Wednesday, October 13, 2004


Pre-Ride Assessment

I am leaving for Israel, B'ezras Hashem, on Sunday evening. I will be doing three days of business in Tel Aviv and visiting my daughter during the first week. The ride begins Sunday morning, October 24th.

My bike is already dis-assembled and packed. The mechanics in Israel will put it back together for me when I arrive. I hope to get a couple of early morning training rides in next Thursday and Friday.

I have raised almost exactly $10,000 for the hospital. That was my goal even though the hospital only asks you to guarantee $2K (and they target a $5K average for North American riders). My friends and family have been very supportive.

I've lost about 12 pounds during my training although I haven't tried to lose an ounce. I have not weighed this little since I was a freshman in college, over 30 years ago. Conventional wisdom says that the ideal weight for endurance riding is 2 lbs. per inch and I am extremely close to that level.

During my training, my anaerobic threshhold seems to have increased by about 9 bpm to approximately 165 bpm, an extremely high number for an alter kocker like me. When I started training, my resting heart beat was around 43 and I don't know whether that has gone down because I haven't tested it since.

I have improved my form considerably, most noticably in my ability to pull the pedals up, not just push them down. My speed and power have increased but I'm still no speed demon.

I really don't expect the bike tour to be particularly difficult despite the fact that we cover 300 miles in 5 days and despite a few really nasty climbs. I want to enjoy the tour as much as possible so I don't feel like being sore and I am hopeful that my (over)training has prepared me enough so I won't be. I think a lot of the riders, particularly first time riders, have no idea what they are in for. There will be a lot of ice and Advil use.

I am psyched beyond words. I am really looking forward to seeing my daughter and I am really looking forward to the ride.

If I can figure out how to post from the road, I will. Otherwise, I'll write when I get back.

Monday, October 04, 2004


I Am Officially Ready

I did a brutal 50 mile ride on Sunday in Stamford, Connecticut. It was incredibally hilly; perfect preparation for my ride in Israel. It took me slightly less than 4 hours including the rest stop, not a bad pace considering the large number and steepness of the hills. I was actually as tired after this ride as I was after the two century rides.

I was lucky to have hooked up with a rider named Jeff who was also riding alone. We rode the last 35 miles together and it was very helpful. I actually helped him also because we missed the first rest stop and he ran out of water. Since I ride with a Camelback as well as a water bottle, I was able to give him half my bottle which got him to the second rest stop.

I was in my 'granny' gear much more than I have been on any previous ride. That made the climbing much more comfortable. There were some very sustained hills that lasted quite a few minutes and I don't know if I would have been able to make it with only a 'double'.

This was my last organized training ride before I leave for Israel in two weeks. The actual ride is in three weeks so I will start phasing down my training. I will stick to the spin bike during the weekdays and ride about 40 flat miles each of the next two Sundays.

After yesterday, I declare myself officially ready.

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