mar 9 (day 68)Cool, CA9.58 miles1,208' / 63,748' / 937'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, sun, shorts & short sleeves, 12 vertical miles
Mar 10 (day 69)Auburn, CA12.99 miles2,653' / 66,401' / 962'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedclassic trail loop on a gorgeous day 🙂
Mar 11 (day 70)Auburn, CA12.67 miles2,715' / 69,116' / 987'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedditto yesterday, 13 vertical miles
Total79.45 miles (week) / 599.32 (total)12,675' (week) / 69,116' (total)biggest week of climbing so far 🙂

10 Vertical Miles

Well, I’m 10% of the way to 100 vertical miles. I should be considerably further at this point but our four-week vacation (Jan 17 – Feb 13) decimated my average daily ascent. Going into vacation, my daily average was 1,294 feet per day. At the end of vacation, it was down to just 730 feet per day. Ouch. 🙁 While 100 vertical miles is an uphill battle (pun intended) at this point, it’s not impossible. As the weather improves, riding longer each day (and therefore with more climbing) should get easier, at least in terms of comfort.

Two Down (Week 9)

Two months down already. That’s a little hard to believe. Time flies, whether you’re having fun or not. 😉

Rides of Week 9

DateLocationDistanceAscent (day / total / avg)BikeBuddies/Notes
Feb 26 (day 57)Cool, CA9.61 miles1,158' / 48,116' / 844'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, sunshine
Feb 27 (day 58)Cool, CA11.28 miles1,564' / 49,680' / 856'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, sun (shorts even, but still 3 layers on top)
Feb 28 (day 59)Cool, CA9.61 miles1,257' / 50,937' / 863'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, sun
Mar 1 (day 60)Cool, CA11.26 miles1,570' / 52,507' / 875'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, sun
Mar 2 (day 61)Cool, CA9.57 miles1,136' / 53,643' / 879'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, sun, just broke 10 vertical miles
Mar 3 (day 62)Cool, CA11.29 miles1,603' / 55,246' / 891'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, cloudy but warm 🙂
Mar 4 (day 63)Cool, CA9.60 miles1,195' / 56,441' / 895'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, cloudy & windy
Total72.22 miles (week) / 519.87 (total)9,483' (week) / 56,441' (total)

Rain or Shine (Week 8)

Looks like it will be a mix of rain and sun this week. That’s not awful considering that a few days ago the forecast was something like eight days of rain straight. Unfortunately, we’ve received so much rain here in northern California recently that the trails are undoubtedly way too wet to ride yet. So it’s pavement for a while still. 🙁

Rides of Week 8

DateLocationDistanceAscent (day / total / avg)BikeBuddies/Notes
Feb 19 (day 50)Cool, CA9.59 miles1,192' / 38,780' / 775'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, light rain
Feb 20 (day 51)Cool, CA9.62 miles1,162' / 39,942' / 783'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, rain
Feb 21 (day 52)Cool, CA10.79 miles1,547' / 41,489' / 797'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, lucky break in the rain
Feb 22 (day 53)Cool, CA9.65 miles1,174' / 42,663' / 804'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, another lucky break in the rain
Feb 23 (day 54)Cool, CA11.12 miles1,585' / 44,248' / 819'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, mixed clouds & sun
Feb 24 (day 55)Cool, CA9.50 miles1,128' / 45,376' / 825'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, mixed clouds & sun
Feb 25 (day 56)Cool, CA11.24 miles1,582' / 46,958' / 838'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, mixed clouds & sun
Total71.51 miles (week) / 447.65 (total)9,370' (week) / 46,958' (total)

Homeward Bound (Week 7)

After almost a month on the road, it’s finally time to head home. My vacation rides didn’t include much climbing so they devastated my average daily ascent. It’s nice to see that number creeping up again, albeit very slowly. However, I’ve got a lot of climbing to make up for if I want to hit my 100 Vertical Miles goal. 😳

Rides of Week 7

DateLocationDistanceAscent (day / total / avg)BikeBuddies/Notes
Feb 12 (day 43)Topaz, CA4.08 miles210' / 31,807' / 739'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedshort spin on Hwy 395 in the dark & cold
Feb 13 (day 44)Cool, CA3.0 miles322' / 32,129' / 730'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, 10:30 pm after travel day from hell (nightmare traffic and detours due to a mudslide that closed I-80; we got home about 6 or 7 hours after we should have) 🤕
Feb 14 (day 45)Cool, CA9.39 miles1,329' / 33,458' / 743'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, nice to be in shorts & short sleeves again 🙂
Feb 15 (day 46)Cool, CA9.36 miles1,271' / 34,729' / 754'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, based on the forecast this might be the last dry ride in a while 🙁
Feb 16 (day 47)Cool, CA9.57 miles1,206' / 35,935' / 764'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, break in the rain
Feb 17 (day 48)Cool, CA3.06 miles373' / 36,308' / 756'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedanother 10 pm ride, in the rain, after a very long day
Feb 18 (day 49)Cool, CA9.37 miles1,280' / 37,588' / 767'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedanother break in the rain, wet roads but dry skies
Total47.83 miles (week) / 376.14 (total)5,991' (week) / 37,588' (total)

Alabama, Hills that is (Week 6)

Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, CA

Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, CA

Swimming pools, movie stars. No, no, no. Alabama Hills, not Beverly Hills. So not many swimming pools but, as it turns out, lots of movie stars over the years. The Alabama Hills are a very cool area on the east side of the Sierras just outside the town of Lone Pine, CA. Over 400 movies have been shot there. Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous 48 states, looms above. On our way home now, we headed there after a few more days near Shoshone to avoid some more inclement weather.

Rides of Week 6

DateLocationDistanceAscent (day / total / avg)BikeBuddies/Notes
Feb 5 (day 36)Shoshone, CA6.45 miles279' / 29,944' / 831'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedFurnace Creek Wash Road again
Feb 6 (day 37)Shoshone, CA2.64 miles186' / 30,130' / 814'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeeddesert jeep road, rode 1.3 miles, flatted, had to walk back
Feb 7 (day 38)Shoshone, CA3.27 miles115' / 30,245' / 795'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedanother flat, another walk. Grrrr.
Feb 8 (day 39)Lone Pine, CA9.31 miles142' / 30,387' / 779'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedHwy 395 into Lone Pine and back. No flat! 🙂
Feb 9 (day 40)Lone Pine, CA4.78 miles243' / 30,630' / 765'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedout and back on a trail that starts at trailhead for Arch Loop Trail
Feb 10 (day 41)Lone Pine, CA3.69 miles464' / 31,094' / 758'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedArch Loop Trail to Eye of Alabama (?) trail
Feb 11 (day 42)Lone Pine, CA3.78 miles503' / 31,597' / 752'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedArch Loop Trail to Eye of Alabama (?) trail again
Total33.92 miles (week) / 328.31 (total)1,932' (week) / 31,597' (total)

Valley of Fire (Week 5)

Prospect Trail

Prospect Trail

We spent a couple more days in Shoshone, California (just outside Death Valley) and then we were off to Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. At Valley of Fire, I definitely could have used a fat bike on the Prospect Trail, which is an unmaintained trail that follows a desert wash full of sand and loose rock. 🙂 On my relatively narrow 2.25″ tires, I probably had to walk about a third of the 5.5 mile trail. Even with a fat bike, or mad skills, there are some sections that aren’t rideable. The crux (see pic below) required a little rock climbing, which was moderately challenging without a bike and a little crazy with a bike. I had been under the impression that horses navigate the trail, in which case maybe there are detours that are more passable. Or maybe horses just do an out and back on the southern end of the trail, which is much more navigable.

Prospect Trail crux

crux of Prospect Trail, looking back down at my bike

Rides of Week 5

DateLocationDistanceAscent (day / total / avg)BikeBuddies/Notes
Jan 29Shoshone, CA5.48 miles203' / 25,861' / 891'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeeddirt road and desert wash
Jan 30Shoshone, CA22.21 miles872' / 26,733' / 891'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedloop ride (link), about 1/3 dirt and 2/3 pavement
Jan 31Valley of Fire State Park, NV4.69 miles333' / 27,066' / 873'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedloop ride (link) around campgrounds and scenic loop road
Feb 1 (day 32)Valley of Fire State Park, NV9.3 miles821' / 27,887' / 871'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedmostly pavement, but a little dirt road
Feb 2 (day 33)Valley of Fire State Park, NV14.62 miles1,132' / 29,019' / 879'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedloop ride (link), road to White Domes, back on Prospect Trail
Feb 3 (day 34)Valley of Fire State Park, NV4.08 miles329' / 29,348' / 863'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedloop ride around campgrounds and scenic loop road (again)
Feb 4 (day 35)Valley of Fire State Park, NV4.14 miles317' / 29,665' / 847'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedloop ride around campgrounds and scenic loop road (again)
Total64.52 miles (week) / 294.39 (total)4,007' (week) / 29,665' (total)

Desert Valleys (Week 4)

We thought we’d be heading from Death Valley (California) to Valley of Fire (Nevada) this week, but ended up spending the entire week in the vicinity of Shoshone, California.

Shoshone, CA

Population 31, Elevation 1585 feet

 

Jubilee Pass Road near Shoshone, CA

Jubilee Pass Road near Shoshone, CA (looking west, toward Death Valley)

White Trail in Shoshone, CA

White Trail in Shoshone, CA

Rides of Week 4

DateLocationDistanceAscent (day / total / avg)BikeBuddies/Notes
Jan 22, 2017Shoshone, CA8.14 miles461' / 23,362' / 1,061'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, light rain but forecast looks clear going forward 🙂
Jan 23, 2017Shoshone, CA6.1 miles669' / 24,031' / 1,044'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedDublin Gulch road (dirt)
Jan 24, 2017Shoshone, CA4.08 miles351' / 24,382' / 1,015'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedDublin Gulch road again, but in the dark
Jan 25, 2017Shoshone, CA3.33 miles258' / 24,640' / 985'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedWhite Trail
Jan 26, 2017Shoshone, CA7.13 miles295' / 24,935' / 959'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedFurnace Creek Wash Road
Jan 27, 2017Shoshone, CA3.41 miles326' / 25,261' / 935'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedrandom desert dirt road
Jan 28, 2017Shoshone, CA8.89 miles397' / 25,658' / 916'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedFurnace Creek Wash Road
Total41.08 miles (week) / 229.87 (total)2,757' (week) / 25,658' (total)

Now that you’ve been using the Shut Up. Ride. Repeat!™ training regimen for a little while and you’ve witnessed firsthand how amazingly well it works, we’re going to apply it to other areas of your life and achieve life-changing results. Hold on to your friggin’ cycling socks!

To review, the Shut Up. Ride. Repeat!™ training regimen can be summarized by the following simple steps:

  1. Shut Up.
  2. Ride.
  3. Repeat!

Now let’s do a little thought experiment as they say in psycho-babble speak. Let’s just pretend for a moment that we had other life goals that weren’t related to bikes and bike riding. I know, crazy right? But humor me. This is deep.

For example, let’s assume that in order to ride every day—see what I did there?—you need to be able to retire. Just for the record, that’s totally cray-cray but whatever. 🙄 Remember, this is just a thought experiment. And in order to retire you need more money. Okay, so what if we substituted saving for riding? Again, cray-cray but whatever. But check it out:

  1. Shut Up.
  2. Save.
  3. Repeat!

Boom! You’re saving money and before you know it you’re retired. Way to go! Let’s ride!

Okay, let’s try another one. Let’s say that in order to ride more you need to be able to spend less time on your garden. Simple. We substitute gardening for riding and presto!

  1. Shut Up.
  2. Garden.
  3. Repeat!

Boom! Before you know it you’re a Master Gardener and your plants just do whatever you say. Way to go! Let’s ride!

Okay, now you try it. Here, I’ll get you started:

  1. Shut Up.
  2. _______.
  3. Repeat!

BOOM goes the dynamite! Look at you go! You are now on your way to a richer, more fulfilling life. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. The Rolling Stones gather. ¥No mas!

ÂĄDe nada!

Vacay (Week 3)

fresh snow above Walker Lake

fresh snow above Walker Lake

Vacay, definitely not stay-cay. Time to take a little vacation from the rain. Go on holiday as the Brits say. My wife and I and our three boxers are hitching up the trailer and headed to the desert southwest. The first couple rides of the week will just be more of the same here at home, but then I should have a nice change of scenery to share. But first we have to get everything cleaned and packed and then haul the trailer up and over the Sierras before the next storm arrives mid-week. 🙂

Death Valley altitude

 

Rides of Week 3

DateLocationDistanceAscent (day / total / avg)BikeBuddies/Notes
Jan 15, 2017Cool, CA9.29 miles1,227' / 19,503' / 1,300'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedsolo, pavement, dry but cold, fixed shoe w/ zip ties for now. 😜
Jan 16, 2017Cool, CA8.68 miles1,206' / 20,709' / 1,294'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedsolo, pavement, dry, cold
Jan 17, 2017Walker Lake, NV4.91 miles382' / 21,091' / 1,240' Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedgot a late start leaving home, so just did a few miles around the campground in the dark & cold
Jan 18, 2017Death Valley, CA4.07 miles204' / 21,295' / 1,183'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedanother short and dark ride around campgrounds, but warmer
Jan 19, 2017Death Valley, CA10.09 miles1,027' / 22,322' / 1,174Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeed8 miles pavement, 2 miles on Echo Canyon jeep road, shorts & short sleeves 🙂
Jan 20, 2017Death Valley, CA3.24 miles0' 🙁 / 22,322' / 1,116'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedEcho Canyon jeep road, light rain
Jan 21, 2017Shoshone, CA10.08 miles579' / 22,901' / 1,090'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedpavement, shorts & short sleeves 🙂
Total50.36 miles (week) / 188.79 (total)4,625' (week) / 22,901' (total)

Repeat!

Welcome to the third step of the Shut Up. Ride. Repeat!™ training regimen. Congratulations on making it this far! As mentioned in the previous posts, the primary steps can be summarized by:

  1. Shut Up.
  2. Ride.
  3. Repeat!

So, today we’ll just be discussing “Repeat!”

If you search the interwebs for “shut up and ride” you will get many results (Tip: I think they call them “hits” in interweb speak). However, all these hits 🙄 fall short because they leave out the vital third step. There is good reason why this is the only step with an exclamation point! This step is where the Shut Up. Ride. Repeat!™ training regimen really kicks into gear, baby!

If you only complete the first two steps (Shut Up. and Ride.), that’s not really a training regimen. So, we’ve established that it’s necessary to repeat. Good. I’m glad we’re all on the same page.

However, the frequency is also important here. For example, if you only complete the first two steps (Shut Up. and Ride.) weekly, that wouldn’t be much of a training regimen either, would it? No, no, and no.

Some of you are wondering—yes, I can hear you thinking—if it’s okay to ride just two or three times per week. After all, three times per week is still pretty good and it’s much better than just once per week, right? Wrong. Back to step one with you. Shut Up. I do the thinking around here. You just lurk in the comments section, remember?

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Frequency. Thanks.

Look, I know you. You’re not that different from me. You’re not very good at doing something two or three times per week. You tell yourself that you won’t ride today for whatever reason—insert whiny voice here—and that it’s okay because it’s still early in the week so you’ve still got plenty of time to get those three rides in. Then tomorrow it rains. And the day after that you have “commitments” that you can’t break. 🙄 Do you hear yourself? Do you see what you’re doing? You’re undermining your training regimen. There are no short cuts. Although there are plenty of reasons not to ride, there can be no excuses.

Every day you must Shut Up.

Every day you must Ride.

Every day you must Repeat! Every day you must Repeat! 😉

Why are you still reading? Shut Up. Ride. Repeat!™

Ride.

Welcome to the second step of the Shut Up. Ride. Repeat!™ training regimen. As mentioned in the previous posts, the primary steps can be summarized by:

  1. Shut Up.
  2. Ride.
  3. Repeat!

So, today we’ll just be discussing “Ride.” Some of you eager beavers may already be jumping ahead and asking questions such as:

  • Ride what?
  • Ride where?
  • How far?
  • How fast?

or, even worse:

  • What should my cadence be?
  • What should my heart rate be?
  • What should my VO2 max be?
  • What if my bike is broken?
  • What is the meaning of life?

If you’re asking yourself any of these questions, then you need to go back and review step one: Shut Up.

Nonetheless, purely as an intellectual exercise, let’s discuss some of these fateful questions. After all, it’s not enough to keep your body in shape. Your mind must be chiseled as well. And it’s not like you’re really going to stop reading and ride right now anyway.

  • Ride what? A bike, duh.
  • Ride where? Anywhere. The journey is the destination.
  • How far? As far as you can.
  • How fast? As fast as you can.
  • What should my cadence be? Somewhere between zero and two hundred.
  • What should my heart rate be? Resting, 42. Riding, only slightly higher.
  • What should my VO2 max be? Shut Up.
  • What if my bike is broken? Fix it, dumb ass.
  • What is the meaning of life? 42.

Now that we’ve sharpened the ol’ noggin’ a little, it’s time to get to it.

Ride. Just f___ing ride. 🙄 The journey is the destination. The destination is the journey. Ride, and the answers to all of your questions will become clear, my young Padawan.

Shut Up.

Welcome to the first step of the Shut Up. Ride. Repeat!™ training regimen. As mentioned in the introductory post, the primary steps can be summarized by:

  1. Shut Up.
  2. Ride.
  3. Repeat!

So, today we’ll just be discussing “Shut Up.” This could be be interpreted in many ways and, just for the record, I probably mean it in all of those ways. Let’s do a little brainstorming, or free association as the hipsters might call it. Let’s just list some things that come to mind when we say “Shut Up.”

  • Shut Your Pie Hole!
  • Stop Making Excuses!
  • Stop Whining!
  • Harden The F___ Up!
  • Can You Please Talk About Something Other Than Bikes or Bike Riding?! (this will often come from someone whom you might refer to as a “significant other”)

Let’s address each of these individually.

Shut Your Pie Hole!

What do we mean when we say this? Well, we mean shut your mouth of course but that’s obvious. However, we must occasionally open our mouths to consume fuel for riding (often referred to as food) and to stay hydrated (often referred to as beer). So we don’t literally mean never open your mouth. That would kill you, and then we’d all miss your trollsome interweb comments. So what we really mean is Stop Talking. You’ll learn more when you stop talking and listen for a change. Your significant other has told you this, like ten thousand times, but you’re always too busy talking to have heard it. Shut Up!!

Stop Making Excuses! (Stop Whining!)

Okay, we’re really getting to the heart of the matter here, aren’t we? If you’re an apt pupil you might argue that Stop Making Excuses! and Stop Whining! are pretty synonymous in the common lexicon. And you would be correct in my opinion. Therefore, we’ll address them both in this section.

Anyone reading about a training regimen—that would be you, my friend— should be aware that training regimens exist in a world where people need help keeping to such a regimen. Why? Because life gets in the way. It really does. I understand. I have a life. Okay, well, that might be an exaggeration. But I know people who have lives. And I listen to them when I’m not too busy talking.

What they say is that life gets in the way. They’re not wrong. They’re just, you know, wrong. The list of excuses is long: spouse, work, kids, school, pets, emergencies, etc. However, allow me to differentiate between reasons and excuses. There are lots of reasons why we can’t ride on any given day and, frankly many of them are pretty darn good reasons. But the difference between reasons and excuses is that reasons don’t excuse us from doing something we’ve committed to doing.

In other words, life only gets in the way if you let it. I can’t give you discipline. I can only tell you what to do. Shut Up. Ride. Repeat!™

Harden The F___ Up! (HTFU)

No, you! If you participate in many bike forums, you may be familiar with the abbreviation HTFU. This is what the insensitive riders will tell you. They don’t have all of the same responsibilities as you, and therefore they don’t understand the reasons that you put forth for not being able to ride. But I understand. I’m here for you, brothers and sisters. So let’s take their insensitivity, or perhaps it’s even anger (as to what they’re angry at, you might have to consult a different blog), and let’s focus that energy into discipline. Ignore the naysayers. They don’t understand you like I do. But you still have to ride every f___ing day, so harden the f___ up!!

Can You Talk About Something Other Than Bikes or Riding?

No. Get over it. Note: There is absolutely nothing wrong with this socially insensitive approach if you don’t mind being alone (forever).

For the rest of us, yes, Shut Up does mean that we occasionally have to talk about something other than bikes and bike riding. Or better yet, just stop talking and listen for a change. You’ll learn more when your lips aren’t moving. Shut up.

Shut Up. Ride. Repeat!™

Rock OnAs part of my Ride 365 goal, I’m developing a new training regimen. It’s called Shut Up. Ride. Repeat!™ Although this state-of-the-art training regimen is much more complex than might be inferred from its simple name, it essentially has three parts:

  1. Shut Up.
  2. Ride.
  3. Repeat!

The nuances of each part will be further explained in subsequent posts. Stay tuned.

100 Vertical Miles

As long as I’m riding 365 days in a row, why not add a total ascent goal? One hundred vertical miles sounds like a nice round number. Let’s see:

5,280 feet per mile x 100 miles = 528,000 feet

528,000 feet / 52 weeks = 10,154 feet per week

528,000 feet / 365 days = 1,447 feet per day

Hmmm. That’s actually do-able. Although, nine days in I’m already behind (I’ve climbed 11,509 feet in 9 days = almost 1,279 feet per day) but the year is still very young so I have lots of time to catch up. 😜

So, I’ve added total ascent and average daily ascent to my tables of daily rides to help me catch up and then (hopefully) stay caught up.

Atmospheric River (Week 2)

“Atmospheric River” isn’t really a term that you want to see in the weather forecast when you’ve made a commitment to ride your bike every day. 🙄 At least it’s a warm rain (so far). The following quote is from weatherwest.com:

One-two (three?) atmospheric river punch will deliver copious precipitation

A series of extremely moist Pacific storm systems will take aim at California this week. The first of these is already bringing increasingly heavy rain (and mountain snow) along with gusty winds to much of northern California. … The second storm is (by far) the one of greatest concern, as it will take the form a moisture-laden and slow-moving atmospheric river. While the details with this second system are still somewhat uncertain, virtually all numerical forecast models are painting a very broad area of extremely high precipitation totals over the next 6-7 days across the entire Sierra Nevada mountain chain…

Sounds like it’s going to be a challenging week of riding. We’re getting so much rain that I’ll need to stick to pavement for the foreseeable future too. Riding trails anytime soon would be too harsh on the trails.

All data below was collected by my Garmin Edge 20 (highly recommended). BTW, some of you might be asking yourself what’s the point of including the bike in the table if it’s always the same bike. Fair question. 😉 It wasn’t intended to be the same bike every day. I have a second singlespeed mountain bike, a Merlin XLM, that I’ve been intending to convert back to a geared bike but the process hasn’t gone very smoothly. See my Rejuvenation post for details. I also have a crappy old road bike but that undoubtedly needs even more work than the Merlin.

Rides of Week 2

DateLocationDistanceAscent (day / total / avg)BikeBuddies/Notes
Jan 8, 2017Cool, CA8.5 miles875' / 9,965' / 1,245'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedsolo, pavement, hard rain, wettest day yet
Jan 9, 2017Cool, CA10.88 miles1,544' / 11,509' / 1,278'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedsolo, pavement, break in the rain
Jan 10, 2017Cool, CA8.56 miles1,184' / 12,693' / 1,269'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedsolo, pavement, steady rain & wind
Jan 11, 2017Cool, CA11.84 miles1,612' / 14,305' / 1,300'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedsolo, pavement, break in the rain, cold, carpal tunnel bothering me 🙁
Jan 12, 2017Cool, CA9.33 miles1,246' / 15,551' / 1,296'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedsolo, pavement, light rain
Jan 13, 2017Cool, CA11.3 miles1,520' / 17,071' / 1,313'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedsolo, pavement, sun 🌞
Jan 14, 2017Cool, CA9.68 miles1,205' / 18,276' / 1,305'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedsolo, pavement, sun, but sole of shoe coming off (see pic below)
Total70.09 miles (week) / 138.43 (total)9,186' (week) / 18,276' (total)

broken shoe

So Far, So Good (Week 1)

The year started off cold and very wet here in northern California. Below is the data for ride #1 on New Year’s Day, followed by a summary of the week’s rides. All data was collected by my Garmin Edge 20 (highly recommended).

Tip: To see more details for the New Year’s Day ride, click on the ride name to open Garmin Connect in a new tab.

Rides of Week 1

DateLocationDistanceAscent (day / total / avg)BikeBuddies/Notes
Jan 1, 2017Cronan Ranch, Pilot Hill, CA12.32 miles1,768' / 1,768' / 1,768'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedMike & Dawn
Jan 2, 2017Cool, CA9.21 miles1,148' / 2,916' / 1,458'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedsolo, pavement, between snow squalls
Jan 3, 2017Cool, CA8.61 miles1,239' / 4,155' / 1,385'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedsolo, pavement, light rain
Jan 4, 2017Cool, CA10.9 miles1,533' / 5,688' / 1,422'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedsolo, pavement, rain & fog
Jan 5, 2017Cool, CA9.3 miles1,253' / 6,941' / 1,388'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedsolo, pavement, break in the rain 🙂
Jan 6, 2017Cool, CA8.54 miles911' / 7,852' / 1,309'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedsolo, pavement, the calm before the storm
Jan 7, 2017Cool, CA9.46 miles1,238' / 9,090' / 1,299'Cannondale Trail SL 29 singlespeedsolo, pavement, light to medium rain, after sunset with Vis 360+
Total68.34 miles9,090'

Wet Weather Riding

Riding your bike in wet weather can be fun, but you and your bike do need to be prepared. For you, that’s mostly just a matter of having and wearing the correct clothing. If you haven’t already read it, please refer to my Cold Weather Riding article for a thorough discussion of the appropriate clothing.

For your bike, there are some things you can add that can make wet weather riding much more comfortable and/or much more safe.

Headlights and Taillights

Rain is often accompanied by fog, which means drastically reduced visibility. While it’s bad enough that you can’t see your next turn coming up, it’s even worse that the drivers of cars and trucks can’t see you. Reflectors can help, but lights are much better. To be as safe as possible, you should have at least one headlight and at least one taillight. One product I love, because it combines both a headlight and taillight, is the Light and Motion Vis 360+ helmet light.

What’s so brilliant about it (get it? brilliant? sorry 🙁 ) is that the battery pack mounts to the rear of your helmet and has a built-in taillight. If you’re only going to have one light, this is the one you should have. BTW, they make a 360 version as well as the 360+ and the difference is that the 360+ provides a separate on/off switch for the taillight. That’s a nice feature if you want to ride trails at night because you can be sure there won’t be cars on the trails and turning off the taillight allows the battery to last a little longer.

What’s better than a headlight and a taillight? More than one, of course. For increased visibility, additional lights are worth the money. In addition to the Vis 360+, I also ride with a Light & Motion Imjin 800 front bike light mounted to my handlebars. Not only does this make me much more visible in traffic, but the combination of a helmet-mounted light plus a handlebar-mounted light gives me illumination everywhere I need it. The latter is particularly critical for trail riding at night.

A buddy of mine, Rich, takes it even further by adding a Light & Motion Vis 180 rear bike light to his bike. So when he’s commuting to/from work, he has two front-facing headlights and two rear-facing taillights. Wise man. Safety first. 🙂

Fenders

If you’ve ever ridden a bike without fenders in the rain, you know how uncomfortable it can be. Water coming off the rear tire paints a wet and dirty skunk strip across your back, and water coming off the front tire does the same thing to your face. 😳 Inexpensive fenders can solve this problem.

Because they have to be the correct width and also have the correct arc, fenders tend to be specific based on bike type (e.g., road, mountain, commuter) and also wheel size. My current favorite brand of fender is SKS because they make a quality line of products that is available in a wide array of models to accommodate virtually every bike. For example, on my primary go-to bike, a singlespeed 29er (for a discussion of mountain bike wheel sizes, see Mountain Bike Wheel Size), I have the SKS Shockblade II 29er front fender and the SKS X-Blade 29er Seatpost rear fender.