Update to Cabot Trail Ride

A couple of weeks have gone bye since I updated this blog… what's been happening on the Fundraising and Cycling side of life… and my commitment to keeping up-to-date with my plans and processes?

Perhaps the biggest change is that I went from not using my GPS and other ride monitoring capability… to using it! I had quit riding following an injury to my knee on the Ottawa-Halifax ride last October. I didn’t ride again until January 1st… and at that time I decided I just wanted to ride… enjoy the views, the coffees and friends... never mind speed, distance, saddle time and so on… and until this week, it worked well for me.

I've been riding progressively better since January. My natural tendency is to push a little, but there is no question that measuring my riding allows me to understand, adjust and improve. So, I started checking my weight; logging my daily blood pressure and resting heart rate during the relaxing and reading-time before bed… and my daily journal that I have been keeping for two years, keeps these records.

Clearly, with the riding, my resting heart rate was going down… it had gotten above 60 beats per minute during that sedentary period last fall. By May/June it was down below 50 again. My family physician here in Mexico took my pressure one morning and just looked at me and said “just like a teenager”. High praise for a 67 year old.

Then during last week I had a conversation with Ron Allen, my friend in Nova Scotia, who at 70 years old will not only ride the Cabot Trail, but attempt the 17 kilometer open ocean swim to Prince Edward Island in August. With his philosophy (if you don't try, you will never know) I decided to attempt to ride the full 300 kilometer course for the Give to Live fundraiser. 
Hoping Winter on North Mountain
 will be gone by July 18th

The four big climbs (a few pics here) gave me pause as I was considering the attempt… about 15 hours was what Ron and I were calculating for the complete ride… 20 km/hr average… I would need to be in better shape than ever before. This changed everything about the ride... going from a planned 100km to 300km is one thing... but Holy Crap, these climbs are big
Mount Smokey in the First 100

Soooo, I decided to go for it, but that meant getting out my gear… heart rate and cadence monitor, Garmin GPS and so on. And it meant ramping up the training… so I have… this week I rode three times for training… 68, 72 and 94 kilometers on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 
MacKenzie Mountain in the 2nd 100km

I got around to joining strava .com to begin not only monitoring my training performance, but to compare it to others so I would know how to push myself. Strava also has a conditioning app that I am using so my legs don't leave my back behind somewhere.

I have also gotten my weight down to 156 pounds and have had only two “half-ounce” rums in five weeks… naaaa, just one glass of wine and two beers… but I have promised myself a little Don Julio Anjeo Tequila at the end of the Cabot Trail ride... time will tell whether it will be to celebrate finishing it all in time... or celebrate being able to start it, at all! maybe two shots... one for starting, one for the Big Baddeck Finish.

I am in the grove now… and plan to ride at 150 pounds... down from 173 in January! I'm training on my Trek Aluminum 2.1 with a 52 frame. I have secured my Trek Domane 54 for the Cabot Trail ride thanx to my friend Peter Korecki taking care of it in Halifax for me… this carbon bike has a much better gear ratio (12/32) for this ride, so I expect to be feeling my oats on the climbs.

I am not limiting my heart rate to 140 like I used to… I have passed a full physical and feel like punching it a little… so my climbing and speed are coming back… the three rides, with some good elevation and strong head winds were all around 24.5 km/hr. That will put me in range to tag along with Ron Allen on the Cabot Trail… but I still plan on 20km/hr for the total ride.

This is going to be a major bucket list accomplishment if I can do it. I plan on starting my fundraising drive this week… I am so stoked that I am in better shape at this time than I have been for any cycling I have ever done… so I will attempt the Cabot Trail, in one bite.

Here is the map of the Cabot Trail ... come visit some time... 



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