Ever since getting my bike in January I have been trying to get down to some serious training so that the first part of my journey is less of a slog and a bit more enjoyable – given that Virginia has the most overall climbing of any state along the TransAm Trail.
I encountered an early setback in January – namely the freak snowy weather in UK (as shown above!). No sooner had I bought my brand new bike form Primera Cycles in Bournemouth (who were absolutely awesome in helping me choose the right bike for the job – not to mention the hefty discount they afforded me!) than the snow started to fall. So I spent the first week or so training indoors!
Soon enough however, I managed to take the bike out for a spin. I have been slowly working up the distances – starting around 30 miles and working up the distance. I have been a Mountain Bike rider for years and so the transition to a road bike was steep – moreover to a road bike with clip-less pedals. Although I managed to avoid any crashes and soon found that they make a huge difference to your pedaling efficiency. The biggest problem I had to contend with was the additional wind chill generated by traveling that much faster – After getting through several rides with numb fingers and toes I was ready to pay any amount to keep warm on the bike. After investing in the right – windproof – gear I started to really enjoy the rides.
I am currently riding around 60 miles on a good day and feel fine afterwards. I think that the big difference between training rides and the real thing will be the cumulative distance covered – a week into The Trail I will be able to look at the map and get some sense of achievement over the distance I have covered. It can be a bit disheartening to ride some 60 miles and arrive back at the same point you started from a couple of hours earlier.
I am in the process of getting all my kit together, and plan to carry out a “dry run”, in early March, to try and find out which bits of kit are working well and what needs changing. I plan to ride from Salisbury Wiltshire to visit my grandparents In Otley Yorkshire.
I’ll update the blog as things progress!