Cofrin Park

Cofrin Park
Cofrin Nature Park

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

RAGBRAI: The Tandem Bike Team Adventure: Ouch! I'm in Training!


Here's the second installment for the RAGBRAI bike ride adventure. I am the editor and publisher. Chuck tells the story. If you have any questions or comments for Chuck, Cheryl or me, please leave them in the comments section below! Thank you!

Enter Chuck:
A Bicycle-Built-For-Two: A Tandem Riding Adventure
Ouch! I'm in Training!
One of the most challenging aspects of riding a tandem bicycle for long distances is the training. Let’s face it, most older people are not conditioned for this type of endurance riding—467 miles! But, with proper commitment, focus and training, anyone can condition themselves to accomplish such a goal.
I had started re-conditioning my body in January 2012 with the X-Force Workout Program. As a first time RAGBRAI participant, however, I now needed to redirect my focus toward bike riding. I decided to check out the Spin Classes at my local gym.
After my first Spin Class, I quickly learned that there is an essential piece of equipment that every serious rider must invest in: Padded bike shorts! (This is what we use: Canari Cyclewear Women's Pro Gel Short Padded Cycling Short and Canari Cyclewear Men's Velo Gel Padded Cycling Short (Black, Small))
It doesn't take long for a rider to painfully learn this lesson. I am convinced that the amount of money you invest in these shorts is well worth it—besides my first pair of bike shorts were a birthday gift! My friends Gene and Ann have saved my Ass!
Bike shoes were my next investment. I chose to have the clips installed on the shoes, allowing me to “clip into the pedals.” The shoes stabilize me on the spin bike.
The past 3 months of spin classes have taught me:1) Bike shorts are essential; 2) shoes are extremely important; 3) a bottle of cool water is a life saver while riding—staying hydrated on the bike makes a tremendous difference in your success; 4) a good hand towel will help you keep the sweat off your face and hands; 5) each and every ride is yours to command—give your best effort and you will notice results; 6) keep your knees together and straight; 7) maintain proper body form.
The routine I have developed: X-Force workout once a week, focusing on upper body and abs, combined with three to four times per week of spin class for one hour.
This intense workout schedule has allowed me to get in better shape and I continue to lose weight, although I do not weigh myself. My friends tell me they are seeing the difference and that is what matters to me.
I have 6 months before the ride across Iowa.
The training goals that RAGBRAI has recommended for week -long -riders (about 1500 riders will only ride for one day) is a minimum of 1000 miles “in the saddle.” I average 90 miles per week in spin class. I expect to log over 2000 miles of training time before the ride.
The Veterans Administration is purchasing a special tandem bike for me to ride from Bike Friday, a company in Eugene Oregon. My blind friends tell me it is one of the better bikes for riding and traveling. The bike breaks down and can be transported in two large suitcases. All individual settings can easily be adjusted to fit a variety of riders—an important feature, as I plan to ride with many different riders.
Next up: the emotional and psychological journey, as seen through blind eyes.

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