BRAN, the Bike Ride Across Nebraska, is just a few days away.  In August of last year I decided I wanted to expand my horizons and participate in a supported ride over a long distance.  I signed up for BRAN and RAGBRAI (bike ride across Iowa) hoping to get accepted for at least one.  I got accepted for both!  For many these state wide trips are their annual vacation.  I frankly can’t imagine that, given my longest outing was just a few days ago at 80 miles.  Doing 500 in a week ?  Oh my!

Before I signed up for these trips, I started increasing my miles last fall by 5 miles a week and eventually made it to 50 miles in one outing.  That was on a road bike and my wrists were numb and neck sore for a week.  Sure, I could do it but at what risk of damage to my body.  Carpel tunnel, chiropractic visits?  I started to research various bikes on-line and learned how recumbent bikes put the body in a more natural position, thus not hurting the body like on a road bike.  I searched ebay and craigslist  every day and finally found what I wanted at a very reasonable price.  My bike is a Burely Canto.

I rode my Burley every chance I could but a very cold, snowy, icy winter kept me off the bike all of December through March, one of our longest snow covered winters.  I got in about 200 miles in April but on 28th of that month I caught the edge of the sidewalk in the park near our home and went down, spraining my right ankle.  Up until a week ago I was still limping and feeling some pain, but this week it is much better.  So much so that I did 66 miles several days ago (with 3,000 feet of ascent) and 80 miles a few days later.  With the first day of BRAN being 84 miles, possibly 93 if new road construction begins, I felt I needed to get out there and test the limits to determine if I can really do this.

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