Muddy Angels Day 5: Newtown to Lancaster

After the fourth day of riding, I could tell a definite difference due to this year’s training.  I was riding harder, faster, and farther than last year and consistently keeping pace with the faster groups among the riders.   Unfortunately I was also feeling worse and worse at the end of the day.

My cycling computer calculated that I was burning between 8,000 and 10,000 calories per day and I simply wasn’t keeping up with that nutritionally.  I had also trained for strength, speed, and high mileage days but hadn’t focused enough on multiple long days of riding.  That combination was leaving me more fatigued and feeling generally and substantially worse every evening.

Continue Reading →

Muddy Angels Day 7: East Brunswick to Collingdale

Today is the last day of our ride.  It’s hard to believe.  It feels like we just started and yet I somehow have trouble relating to my life outside this journey, as if I’ve been doing this so long that I can’t clearly remember what was before.

In truth, we’re about to ride into our seventh state in as many days.  I’m tired, sore, and my bike is broken.  Part of me is ready for this to be over but a greater part wants to keep riding.  Beyond today, beyond tomorrow, to keep riding with this group of friends whom I’ve just met and yet know intimately.  We’ve ridden, we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve sweat, we’ve hurt, and we’ve healed.

This has been an incredible journey for me in many ways.  I haven’t yet seemed to process some part of it and its meaning in my life.  There is a significance beyond words, beyond pictures and posts, beyond the miles and the days, perhaps even beyond the names we read when we stop and that we carry around our necks.

But for this moment, the sun has risen and the sky has ceased it’s rain.  We have many miles to go before we’re done, so…we ride. Continue Reading →