Biologist on a Bike

Progress Report: T -113 Days

You might expect a strong start to preparation for a long tour like the TransAmerica Trail. It would be entirely reasonable. It would also mostly fail to match my week.

I suppose that’s not entirely true. I did fairly well throughout the week, but the weekend was another story. I did have a good excuse, though. I flew to New Jersey for a party.

Not just any party, a 70th wedding anniversary party for my grandparents combined with a 90th birthday party for my grandmother. That’s not something you see often, and it was humbling to be a part of a celebration that was 160 years in the making.

I flew out on Friday and returned home to Chicago on Sunday. Saturday was the only day I was able to get on a bike. And what a bike it was. This monster is loud and has a tendency to irritate my knees if I ride for longer than an hour. But it has its positives, too. The fan blades in the wheel provide a lovely breeze. And then there’s the view. The breeze knocked down my ‘curtains’ and my nephew came over to investigate the noise.

An old fanwheel exercise bike and my nephew peeking through the window at me.

Monster, the exercise bike, comes with the cutest view.

I gotta say, the TransAm trail is going to have to put up quite a fight to compare with that view.

Several of the people I was around over the weekend were diagnosed with the flu a day after I saw them. Between that and two flights (aka airborne petri dishes) I was one, I’m definitely crossing my fingers that the 10-30% effectiveness of this years flu shot includes me.

While the 70th wedding anniversary has easy claim on the highlight of my week, there was another pretty great moment: I got my order from Cyclosource, the Adventure Cycling Association’s store.

My maps for the TransAmerica Trail have arrived!

14 Adventure Cycling Association maps.

These lay out the skeleton of my adventure. It’s up to me to flesh it out.

That right there is a thing of beauty. I’m amazed by all the great information in them. Average temperatures, elevation profiles, resources (including the numbers for local law enforcement, which is a great thing to have), and history of the area. I look forward to spending more time exploring the maps.

I got the TransAmerica Trail map poster as a present for my parents.

I also got a copy of the poster so that my parents can follow along. Mom has a magnetic white board and is currently planning to mark my progress that way. I’m thinking of getting one and using string to link some of my favorite pictures to the places they were taken as a memento. But there are many miles to go before I get to that point.

Weekly Training Stats:

  • Total Time in the Saddle: 5:30:00
  • Weight: -1.2lbs
    • Monday: Tang Soo Do, 1:00:00 on trainer
    • Tuesday: 1:30:00 on trainer
    • Wednesday: 1:00:00 on trainer
    • Thursday: 1:00:00 on trainer, Tang Soo Do
    • Friday: Travel Day, no workout.
    • Saturday: 1:00:00 on fan bike
    • Sunday: Travel Day, no workout.

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