Early season brevets

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Its been a while.

This winter was very tough. Training outside and getting my mileage going in preparation for PBP also. I bought an indoor trainer ( I hate riding indoors) and used it only like 10 times 🙂 Outside I feel free, there is no walls there. I can breath better, smell the nature, feel the road!

For the first two months of the year I only did my permanent Riding Around Reservoirs few times. The temperatures and road conditions were simply awful.

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I Also got to ride with my buddy James Bondra from New York. We did the NJ 600km last year together. He drove down to Maryland just to train for a few days. Riding outside in New York at this time of the year was not possible.

I bought yet another new Jersey from my favorite spot for returned cycling wear Geartrade.com . It is feather light and my favorite brand Castelli. Now I have the same brand Jersey to pair with my Castelli bibs. Sadly I used it only once. Temperatures were whooping 60 degrees that day 🙂

Castelli show off

Another downfall of winter cycling is the salty roads after snowfall. Not so good for my steel frame. I took things into my own hands and gave my baby a shower 🙂 You got to thank your ride and take care of it. Disclaimer : Do not do this at home !

Bath time

I also had my one hour wind challenge. With 25 mph head wind I managed to get 18 miles in one hour. Not bad at all !

There is an idea circling in my head about weekly discussion or report of some kind . . . Maybe a surprise post. Any recommendations . I am thinking videos, quotes or cycling gear.

My first club ride for 2015 was the tough Urbana 200 km. There is not even many pictures of it,  except pictures taken by other riders. Taking my gloves off to snap pictures was a bad idea. The temperatures were in the 20s and the wind going up to 30 mph! What else can I say, except that it was a good tough training early in the season with plenty ( about 8000 feet)  of elevation . Those hills felt like coming every few miles. They were so steep, I felt like crawling up a vertical wall. I was packed in wool and heat pads, rocking my handmade Bar mitts. It was my first time wearing the new DC Randonneurs wool Jersey. It felt nice and warm. No Jacket needed. Just two wool Jerseys on top of each other.

Urbana 200 start
Urbana 200 start. Picture by Mike Wali

I just kept on pedaling without stopping to keep it warm. Unfortunately my Camleback hose froze immediately.  I wasn’t able to drink liquids until the first control. Lesson learned. Next time I’ll tuck it underneath my shirt to keep it from freezing. That did  affected my performance. Dehydration is the worst enemy in cold weather! We tend not to drink as much water in the cold. That is actually a big mistake, as the body need to stay hydrated to support nice core temperature.

I did managed to find a picture of me climbing. It shows perfectly how steep those hills around Frederick are. Behind me is just clear blue sky.  Breathtaking ! ! !

Up the Wall

There is also this picture from the finish. It appears that I was in  good spirits and still smiling. I also look unfrozen.

My Fleche report is coming soon. Stay tuned.

Smiling at the finish line.
Smiling at the finish line. Photo by Mike Wali


  1. Oh my God, the bath time photo was hilarious! Thanks for the laugh – and if you REALLY wanted to go next-level with it, use a publisher to put a hazy section through the bottom bracket. Either way, great post and thanks for the laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

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