Monthly Archives: November 2008

Training for the bike tour

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Tomorrow is a big day on the bike trek’s calendar.  It reads…..”3 months to go, start training fat ass.”  I have a two-part training program; on-bike and off-bike.

The on-bike training is broken up into 3 parts, progressing in difficulty as the tour nears.

Month One- 30 mile rides every other day, fully-loaded.

Month Two- 50 mile rides every other day, weekend overnights.

Month Three- 50 mile weekday rides, 200 mile weekend overnights.

Man, that sounds nauseating.

The off the bike stuff revolves around the gym.  I was really surprised when I google’d this topic.  No clear answers came up anywhere.  Seemed like 1/2 the internet was for weight training, 1/2 was against it.  Then a whole new door of information was opened.  I learned about cycling power and wattage.  As if there wasn’t already enough crap for me to think about.  Keeping it short, that is the amount of power you create with your legs.  I read that during the 7th hour of a Tour-de-France stage, Lance Armstrong produced an average of 400 watts of power, damn.  The average man produces about 100-150 on a good day.  Top-performing racers don’t rely on strength training to increase performance cause they’re already set up.  I’m just getting back into the saddle and need to get myself on track quickly.  So I’m going to combine some yoga and weighlifting 3 days a week in 3 parts focusing on a few basic exercises:

Squat, Leg Press, Hammy Curls, Dead Lift, Bent-over rows, Push-ups, Sit-ups.

Month One- Foundation stage.  Getting back into the groove of lifting weights.  Lower weights 10 reps.

Month Two- Strength stage.  Add power to my foundation.  Heavy weight 5 reps.

Month Three- Transition.  Prepare muscles for cycling.  Moderate weight, rapid action.

The Road Ahead- Part Two

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This is the second in a series of posts regarding the upcoming Eurasian Cycling Trek for World Hunger I am about to embark on.  In case you don’t know about it, head over to www.theultimatetrek.com and read up!

This series is going to look at the road ahead, checking distances, weather patterns, border crossings, visas, and more.  In this post we’re headed to then 2nd stop on the trek; China.

Map of China

Distance- 2,100+ Miles (~3,400km) from Tianjin to the Kazakhstan border, probably in Khorgos.

Terrain- Extremely varied.  City, mountain, desert, highway.

Est. Time- 1 month

Route- Two routes under consideration, depending on the severity of this year’s winter season.

The first route is the northern route, arriving in Tianjin and heading up to Beijing to re-supply before heading west through Huhehaote.  Then onward to Yinchuan before heading into the vast expanse of western China.  At the Lanzhou intersection, head north towards Wulumuqi before reaching the Kazakhstan border.

The second route has me arriving in Qingdao and staying south going through Zhengzhou and Xi’an before meeting up in Lanzhou with the previous route.

Visa- I have read that I can manage to get a multiple-entry Chinese visa good for 30 days, though it is possible to write immigration and get up to 90 days with proper authorization.  We’ll see if that works.

Don’t forget to check out the website, and if you can spare a few coins for charity, donate to the Mercy Corps in the trek’s name.  Thank you. www.theultimatetrek.com

The Road Ahead- Part One

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This is the first of a series of posts regarding the upcoming Eurasian Cycling Trek for World Hunger I am about to embark on.  In case you don’t know about it, head over to www.theultimatetrek.com and read up!

This series is going to look at the road ahead, checking distances, weather patterns, border crossings, visas, and more.  First up on the trek is Korea.

Map of Korea

Distance- 25 miles from Dongdaemun, Seoul to Incheon Sea Port.

Terrain-  High-grade paved road

Est. Time- 2 hours

Route-  Depart Dongdaemun, Seoul and head south to the Hangang river, follow it to Yeouido Island, cross, and continue along Highway 88 to Incheon.  Exit highway and follow local roads to the sea port.  Board the ferry to China.

Don’t forget to check out the website, and if you can spare a few coins for charity, donate to the Mercy Corps in the trek’s name.  Thank you.

Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus Panniers Review.

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I ride my Surly long haul trucker with Ortlieb bike packer plus rear panniers.  They are larger than my frontroller panniers, measuring about 1,000 cubic inches bigger.  This model is very sturdy and gets great reviews across the board.

Why REI ads? Great customer service and great prices, really, I shop there!
REI.com

I’ve been busy preparing my new website, www.theultimatetrek.com, to go live.  It finally has, so now I’m back to the blog.  Have a look at the new website, it looks at my upcoming trek from South Korea to Portugal on my Surly long haul trucker bike.

Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus

Durability: 

Price:

Weather:

Organization:

Compatibility:

Total:

The Bike packer plus panniers get a higher rating than the frontrollers based on two main criteria; size and compatibility.  The bike packers have more straps and are more easily adjusted to fit your rack than the frontrollers.  The bike packers also measure in with 2,441 cubic inches of space, a lot more than the frontrollers.  Now compared to other panniers, this combination is quite small, with only roughly 4,000 cubic inches of storage.  I find it just enough, mounting my camping gear on the tops of the front and rear racks gives me plenty of space.

Bike packer plus ortlieb pannier

Bike packer plus ortlieb pannier

There is plenty of heel clearance on my 58cm surly long haul trucker.

Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus Panniers - Pair

Let’s look at the Bike Packer Plus specs:

Ortlieb.  Obviously they are waterproof, and they are also well-made.  They can carry 2,441 c inches combined.  That is about as much as a large-sized backpacking pack.  The thing I like the most about the Ortlieb bike packer plus panniers, and the Ortliebs in general, is the mounting system.  It’s great.  Super easy to use, adjust, and replace if necessary.  The Bike Packers dont even require a hex-screwdriver, they simply click in and out for easy adjustment.

*  Clips are quick-release.  Simply lift the cord and they come open, let it go and it closes.

*  Bottom clips move around to tightly secure the pannier to the rack and stop it from jiggling.

*  There is an exterior pocket with ventilation

*  There is an internal pocket for a little added organization, but basically these are top-loaders.