Now that we have our routes mapped out for our Big Ride Across America we will be navigating through lots of small towns with our favorite apps right at hand. This little gadget holds my cell phone in view without interfering with the handlebars. It is a Gomadic Bike Handlebar Holder Mount System suitable for the Motorola DROID, and I got it on Amazon for $26.93
It has several foam pads to help the phone fit snugly into the holder. There are lots of micro adjustments to get the perfect placement.
It appears ideal but I am reserving judgement until I get out there on a 100 mile ride. I am hoping that it is voiceless without any rattles. We are looking forward to a break in the weather so we can get out there and ride. Today we woke up to snow and yesterday we rode in the freezing rain. I am going to need a waterproof pouch to hold the phone before I put it in the holder…
Here is the ideal sleeping pad for the cross country bicycle ride. It packs to a small cylinder sack that is 11 inches tall and 4 inches wide. The pad is very easy to inflate and just as easy to compress back into the sack.
This is my third therma-rest purchase in a row. Shopping online, the first one was large and didn’t pack up small enough for our trip on bicycles. The second one was a NeoAir XLite mattress that is smaller and lighter (12 ounces) but it made a horrible cracking noise when moving on the mattress. I knew I would never sleep with the loud voice of that pad. Rather than buying online again, I went to the local REI store and found this fantastic sleeping pad.
This Pro-Lite therma-rest mattress is very small, the women’s packs to 11 x 4 inches. The pad comes in 4 sizes including a women’s size that is a full size sleeping pad measuring 20 x 66 in. It inflates quick with a super easy self inflation valve that is fast and easy to inflate. The mattress has a self inflating foam core that makes setup quick and easy. The pad was made in USA which is a bonus!!
Training for a long bike ride takes a lot of time. It is not just the workouts, but the extra hour or two of getting there and fussing about with the stuff you need to be active. Training to get ready is taking a big chunk of time. It is still cold and Wintery here in Pennsylvania and so far just a few nice days but not the weekends when I am off. While we seek sunshine to get outside, our workouts are all indoors. Hopefully, this week on Sunday we will get out for a long ride. It is time to step up the training and get out doors…asap!
Here is what I am doing with 3 months to go:
Monday – 45 minutes on elliptical or treadmill
Tuesday – 2 spinning classes 15 minutes break between (120 minutes)
Wednesday – 90 minutes of Flow Yoga
Thursday – 2 spinning classes 15 minutes break between (120 minutes)
Friday – easy day – 30 minutes on elliptical or treadmill
Saturday – 90 minutes of Flow Yoga
Sunday – 3 hour Bike Ride depending on weather.
As we plan to ride 85 miles a day on the Big Ride, the cold and rain are sure to torture us. I never want to ride in the rain. So, what’s a girl to do? Suffer?
This is the jacket we selected after trying on and evaluating all the jackets available to us (see Men’s Cycling Jackets and Women’s bike jackets ) It is a rain coat, with taped seams. It is made out of a fabric that is three layers. The outer layer is a soft polyester that is laminated to a waterproof/breathable membrane. The inside layer is lined with a a polyester mesh that is soft and wearable.
The jacket is a bit on the heavy side but given all the features, It looks like a winner. I love the fit around the neck and face. The hood snuggles up around the face and is adjustable. The hood also has a zipper on/off. The pockets are deep enough and inside you can pull a round elastic cord to synch the hip tighter or looser around the hips. There are three zippered pockets. The jacket is specific to cycling but it feels like a normal jacket to wear. It is highly visible in low light conditions with the added reflectivity built into the fabric of the sleeves. The safety yellow color creates the visibility we will need riding on the road. The sleeves on this jacket zipper off so it can be used for layering as a vest. I like the wrist adjust-ability with nylon cuff with a thumb hole that seals off cold air from going up the sleeve. Check out the jacket details and lots of images. IllumiNite Reflective Rain Jacket Switchback Safety Yellow
The Summer Cycling Shoes I picked for the Big Ride Across America
As I get ready for the Big Ride across America, I am going through all of my equipment and assembling the stuff I already have to see how much things weigh and what needs replaced or updated. As an avid cyclist, I have been riding for many years, so, a lot of my gear is outdated. One of the most important pieces of gear needed is a good pair of summer cycling shoes. I have already returned two pair of Pearl Izumi shoes as they were about 2-3 sizes too small. I found these Terra Vent shoes in a listing for Men’s Cycling Shoes and they fit perfectly. They are like a sneaker with a stiff sole that has two mesh internal ventilation ports. The shoe is designed like a sandal with lots of open spaces and mesh ports for air flow. The upper part of the shoe has the look/feel of a mesh water shoe or sandal. They look like they will be very cool this summer. Can’t wait to spin in them tomorrow.
Terra Vent Shoes have a nice stiff sold with optional plate that can be removed for your clipless pedals or SPD cleats. Next, I venture into the realm of choosing clipless pedals. Here is a cool buyers guide to clipless pedal systems.
Countdown. Today is March 10 and we leave for Seattle on June 14th. Just three months to get our body’s into shape and get our affairs in order. I have been training 4-5 days/week for a mere 30 to 45 minutes all winter long. This week, I made up my mind I need to step up the training to about double the intensity. I signed up for a Spinning class four nights a week and whew, that is kicking my butt already.
Today we got our tent, which will be our home for many nights while on our cross country adventure. We bought the Northface kaiju 6 which we saw earlier this year at the Outdoor Retailer show. This tent is roomy and lightweight. We liked it because it has an awesome extra porch space outside the tent. This extra space is ideal for our bags. The tent is big enough to stand upright at about 6 foot in the center. It is really roomy and has extra mesh shelves you can hang on the inside to dry out your stuff. Since it will be the two of us, and they carry the bag for us from point to point in a truck, we thought we would indulge in a roomy space. If we had to carry this tent on our bikes each day, of course we would have gone lightweight 2 man tent. I’ll keep you posted on how this works out on our bike ride.
As I get ready to ride my bike across the country, one of the concerns we all have is how to deal with the daily doses of sunshine. While most of us love being outside all day in the glorious sun…it can build up when you are riding every day, all day. This can create damaging exposures. As I plan for this long ride. I am thinking about all the products that exist to protect from the sun. Most people just gob-on the sunscreen, which is chemical based and then naturally absorbed into the body as such. As a society, we don’t currently know the full effects of long term usage of heavy doses of sunscreen, I am one who would prefer to go chemical free. So, I am thinking long sleeves and white arm warmers for the upper body.
For my neck and ears, I am thinking about this do rag. to wear under my helmet. I have gotten some really bad sunburns on the back of my neck under the helmet and I am hoping this do rag will solve that because it has a back flap that comes down behind the neck. It also doubles as a sweat band.
To ride across the country in the middle of summer…what should I wear? We have lots of choices of fabrics and garments. See Norm below with our stockpile of high performance fabrics… and all we need to do is create. Now that I have just five more months to get ready. I am thinking that I want our clothes to be high visibility, lots of 3m reflective and long sleeves to protect from the sun. For shorts, I think we will use the elite chamois pads as they are my new favorites. Since we will need to ride 85 miles each day, I am going to need a high quality chamois pad.