Hello everyone! First off I just wanted to say thank you to all those that supported and followed along with our cross country trip. It was quite the adventure and challenge on which we created and shared countless memories.
Since returning home I’ve been cycling quite a bit and have continued to add to the list of my personal accomplishments.
Having returned back to the area where we had been staying in for the last year, I continued riding around my favorite cycling loop. It’s a paved 7-mile loop that is closed off to vehicles, allowing only pedestrians and non-motorized bikes. Riding around this loop actually helped ease me into riding on the roads again last year. This particular place is the first “road” I started riding on before I began my cross country ride. Not too many of you know this, but the first day of the trip was the first time I had ridden on an actual road with vehicles in a few years!
By the time this past winter rolled around I had already been back riding with old and new friends around the loop, enjoying the fun rides and nice weather. Early December I started seeing one particular man riding around and around the loop every day, all day long. Curious to who he was I asked around and found out that his name is Kurt and he was in the process of break the Men’s Highest Annual Mileage Record. By this point he was weeks away from finishing.
After a while I just started riding with Kurt more and more. In the beginning, our paths would cross and he would just ride behind me and I’d help him out for however many miles I was riding that day. It wasn’t until a group of us planned to help him out for a couple of 140 mile days that I realized how much I enjoyed endurance cycling! We all rotated through a pace line for an entire day, pulling at a 21-22mph average. While riding with Kurt I met many other endurance cyclists whom began sharing amazing stories of ultracycling races, RAAM, records, and their experiences in the endurance cycling world. It was so intriguing I kept picking their brains for more information about the ultracycling world.
Over the course of December I began logging 100+ mile days with Kurt and other people who came out to ride with him around the loop. Up until then my longest ride was 126 miles (which was the day I rode from Santa Rosa, New Mexico to Albuquerque, New Mexico), but that was soon replaced by 134 miles, then 145 miles, and up to 170 miles! From that point on I did no less than 100 miles with Kurt, it just became the normal daily mileage for me and I really enjoyed helping him out those last few weeks of his world record attempt. It just so happened that he and I logged the most miles in the world for the month of December on Strava in the Male and Female categories! 🙂
It was a total blast. Yes the wind and weather got to be tough some days BUT I always think back to the cross country trip on days where the wind was hitting me with a 40+mph headwind, on top of scorching 100+ degree heat. When times get tough on the bike for me these days I just have to remind myself of those rough and endless moment during the trip.
While riding with Kurt and other ultracyclists they started telling me about the Women’s HAM’R (highest annual mileage record), and that I should give it a go. So after many discussions, Mom, Dad, and I decided that I should go for it this year! The planning began mid January and since then we’ve been working hard to get it rolling.
Since January I continued logging high miles and building up my endurance. While doing so I started meeting more and more wonderful people (you ALL know who you are), with whom I have since ridden countless hours with. The cycling community around here is wonderful and I have to say they have all helped me grow more and more comfortable on the bike.
With many thanks to some awesome ultracyclists, I signed up for and raced in my first 12-hour cycling race. It was down in Sebring, Florida and was the first ultracycling race to kick off the season, so people from all over the world came out and raced! I ended up setting the women’s course record with 245.3 miles! I had a blast racing and am looking forward to racing at Sebring again. I’ll attach my race report underneath for those of you who are interested.
Since February, Mom, Dad, I and special friends have been planning and preparing for my year-long challenge, making sure everything is good to go. There is quite a bit to get in line for an entire year and we’re having to do everything budget friendly at the same time. The last few months have flown by and I am now ready and happy to announce my official start date:
Day One will begin this Sunday, May 15th 2016! I am so very excited to get the opportunity to ride my bicycle for an entire year, and am just as equally happy that Mom and Dad will be enjoying this challenge with me.
For those of you wondering how to go about following my HAM’R I will write another blog entry containing more information about the HAM’R.
Thanks for following along with our journey!