Where’s the carrot?

Perhaps the most important question you can ask is “Why?” As in, “Why is the sky blue?” “Why does Hans Solo act funny around Princess Leia?” or, closer to home, “Why will this be your best year on a bike?” Before you set goals, you need to know where you are headed. When I started biking, my goal was to ride 6 miles, then 10 miles, 20 miles, until I worked up to a 50-mile half century in Tiverton, RI. The raw miles were good for a few years, then I realized that biking was selfish, and helped no one but me, so I signed up for the Pan Mass Challenge. Now my training in May, June, and July had a purpose, conquering cancer! If you get nothing else from reading this blog, think about how you can help others.

After a dozen years of riding the PMC, I set my sights higher. My lovely wife took us to the Alps in 2003 to see [deleted] win the 100th anniversary Tour d’France and ride these amazing mountains. The next year I spent a week in Colorado chasing peaks, then a few years later watching the Tour in the Pyrenees. All these gave me motivation to train hard and have my best year. Lately the Harpoon B2B (Brewery to Brewery, now the B2VT) has been the big carrot for me to chase, except that this 150 mile challenge comes on Father’s Day, leaving the rest of the summer and fall without a purpose. Worse yet, in 2014 Jim and I did a great training¬† camp in Tucson, riding 400 miles in a week, however this was in March, so after getting in great shape, I returned to the cold and snow, and an indoor trainer. Ugh!

For 2015, my riding buddy Jim has talked me into the perfect challenge, the PAC Tour Southern Transcontinental ride. Four weeks of human powered transport, pedaling from San Diego to Savannah, 2870 miles, over 100 miles a day. Best of all, it is mid-September to mid-October so we have most of the season to train.

Everyone has their own goal, every year brings new challenges. Why is this going to be your best year on a bike? Let me know!

Lastly, my tip of the day. The snow is melting here in New England, so the salt, water and grit are gunking up your bike. The quick and dirty solution is a fender. My favorite is the SKS X-Tra Dry Rear Fender, a cheap solution that easily mounts to your seat post. Also known as a F*You fender as it keeps me dry, but does nothing for the guy riding behind me.

Chris Spear