UPDATE: Training, A Move, and Other Assorted Stuffs

(Editor’s Note: In September, 2013 I will be riding 5,000+ miles across the continental United States to help raise funds and awareness for victims of human trafficking. I ask that you help me in this cause by donating what you are able, following along on the journey, and telling others about this effort. Although it sounds cliche, I really will not be able to do this without your help. To donate, please use PayPal and this email address: oasisprojekt@gmail.com. Thank you!)

Although the departure date is approaching quickly, I am feeling the crunch. A lot to think about…from training, to the remainder of gear I need to acquire, to piecing together the video and presentation I will be giving, to who will watch my amazing cat, Pittsburgh.

Gratuitous shot of Pittsburgh the cat

A question I am getting asked pretty frequently is, “What are you doing for training?”

Well…riding, mostly. This last week I have ridden 80 miles. Not a lot, but I did have one nice 43 miler. I have been in the process of settling in to a new place, so moving and getting adjusted have left me exhausted and feeling like just being still, appreciating where I am, and letting the newness soak in. This move left me tired and lacking in spare time. But, I will be riding more, since my new place is about 5 miles from “town,” out on beautiful rural country roads, with views of endless vineyards as my living and riding background. So I will be doing a necessary 75+ miles a week in just commuting to work here very shortly.

The above and below photos are great examples of the roads I ride daily around my house. (cited photos from Scott Wayland’s Blog, http://scott-waylandadventures.blogspot.com/, author of a really cool book on biking across the country on a recumbent bicycle. Review of that book to come!)

One thing that I’m having to get used to is the lack of a bike lane on some of the roads. Some roads, like the one pictured above, may have very little traffic, and they can usually see you from a pretty good distance off. The road below, though, is a little more common, and is sketchier, even though it’s designated as a “bike route.” A lot of curves, and no shoulder, unless you count dirt as a shoulder. I had one close call on this road yesterday. I am going to be receiving a few safety items this week, though: a flashing taillight, a headlight, and a mirror I can attach to my helmet. The headlight isn’t very high quality, but will do until I am able to afford something better. The taillight is actually a pretty good one, and if it works well may add another for my final safety kit for the bamboo bike. I’ve never used a helmet-mounted mirror, so I’ll see how that goes. Sometimes while I ride, I can’t hear the cars coming up behind me because of the wind, so being able to see them first will be comforting.

(photo by Dug Shelby)

But the area is absolutely beautiful, and I am really looking forward to putting in some very real miles in the surrounding countryside. I have sold my car, and my motorcycle broke down in November and I am not planning on fixing it before my big ride across America. I will need to save all the money that I can for the ride, and until then, I believe I can get around purely on pedal power. So no fixing the motorcycle. 🙂

The map below is actually a map Scott Wayland made to highlight a trip he and his wife took just last month here. Their ride took them past where I live, and if you look on the map I live right between where Paso Robles and Templeton are marked. On Mark’s blog, he commented regarding this tour,

I cannot recommend this tour highly enough.  If you only have a weekend and want to ride some rich, remote, and very quiet roads, this is the tour.  The road surfaces are sometimes lacking for sure but nothing that would keep an enthusiast away.  We had many times that we could ride side-by-side taking up the middle of the road without worry.  This is some of the best riding I’ve done anywhere.  So get out there.   Life is stinkin’ short.”

Their Tour, My Home…

As for the vehicle for all of my riding at the moment, I have my trusty diamond frame steed, ‘Ron Burgundy,‘ a great donation from a friend of my sister’s. It’s rear rim has a slight penchant for becoming rather crooked and wiggly (thanks to a minor spoke issue inflammation every now and then that is easily adjusted), but overall ‘Mr. Burgundy is a fine stallion for getting the old legs in shape.

Ron Burgundy,’ myself, and a well-overweight backpack filled with groceries and necessities…

The bamboo bike frame is still under construction in Brazil, and I am looking forward to piecing it together when the time comes. (You can find pictures of the build thus far in the preceding posts…)I did just have a set of 26″ wheels donated, though, and that is a HUGE blessing! A wheel set was one of the most expensive parts of my gear set-up, and I had been a touch worried about that aspect. So thank you to the donor of the new set of wheels!

Otherwise, I am finally all moved in to my new place, and looking forward to getting back to earning a paycheck, training, and spending time with family.

I hope this find everyone well, and blessings!

Dug (and Pittsburgh, too…)

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