2014 Year In Review – Winter Overnights

Winter Overnighters

I first planned these big January rides with eyes on the Strava “Granfondo Challenge”…tracking the biggest 24 hour rides, but lost big chunks of each ride due to Garmin failures (the below totalled ~330 miles each). Never try to keep a ride of longer than 200 mi rolling on the Garmin! Save and reset.

In any case, I was happy to last much longer than my Garmins, and gained valuable experience in self-supported night riding. I’ve of course done it before, but there are so many simple but crucial things that can easily be overlooked.  One is to dress layered, dress appropriately, and do NOT set out without at least a good minimum of warm clothing. On a day ride, you can suffer and recover. When you’re riding through the night it becomes far more difficult. Also critical is keeping the caloric intake consistent. The bonk and recover cycles are draining and mostly avoidable!

Winter Overnighter 2015

One year later, and time again for a wintry adventure. Well, this is San Diego after all – so it was in the 80s (and extermely windy) during the day, but dipped into the 30s at night. I stayed close to home this time, doing repeats of nearby loops, 100 miles on Fiesta Island through the night, and timed the ride to end up at Roadie’s Hideaway to meet up with good friend, past teammate, and crew member extraordinaire Rich – for another 45 hilly miles. There’s something primally satisfying about witnessing the sunrise after spending all night on the bike.

Looking back on the year to year progress, I was happy to see just how much stronger I felt on this ride. Warm clothes, check. Consistent calories and hydration, check. At times ultra endurance seems absolutely impossible, and impossibly hard to get right. But I am beginning to see it as a craft, one that is honed over years of experience, and catered to the unique intricacies of  your own body. You can abstract away all the complexity and you’re left with baseline training, food and fluid intake, pacing, and motivation. Keep eating, keep drinking, Keep riding. The whole endeavor nowstarts to seem more manageable!