The point of this webpage is to serve as a macro scale log of my cycling, and how I felt about it at various points in time, as well as serve as a library of fun (and safe) routes, for the future me, as well as anyone else who finds this page.
Macro cycling log
June and July, 2023
I spent these two months riding in Eastern Pennsylvania, in the Delaware river valley. This region had excellent paved roads for cycling (although not enough gravel), and had some real elevation gain, unlike Michigan, where one only gains 500 to 800 metres of elevation for every 100k ridden, and the gradients rarely exceed 8%. Whereas here, the elevation gain per 100k was somewhere between 900 meters to 1200 meters, and the gradients were routinely between 10% and 15%, with occasional sections of 20%.
Initially, I found it really hard to pace myself on some of the longer unknown climbs: when you can't see the top of the climb, it's hard to determine whether pushing hard out of the saddle is better than sitting in and spinning on an easy gear. Later in the summer, I ended up splurging a power meter that helped a little bit: I stuck to sub-threshold power for most of the climb, and then push hard when I could see the crest of the hill.
It was here that I also discovered the joys of stopping at small town cafes for mid-ride meals, rather than subsisting on cereal bars and energy gels I'd pack for the ride. I ended up trying out several excellent savoury pastries that I wouldn't have otherwise.
Here's a list of some of favourite rides from this time:
This was my second attempt at a 200k, and my first successful one.
All in all, I managed to get about 1600 kilometres of riding done in 7 weeks, which isn't too bad considering I only had time for long rides over the weekends.
I spent this month riding as much as I possibly could, given that the weather was about as nice as it would get, and I had a lot of free time thanks to summer break. I tried my first 200k this month, but failed to finish at kilometre 194. I also went on my first bikepacking overnight trip. This was a short trip, mainly to learn about the logistics of carrying all my gear on a bike, as well as (re)learning how to camp. I did not expect the night outside to get as cold as it did, given that this was in the summer, so that was a lesson that I won't forget any time soon.
Here's the Strava activities for a couple of the long rides, as well as the return ride from camping:
This was a fairly produtive month, where I got about 950 kilometres of riding done.