Time rolling forward to fly day April 30, 2013. Fitness/endurance/suffering training accelerating by the day. Fitness going up. Endurance going up. Suffering going down as Spring rolls in, days get longer and weather warms by the day. Rode 10 to 15 road miles all winter even in hard wind and cold with only days off for full-on wet snow blowing sideways. Makes you strong. Makes you tough. Mental and physical toughness may be required for unsupported touring.
Every bike trip and travel in general involves some suffering . . . mostly pleasure, but some suffering. Riding through the Flagstaff winter makes almost any suffering seem as nothing. Along with that comes the fitness/endurance reward. Weight stays steady, strength goes up, time marches on. I’m nearing 67 so I have to put forth the extra mental effort to do the real thing.
Hell yes, I still have those nagging doubts at 3 in the morning when the blood sugar is low and gremlins are dancing on my head . . . same as you. That’s part of your training. Smack those little buggers and go back to sleep knowing that when morning comes, the sun will rise, you will get on your bike, the gremlins will die and you will live.
Earlier this week rode my 29er mountain bike on the rolling single track 1000 feet above Cave Creek, itself nearly 1000 feet above Phoenix. Riding 7000 feet all winter in Flagstaff never left me short of air on this ride 4000 feet closer to sea level. However, the legs need more. Hey Lance, could you spare a little of that EPO? I could use some. Anyway, felt great chasing the 35-year-old racer/owner of Flat Tire Bikes in Cave Creek all over 22.5 miles of Sonoran Preserve single track . . . up and down, up and down, wildflowers and rattle snakes. 3.5 hours rolling time. Feeling groovy.