On Friday, January 14, the day was sunny. It was in the 30’s, and the weekend weather was supposed to be colder. I decide to bike to the Wilmington train station, which is about 42 miles from my house. When I get around to biking from my house to the White House, which is 160 miles, I don’t want it to feel like a huge leap.
Once I got to Wilmington, I biked home rather than waiting an 1 hr 45 min for the SEPTA train. I could have kept going southwest and then come back to the train station, but it was too good of an opportunity not to maximize my mileage.
I followed google bike directions. When I do bike to DC, I don’t want to be following weird directions. At Eastwick Train station, I got routed across the tracks as a pedestrian. Further south on 291, I got routed off of 291 onto neighborhood streets when I should have just stayed on the main road. There are several ways to get through Philadelphia. I like heading down 611 to Hunting Park. This way I can head through West Philadelphia. But on Friday I followed the Schuylkill River Trail and crossed over at Grays Ferry Bridge.
For clothing, I didn’t bother with long finger gloves because I assumed my hands would warm up. I wore a fleece and a windbreaker shell and light tights over my bike shorts.
Riding home through Philadelphia was slow. There was lots of traffic. And I was concerned about visibility because I had on a navy jacket (because my neon green jacket was muddy) and black tights as headlights started turning on. I chose to ride on quiet streets or sidewalks. Next time I need lights so that I’m more visible.
Foot position on the pedals
Because I’ve been trying to avoid nerve issues that are from my back but manifest in my toes, I used the platform side of the pedals rather than the SPD side. This way I was able to assess the position of my foot placement to the pressure on my seat. I now think that I should move my seat further back because my feet were pretty far forward on the pedals. I’ll test this on the next ride.
Moving time was about 6:45 for 84 miles. Stops in Wilmington, at Wawa, for photos, etc probable took 30 minutes. The trip time to Wilmington was 3:03 for 42 miles. The rolling time home was about 3:45. There were several traffic lights, and I biked a couple of blocks on the sidewalk closer to home. There was some wind both ways, probably more heading home.
Fasting, water intake
I did the ride while fasting to see how this would affect me. I had two water bottles and refilled them in Wilmington.
At a Wawa by the airport around 2:45 and I bought a veggie burrito thinking I could also fill up my water bottles. The cashier said I had to pay $1.95 for a cup in order to get water. The burrito was a mistake. And as it turned out, I threw out the water cup and just filled my water bottles.
I don’t think I will get one of those burritos again. It was a mess and felt like a stone in my stomach. My body really just needed water and the burrito made me not want to drink.
Thoughts on the ride
My arms got a little sore. Otherwise I was fine. I was a little annoyed at myself for not bringing lights and a bright jacket. I might consider getting fenders. And I didn’t have my watch or GPS adequately charged. It would make sense to bring a battery next time.
Translating an 85 mile experience to 160 miles
Everything is getting easier. I plan to do a longer 120-140 mile ride as well as some 20-60 mile rides before biking to DC. My body is responding to the consistent exercise. The key is to be able to enjoy and relax my bike rides. And my swimming too. This morning my 2000 yd swim was at a relaxing 1:46/100 yd pace. I had to get home, otherwise I would have continued to swim.