Okay, so I'm a little behind on my weekly reports. I thought I'd better get caught up here as I'm leaving for San Diego in the morning. (Saturday, June 9th). We begin riding across the country at first light on the 10th. In my last report, I was feeling pretty good and confident about my training. I had just finished my 3 day/500+ mile ride and had ridden strong. That was the end of the second week of May. I had planned to make the 3rd and 4th weeks of May my highest mileage weeks with 500 miles of riding in each week. But sometimes the best laid plans..........
The third week of May I got a bacterial infection in my stomach. I didn't know it right away. I thought my diahreah and incredibly painful abdominal cramps would just go away. Finally, when I was curled up in a ball on the floor moaning in pain, my wife suggested I get to the doctor. When I saw the doctor, he shipped me off to the Energency Room where I took three full bags if IV fluids. Guess I was a little dehydrated, he, he. My wife told me to think about what a better story it would be to know that less than three weeks before the start of the Elite Tour I was lying in the ER with an IV needle in my arm. Anyway, I was finally treated with antibiotics and got better.
Unfortunately, the 1000 miles I had planned for weeks 3 and 4 of May turned into only 403. You know, I had ridden so many miles prior to getting sick that in the big picture, I hope it won't matter too terribly much. I try not to sweat those things which I have no control over. The 5th week of May which went into the beginning of June saw me out for 449 miles. This last week I have been tapering, which is to say that I've backed way off the miles. I've still sprinted up a few hills to keep the legs sharp, but I've had a lot of good sleep with the idea being to start the big ride feeling fresh and well rested.
Since March 1st, I have merely been following the training suggestions from PAC Tour. I calculated that I would probably want to ride about 4000 miles during that time. As it turns out, my bike odometer reads 3824 miles. Had I not gotten sick, I obviously would have reached my mileage goal. I have ridden mostly long, steady distance miles by myself. But I've thrown in some fast group rides as well as interval work on some of the local hills. When the weather was foul in March and April I spent productive time on the dreaded trainer in the basement. I've lifted weights and worked hard on my core strength. I feel like I've done my homework. I feel fit and strong. I have had not even a hint of injuries. My knees feel better than ever. I'm ready to go.
As I have indicated on my website, I originally decided I'd do this ride before Charles Barr's tragic accident. People mostly do rides like these as a test of self. As in, can I do it? That is certainly a big part of my motivation too. But I want to ride strong and do well on this ride for reasons far beyond myself. I want to ride strong for Charles. His spirit is certainly always with me when I am out on the bike. As he never did anything half-way, I want to ride this ride as I know he would have. I want to do well on this ride for all the musicians and staff of the Cleveland Orchestra. They have all been so supportive of the Riding For Charles project. I want to ride strong for all the donors to the Charles Barr Memorial Chair. I want mostly to ride well for Eric, Cathy, and Loren Barr. If you are the prayerful type, I would ask that you ask God to continue to bring peace to their hearts for their tragic loss.