I’m way behind on my training and I’m feeling the pressure of it.  Two weeks from today is the first ride day of BRAN and I’m only at 269 miles this year, my longest ride of 43 miles on a windless day.  I’m far from being prepared for 70+ miles a day in wind, rain, storms, heat and cold.  I have to really push myself in the next two weeks.

To put it in perspective,  here’s what I have done in the past for BRAN riding years:

  • In 2010 I did 700 miles before BRAN, 2329 for the year.
  • In 2011 I did 460 miles before BRAN, 1137 miles for the year.
  • In 2012 I only did 402 miles total for the year and no state wide rides.

If so interested you can see my monthly riding stats here.


I’m signed up for my second year of BRAN, the Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska, and the start date is only 31 days away with no training done on my part.  This was a grueling ride last year, partly because I was recovering from a sprained ankle with minimal training, but also I had not trained for hills, nor was I prepared for the lack of sleep from all the bad weather that week.  I was exhausted some days before I even started riding.  Told myself I would do better this year, but Mother Nature has been very uncooperative this spring in providing good weather for riding.  Well, Mother Nature or not, it’s time to get serious about my bike training.

Typically I am told you should not increase your mileage, when training, to more than 10% of what it was the week before.  I don’t have that option.  I’ve only been out riding a few days and my longest ride was 23 miles, 59 miles for the year.  I need to be able to do 60 miles easily for a couple days a week and I need to start riding hills.

It all starts today! I went out and rode 23 miles today, half of that into 25 mph winds (felt like going up a very long hill).  I was exhausted but it felt good!

Follow my riding stats here to see if I succeed in getting ready.

Living in Omaha, expecting the unexpected when it comes to weather, I’ve been off the bike and any other form of exercise for two months now.  Life, work and weather kind of got in the way and to be honest, after training so hard, usually over a dozen hours a week, for over a year so I could do BRAN and RAGBRAI, I needed a break.  Plus my fitness center was threatening to go out of business so I had not renewed my membership.

January 1 – New year – New year resolutions

First mistake!  I got on the scales.  I knew my clothes were fitting tight, but TEN POUNDS????  Okay, diet started on January 1 and I have been doing pretty good so far, have lost one pound.

Time to buy a bike trainer!

Read reviews, tried out a few at the local bike store and finally settled on a CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer from Amazon (mainly there because I had a $200 in holiday gift money).  It arrived yesterday and those who reported the instructions were certainly lacking in parts descriptions were right.   I managed to figure it out.  Here is a nice video I found.  How to install a CycleOps Fluid 2 to your bike

Also helpful:  Quick video review on selecting a bike trainer

Trying out the trainer for the first time it Amazingly quiet!  So glad I spent the extra bucks for a quality fluid trainer.  My youngest son is helping me and indicates there is a little hum and he could feel a vibration on the wood floor.  I sent him downstairs to see if it can be heard in my daughters room and then pedal hard, trying to be a noisy as possible.  “Barely noticeable,” he yells.  All is well.  Or so I thought.  After two months off the bike, I was slightly winded.  Then, walking downstairs I had a muscle cramp!!!  OMG, I’ve lost everything I worked a year to gain!!!

Or so I thought.

This morning I donned the bike gear and hopped on the bike for ten minutes at moderate pace.  All well, no pain, felt good.  Tomorrow I’ll add another ten minutes and keep doing so until I’m up to an hour, which is my daily goal.  Then I’ll start varying my regime to build up strength and endurance.  More about that later.