There are 25 days until the Steve Hartt San Pedro to San Diego  ride. Here’s a status report on my training efforts in preparation for this year’s ride:

  • Over the last 21 months I’ve lost 55 pounds. It hasn’t been that tough (which is why it took so long). I’m exercising a lot more, and eating better, but I still eat badly sometimes. As long as I’m not too bad with what I eat, I still lose weight. I’m beginning to run out of old clothes that still fit me—already the new pair of jeans I bought about three months ago are getting too big. When this started I was wearing size 48 jeans. Now I’m down to a 40.
  • I’m getting stronger in the hills, and a bit stronger on the flats. My Saturday Intermediate rides with fellow PenCC member Jack Bauer are getting faster. At the end of February it took us just a few minutes over three hours to complete our 35 mile ride up to the domes from thew shop, then over to Bluff Cove and back to the shop. 10 weeks later we’d cut 30 minutes off of that time. That’s a 16.6% improvement. Not great, but not too bad. I seemed to have hit some kind of plateau. I’m getting faster in the hills, but slower on the flats. Oddly enough, I tried one of those caffeinated gel things at Bluff Cove last weekend and my times coming back to the shop were better than usual.
  • I still haven’t ridden Crownview. This is a very long, very steep hill in Miraleste. It scares the hell out of me. All I can see is me struggling up the hill, only to eventually stop dead in my tracks, and unable to get unclipped fast enough, falling over. I am making progress: stunningly enough I am now able to get off the saddle for 100 yards or so as I climb up Granvia Altamira (the fact that I’m commonly climbing Granvia Altamira is in itself a triumph. Last year I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do it). It still takes me a long time to get up the hill, but at least I’m getting up the hill!
  • I’m getting more comfortable on the bike, but there’s still lots of room for improvement. I know that this is pretty pathetic, given that I’ve been riding fairly seriously for the last 14 months or so, but there’s progress.
  • I’d like to lose another seven pounds before the SHR at the end of June. Seems doable. I was hoping to be down 65 pounds by then, but I’m not sure that would be a good idea, even if I could make it.
  • I’ve been avoiding my core exercises (situps and pushups). There still may be enough time to improve before the big ride.
  • My real challenge this year is getting to the day spa in San Diego before it closes at 5:00PM. Last year I rode in at 6:00PM, and hour after the spa closed. At least I got a shower, but ended up sitting on the asphalt taking a shower with water from a black vinyl bag (still much better than nothing). Last year I was probably averaging 11 MPH. This year I need to make 14.5 MPH in order to get in at 3:40PM. We’ll see. Sounds like a tall order!
  • I still have a long ways to go, although the trend is encouraging.