COVID-19 forces change in my riding routine
Today I had planned to ride my bike to Thomasville and back. I have done this several times in the past and it is a 73-mile ride one way. On my longer rides I usually stop in local stores along my route to replenish my water, but with the increased risk of getting COVID-19, my wife and I decided that we were going to self-quartene until the situation seemed to improve. So I decided to do what I have done when I was trail running, I planned a route for 100 miles with two segments of 50 miles each with a stop at my house for refreshments.
One of the advantages of doing this is that it allowed me to get my training miles in for my future long-distance rides, but I stayed local. Riding the two loops also allowed me to eat a wonderful salad at lunch which I normally do anyway. Having the benefit of burning health fat all day long and not junk food full of carbs really made a difference on the second lap of my ride. I was joking with my wife Sylvia after my ride that the duck dinner that we had the night before my ride was on my mind all day. I was thinking about having the leftovers when I finished my ride.
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Sylvia is my crew chief. She makes sure that I have the best nutrition so that I can get on my bike and ride as far as I want to ride. With her guidance, I have transformed my metabolism from a carbohydrate sugar craving cyclist into a fat-burning cyclist. I use to depend on gels and sugar-based powders added to my water and snack food to sustain my energy on long rides. Now I just eat real food and add Electrolytes to my water.
I am gradually evolving back into the cyclist that I was when I lived in Oregon. In Oregon, I went on long rides with friends and we all had bike racks and carried extra water and food. the routes we took often did not have stores where we could resupply our nutrition, so we packet it. One cyclist who was a professor from England always carried a can of sardines in his hit. I am now doing the same. I have been putting sardines on my salads for years, but now I carry them for nutrition on my long rides when I do not have a home rest stop on my route. I also carry a single-serving box of Bulletproof Coffee.
I am an artist by nature, and even though I was going to ride a relatively boring route that I have ridden many times as a bike commuter, I wanted to add some fun into it. I decided to take a selfie at every city and county entrance sign that I saw and post it on Facebook. Now that I am retired I am riding my bike for pure enjoyment and I am not in a hurry to get to work or to get home. One thing that I wanted to do with this route is to make my map of the ride look like a figure 8. I came pretty close to it when you look at the Garmin map below. I also wanted to have a route that you put me facing a headwind during the second part of the route.
One of the roads that I love to hate is Callis Road. Callis Road runs from Bronwood to Sasser, and it has nice scenery and is lightly traveled by motor vehicles, but it has not been paved in a long time and is old and bumpy. I wanted to ride this road into the wind. All week the wind has been blowing up from the south, so I wanted my last long leg to be heading in that direction. After passing Sassar, the Florida Short Route Road is also bumpy. It was resurfaced a few years ago with that really rough asphalt and it is a joy to ride on. Even though I was getting close to home, I wanted to save the best riding for last, hah!
As usual, I write these cycling notes for myself to reference in the future. Sometimes I need to read the ups and downs of my rides to inspire me to keep riding. At the end of this ride, my goal was to see how I felt and to see if I felt like riding a few more hours, and I did. My goal is to ride to the end of St. Mark’s Trail in April which is about 150 miles from my house. I have done it before, and this year I want to ride it on my birthday.
One other thing that I have been doing on my recent rides this year si that I am not looking at my Garmin cyclometer. I have my phone hiding it from my view as I ride. I am not focusing on how fast or slow I am riding, I am just riding how I feel.