Cycling to Disney (A progress thread)

Discussion in 'W.I.S.H' started by jzuzphreek, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. jzuzphreek

    jzuzphreek Mouseketeer

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    I'm sure anyone who visits this part of the DIS knows about the "Walking to Disney" thread. It's a terrific and inspirational thread, and I encourage anyone who's unfamiliar to go check it out. I, however, am not a walker or runner. It's way to hard on my knees, and I enjoy doing things like standing and sitting without knee pain.

    Last year, though, I was able to acquire a great bike (Cannondale R200), and have been trying to set up an exercise regimen for myself. For the longest time, I found that whenever I would bike, my 5 year old (now 6) would tag along. While the Father/Son time is wonderful, and I wouldn't trade it for anything, I wasn't getting any real exercise. So, I decided to start riding at night. There is a well-let street with a bike lane nearby, and about 2.5 miles down that road, I can get on the nicely paved Mississippi River levee (which is not lit, but there's no traffic).

    Taking a queue from the Walking to Disney thread, I decided to set a goal for myself:

    I finally took my first official "Cycling to Disney" ride last night and easily rode 6.83 miles in 43 minutes. It was rainy and foggy, so I was a little slower than what I'll likely achieve on subsequent trips. As I condition my body to these rides, my time and distance is sure to improve. For now though, I'll reestimate that my average trip will be 7 miles. That would mean it should only take me 100 trips to "get to Disney!"

    If there are any other cyclists here, I'd LOVE for you to join me in my journey! I'm VERY new to cycling, and can use all the advice and motivation I can get!


    Here's my progress through one night (prepared in Excel... if anyone is skilled at creating HTML progress trackers, I'd be interested in learning!)

    Day1_CtD.JPG
     
  2. jzuzphreek

    jzuzphreek Mouseketeer

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    Wow. I can't believe there's so little interest in cycling here. I thought for sure 1 or 2 people would have joined me. Regardless, I press on. I rode 10 more miles today. It's apparently a lot easier to ride faster and farther when it's not dark and rainy. It was a little chilly, but was a great ride!!


    I forgot to attach my progress bar!

    Day2_CtD.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
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  4. Fletch

    Fletch I'll have a steak sandwich, and a steak sandwich.

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    Don't worry, you are not alone! I've been cycling for about 6 years now, though the last year or so I've backed off a bit to run more (these darn runDisney events have sucked me in ;) ). I really enjoy cycling... it is definitely easier on my body than running. It sounds like you're off to a great start. Just like any exercise, start off slow and gradually build up your speed and distance.

    A few recommendations (some of these are probably obvious, but oh well):

    - Carry a spare tube, tire levers, and a mini pump with you. I recommend a pump that takes CO2 cartridges. It's no fun having to walk your bike back home, even if it's just a few miles. I keep these things in a small bag under the saddle.
    - Check the air pressure in your tires before each ride. Keeping your tired properly inflated can prevent flats (and potential accidents)
    - It sounds like you plan to keep your rides fairly short (<10 miles) which is fine. If you ever decide to go on longer rides, a cycling jersey and a good set of cycling shorts work wonders :)
    - Wear a helmet. You never know.
    - Since you're riding mostly at night, make sure that you have reflective clothing on, as well as a headlight and a taillight on the bike. You can get these pretty cheap online or at a local bike shop.

    If you want to go on longer rides some day, most areas have some sort of cycling club that will host frequent group rides as well as occasional large cycling events. I highly recommend checking those out as they can be a ton of fun. You may even work your way up to a century one day. :)

    Most of all, keep it up, be safe, and have fun!
     
  5. jzuzphreek

    jzuzphreek Mouseketeer

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    Thanks so much for your reply!! And your tips are spot on!!

    1) I just replaced my tires and tubes, but will be ordering another tube soon. I also plan to order a little bag to fit under the saddle to hold the tube, levers, and patch kit. I have a small pump that I've mounted to my bike. It's not CO2 powered, but it works. It was actually my primary pump until a few weeks ago... talk about a pre-ride workout!
    2) This is a habit I got into right when I started. I read it on another forum and thought it was great advice! The road that leads to the levee is a main thoroughfare with a bike lane, but it's in desperate need of repaving, so every precaution is critical when riding on it.
    3) I have some cycling undergarments that work wonders. I couldn't last more than 10 minutes on the seat before I had them. I think for Christmas this year, I'm going to ask Santa for bibs and a jersey... as well as proper pedals and cleats! Starting out, I was nervous that I would fall and not be able to release my shoes, so I went with standard pedals.
    4) Always wear a helmet! My son (6) knows that only the coolest people wear helmets when cycling. And he knows he's super cool. Also, his helmet is Raphael!
    [​IMG]

    5) I need to work on this. There's a nice headlight I'm going to get that will be perfect for the levee trail. I have little led front and rear lights that increase my visibility, but I need some reflective tape for my jacket since I've been riding in cold weather. Once the weather warms up, I have reflective clothing that will work nicely.
    6) New Orleans does have a cycling club, and they have "touring" rides open to the public every weekend. It's just having a free Saturday that is the problem. They also host an annual century ride on the Northshore of the metro area. That's my ultimate goal. A more immediate goal is cycling the length of the paved portion of the levee from my house near I-310 all the way to Audubon park in the city! It's 20 miles 1-way. If I started at the Bonnet Carre Spillway, that would add 5 miles. Once I work my way up to that, I will start training for a century!
     
  6. jzuzphreek

    jzuzphreek Mouseketeer

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    Last night I added another 8.47 miles. And it was probably my hardest ride yet. The wind was directly against me from the time I topped the levee, until I turned around to head home. It really killed my pace. But, with the wind to my back on the way home, I was able to really move, posting my fastest speed yet (18.8 mph!). I ended up making it back home under an hour, but under 10 miles.

    Riding at night presents an additional challenge I hadn't previously considered. My visibility to drivers is, of course, number 1. My own visibility is right up there too. However, because of the late hour, I like to have a set time, so my family will know when to expect me home. So riding to time makes sense. But in the case of wind conditions, my time and distance get all thrown off. I can't just make up the time on my street by riding around the block a few times, because if I hit a piece of rock or a crack in the road just the wrong way, I'll be ordering tires again. My neighborhood streets, though in great condition for cars, are NOT great for road bike's tiny 120 psi tires!

    Side note: on the levee I definitely saw a pair of eyes staring at me from under one of the pipes that goes to the river from the refineries. I coud see them staring from at least 300 ft away, all the way until I passed. Whatever it was, it was really close to the path, too. Creepy!

    Day4_CtD.JPG
     
  7. jzuzphreek

    jzuzphreek Mouseketeer

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    It's been too long since I've updated this thread! Long story short, I'm still working my way toward's Disney World, though I've been unable to ride in the last month due to a Hip Rotation (my sacrum is pointing the wrong way! OUCH!) and road resurfacing on my main riding area.

    However, back in April, my wife somehow convinced me to start running, something I never thought I'd be willing to do. I've tried several times to start a running program, and it always seemed to end within a week of starting... usually due to injury or boredom. Since our first run together though, I've logged 100 miles of training and races!! I even set a personal record on July 4th at the Stars & Stripes 5k in Lee's Summit, MO (near Kansas City) with an official time of 34:15!

    So now, not only am I riding to Disney... I'm also running to Disney! As luck would have it, my hip/back issue does not hurt at all when running... it's actually one of the only ways I get temporary relief... go figure!


    _CtDUpdate - 14July.JPG RunToDisney-14JulyUpdate - 100 Miles.JPG
     
  8. donac

    donac Wife, mother, math teacher, quilter

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    I may have to join this. We are looking at a possible stress fracture in my foot and I think that the exercise bike may be the way I can keep up my program.
     
  9. jzuzphreek

    jzuzphreek Mouseketeer

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    I can't believe I haven't posted an update since July! Yowza! Since my last update, I've added 143.8 running miles!! While I haven't been able to bike as much as I'd like, I'm in full-fledge Half-Marathon training mode, having accomplished 10 miles at a 12:42/mile pace last Friday!! Unfortunately, the Half-Marathon that I had planned to run later this month isn't going to be doable since my family is in the process of moving to Kansas City from New Orleans.

    34% of the way to Disney by foot:

    RunToDisney-12OctUpdate .JPG


    73% of the way to Disney by bicycle:

    CtDUpdate - 11Oct.JPG

    Total distance traveled by running and cycling since the beginning of the year: 754 Miles!!
    Total weight lost since the beginning of the year: 45 lbs!!


    I'll be adding 40 miles to my cycling total this Saturday at Entergy's Bike the Big Easy closed-road social ride in New Orleans!
     

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