Cycling Bucket List

After last year’s amazing trip to the 100th running of the Tour de France, and with the sudden issues within my extended family over the past 6 months, I figured it was time to write up a bucket list of places I want to ride my bike before I can’t ride anymore.

As I said, it’s a bit morbid, but I’ve seen my Grandfather go from getting around on his own to being wheelchair-bound in 9 months, and my uncle being a day from dying and stuck in bed with a colostomy bag in the span of 3 weeks, it’s been weighing on my mind, and I felt I needed to put words to the feeling of unease that comes with truly knowing you could and will be there at some point in time in the future.

So what better than a bucket list. And with my rekindled love of cycling, I want to see and experience these places on a bike, rather than on a browser or in a car.

I’d put Alpe d’Huez and Mont Ventoux on this list again, if I lived in Europe and would have ample ability to get to all these places, but since I don’t, I’d love to go back but I’m not sure I will.

  1. The Passo del Ghisallo in Italy. At the top of the climb is the Madonna del Ghisallo and the Chapel with it’s museum of the Giro d’Italia
  2. The Passo dello Stelvio in Italy.
  3. The Poggio – Part of the longest of the spring classics, Milano San Remo.
  4. The Cipressa Also part of Milano San remo.
  5. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada
  6. From Salzburg to Zell am See, Austria
  7. The Col du Tourmalet
  8. The Col du Galibier — We were supposed to climb this when I was in France, but due to bus driver scheduling, I was unable to do so. Instead we rode Villard Raymond and Les Deux Alpes.
  9. The cobbles of the Arenberg Forest
  10. The Paterberg
  11. The Koppenberg
  12. Mount Diablo
  13. Monte Zoncolan
  14. Mauna Kea in Hawaii
  15. Edelweissspitze
  16. Mount Palomar
  17. Mount Baldy
  18. Col de la Madeline
  19. Cycling the Great Wall of China
  20. Sky-Mass in Virginia
  21. Mount Lemmon in Arizona
  22. Ride Across the US
  23. Cycling the Munroes in Scotland
  24. Cycling around Lake Louise in Canada
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Vacation Cycling Part 2

The next day I hand-wrote out a cue sheet. It’s one of the hidden things you have to remember how to do…Write in long-hand clearly enough to read while coasting down the road. I had wanted to ride back out again to Macabuca, and then to Popagallos, and then to Hell, and lastly go see what boats were in by the yacht club.


Well, everything went well, until I got to Hell.

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Vacation Cycling Part 1

Depending upon your vacation location, getting in training level cycling rides may be more difficult than you can imagine.

Within the United States, it’s relitively inexpensive to ship a bike box via USPS/UPS/FedEx if you have enough lead time. Consider a carbon frame road bike weighs ~18 pounds, and the bike box probably weighs more than the bike. If you don’t need your bike but can handle a rental, you can get by with an inexpensive replacement from a local bike shop if you’re going to a city, though the pickings may be slimmer as the size of the city shrinks.

Going to a foreign country can also be easy to rent a road bike, though Europe will probably provide a much better experience than anywhere else.
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The Inevitable Crash

When you’re riding a bike, it’s inevitable you’re going to run into a situation in which you’ll end up crashing.

I had thought it would have been an almalgam of all my falling overs starting out with clipless pedals, but yesterday I had one heck of a crash.

My ride started out as a normal ride. I had intended to make a nice long 2 1/3 to 3 hour weekend endurance ride. When I left the house I had to tell my wife that it was going to be longer than the 2 hour ride that she wanted me to take (the guilt/resentment factor was pretty heavy), while I was hoping to put in a good 45-50 miles today.

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Coffeeneuring Ride #7: Pastry Xpo

Pastry Xpo
8190 Strawberry Ln #6, Falls Church, VA 22042

Mileage: 11.6

After getting back from New Jersey early, as we didn’t want to get stuck in Sunday traffic around the beltway, I found myself with an hour to finish my coffeeneuring.

Back to the Mosaic district. I had half planned to stop into Fresh Bikes and try on some cold weather gear. First I made sure top stop at Pastry Xpo, for my favourite big brand coffee: Illy.

A nice cappuchino with an “Energy Bar”:
2013-11-03 16.06.44

I did not end up at Fresh Bikes; I figured it would be bad form to try on clothing while in kit. So I resigned to do that another day sans bikeride.

So in solidarity with FB, I went to go on our normal Wednesday night Vuleta de Navy Federal.

But this time, the responsible voice in my head won out. The one that was saying “You only have 30 minutes, and there’s no way you can do the loop and get home in that time.” And I headed back home, turning right on the W&OD instead of left.

Not 60 seconds later I found myself staring down an 8 point Buck crossing the trail. If you look at my strava segment, you can see where my heart rate jumps up to 176. Yea, right there. He turned and fled, jumping into the brush and into someone’s yard.

Two days in a row, two very different ways to be scared.
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Coffeeneuring Ride #6: Espresso Joe’s

Espresso Joe’s
50 West Front Street Keyport, NJ 07735

Mileage: 34.3

This was a bit of a mixed emotions type of ride.

We were up in Keyport to visit my sister-in-law and her family for Halloween, so that my daughter could trick-or-treat with her cousins. They all had a blast, and the candy was flowing like I’ve never seen before. While walking around I came to the realization that just a year ago, there was no Halloween here; it was taken from them by SuperStorm Sandy. So in community strength and togherness, people found joy in remembering what Sandy had done, and this Halloween was a show of defiance that nature could try it’s best to destroy them, but they still remained strong.

It also helped to have a stinking cute kid in a cute costume to garner extra candy:
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Coffeeneuring Ride #5: Cake Break Rehoboth

Cake Break Rehoboth
7 South First Street Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

Mileage: 26.4

Halloween is a very festive time in Rehoboth. We’ve been coming to the Sea Witch festival for at least the last 7 years, and we always have a good time. There’s a parade that anyone in costume can participate in, so there’s always novel and interesting costumes.

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Coffeeneuring Ride #4.5: The Coffee Mill

The Coffee Mill
127-B Rehoboth Ave. Rehoboth Mews, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

Mileage: 10.3

This one really didn’t count, since it was a Friday.

Got up and rode over to the Coffee Mill, which is right off the main drag in Rehoboth Beach. It’s one of Hoda’s favourite places.

Being in a beach/tourist town, they have some nick-nacks for sale:
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Coffeeneuring Ride #4: Brueggers

7393 Lee Hwy, Falls Church, VA 22042

Mileage: 2+

I was running up to the local Safeway to get some milk and bread, so I figured I’d stop into the local Italian restaraunt, because what Itailian restaraunt wouldn’t have an espresso maker?
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Coffeeneuring Ride #3: Beanetics

7028 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003

Mileage: 10.1

Another local in-house roaster is Beanetics. I took my wonder of the local hills in the Lake Barcroft neighborhood, and made it down to Beanetics. Got a cup of the CroMagnon roast coffee and a cup cake thing, made in Bethesda (I would have gone two doors down to the bakery, but they were closed).

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