Posted 04/17 by Ruthie BenDor

When you tell people that you’re biking across the country, people immediately share stories they’ve heard about other cycle tourists. Here’s one of the better stories I’ve heard.

Jeff, the owner of the shop where I bought Peg, told me about these two guys who came into his shot a few years ago. It was a Saturday, and they told him that they each needed to buy a bike, because they’d decided to ride across the USA. On their way out the door with their new steeds, Jeff asked them when they were leaving. “Oh, Monday,” they replied.

Unlike those dudes, I definitely need more than 48 hours to prepare. A big part of preparation? Training.

I’ll be riding 40-60 miles each day, with a day off every so often to rest, do laundry, see some sights, and meet people.

To get back into baseline fitness, since I sat on my behind all winter, I started riding my bike every day starting on March 1st. March was a pretty busy month, but I managed to ride on my bike 20 days that month, each day at least 7 miles. The goal for March was to get my new bike, get comfortable riding every day, and start rebuilding my overall fitness levels after a long, cold winter spent mostly indoors.

April is strength-building month. I’ve started riding longer training rides (20+ miles) on Sundays with friends, and two nights a week, will be doing climbing sprints up and down Peters Hill in the Jamaica Plain Arboretum. It’s a killer 8% grade, but there’s a great view of downtown Boston from the top.

May will be endurance-building month. By the end of the month, I’ll be strong enough to do the same rides as April, but pulling a trailer. I’m also going to go on at least one weekend overnight camping trip, fully-loaded, to work out the remaining kinks in my rig, gear, and strategy.

Training is a lot of hard work, but it will pay off big-time this summer. Happy trails.

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