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Prep Work for My Skyline Drive Double

Posted by on October 11, 2014

Throughout this year’s ups and downs, I’ve realized that I need a lofty goal to aspire to if I’m going to stick to a strict training schedule. It’s that little extra bit that gets me up at sunrise for sprints or some zone 4 work, rather than rolling back over and missing my opportunity to ride.

Last year’s big goal was, well, 100 pounds.  And along the way I had to keep upping the mark to ensure I stuck with it.  So this year I set 3 goals:  Ride 12 centuries in the year, get to 4 watts per kg, and The Skyline Drive Double.

So far I’ve ridden 6 centuries, with the probability of getting to 10 by the end of the year.  I got up to 3.87 w/kg, which is more of a function of weight loss instead of power increase.  I got as low as 178.2 lbs (81kg).  I’d probably need to be 171.6 lbs to hit 4w/kg.

But oddly, the easiest goal for the year is the Skyline Drive Double.  It’s just a full lap of Skyline Drive, one of the most scenic rides in Virginia.  Skyline Drive is 105 miles from end-to-end, and is the start of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Starting from Front Royal, VA, Skyline Drive finishes where it intersects with Interstate 64, becoming the Blue Ridge Parkway which winds south through Virginia and North Carolina, finishing just north of Cherokee, NC.

The Double consists however of riding from Front Royal to Waynesboro on Day 1, and then the next day ride from Waynesboro to Front Royal.  I understand that there are redondonnerus who would scoff at a mere 368km in two rides, but the added complexity to the ride is that over those 225+ miles, there’s over 22,000 feet of climbing.  If I’m ever going to do the Haute Route, I need to determine if I can even handle two back-to-back long days of climbing.

So Day 1:

And Day 2:

The normal issue with this type of trip is logistics; where to get water, where to get food, how much stuff to carry, but in this I’m lucky; my awesome wife is going to be my sag wagon.  So instead of panicking because I’m out out water and it’s 15 miles to the Byrd Visitors Center, it’s a simple call on the phone to fill up at the next lookout.

Now it becomes a logistics question: What do stock the Sag Wagon with?

So far I’ve come up with:

  •  Floor Standing Bike Pump
  • 4 Spare Tubes
  • 1 Spare Tire
  • Hex Wrenches
  • Pedal Wrench
  • Brake Cable
  • Derailleur Cable
  • Brake Pads
  • Crimpers
  • Crimp Ends
  • Chain Tool
  • Chain Links
  • Spare Spokes
  • AAA Batteries
  • Chain Lube
  • Rags
  • Super Glue
  • Spare Cleats
  • Zip Ties
  • 2 Spare Kits
  • Cold Weather Gear
  • Inclement Weather Gear
  • 5 Gallons of Water
  • Snacks
  • Lunch

If you’ve seen the past 4 posts, you’ll see some of the road food I’m considering — Sweet Cream Grits, Chocolate & Sea Salt Sticky Bits, and Honey and Fig Rice Cakes.  I’m not sure which of these I’ll end up making, as it’s just as easy to go buy some packages of Fig Newtons.  I’ve also made some Gorp, using Peanuts, Pistachios, Pumpkin Seeds, Raisins, M&Ms, Almonds and Coconut Flakes.

For Lunch, I’m thinking either Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwiches, or  Beef & Sweet Potato Pies.  Protein, Fiber and Carbs.

Any suggestions will be gladly appreciated.

–Pete

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