Bicycle Journey Progress

The journey begins on July 29th and ends on September 11th, 2023

Ride Progress: ABOUT TO START!
Daily summaries:

terça-feira, 17 de abril de 2012

Life on a bicycle

Hi Folks!
This article will talk a little bit about our daily routine: what has been happening from the moment we wake up, to the moment we go to sleep.

In the beginning, when we were still at an early stage of planning, we had an idea of what our routine would be: we would wake up really early, around 4:30am, then disassemble our stuff and start riding 5:30am. By noon we would be done, then we would camp and rest the whole afternoon. We would then have time to write more about what happened, explore the city we were in, etc. By early evening we would have dinner, and by 9:00pm we would be sleeping to prepare for a new day. Well, it turns out we were completely wrong.

We tried that way in our first day. We placed our clocks to 6:00 am instead of 4:30 am, after all that was our first day. Despite, we ended up getting out of our tents around 9:00 am.
Here is Why
So far - South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama - the temperatures have been varying significantly throughout the day. At 6:00 am we have temperatures around 40-50 F° /  5-10 C°. That makes it so much harder to get out of the sleeping bag. Besides, riding in those temperatures isn't as pleasant as riding in the 60-70 F° / 15-20 C° range. When we get up too early, we have to dress up with heavy clothing. As the day warms up and we start to sweat, we start taking everything off. As a result, by the end of the day we have a whole lot of dirty clothes to deal with. Also, being tired from a previous ride makes it harder to get out of the bed that early.
Immediately after waking up we packed our tents, inflatable mattresses and sleeping bags. Went to restrooms, and had something to eat for breakfast. Then we washed the dishes, organized everything that was pending, and closed our panniers. By the time we were all set, in the bike and ready to go it was already 11:30 am. So much for arriving in our destination at noon.

Then we started riding. 50 miles to go. Well, someone not very aware of what really happens in the road as we were when we were planning all this might think "10 mph is a good average speed. As long as you keep that, by 5:00pm you'll be done. Add 1 hour for resting, and 6:00pm is you arrival time.". While this is not a completely absurd estimate, it is also not very realistic either. The elevation plays a huge role in how fast we complete our course, and thus any estimate not taking it into account is very likely to be wrong. In most days, loaded as our bikes are, we've been able to maintain a 8.5 mph average speed. Besides, in courses with strong elevation, we need to stop every 2 to 3 miles to drink water, rest, etc. Also, we need to eat and brush our teeth at some point. Add more 40 mins for that. In the end it's been taking anywhere from 7 to 8 hours to cover 50 miles. We, of course, expect these times to decrease as we reach more plain terrains later in the trip.

So, leaving by 11:30 am and with about 50 miles to cover, we reached our destination by 7:30pm. Then it was time to find food, which took us another hour. Then cook, clean up everything, take showers, wash clothes, update the blog, and prepare to sleep. By midnight, we turned the lights off. As you can imagine, waking up at 4:30am in the next day was out of question. So we setup our clocks to 9:00am... and the cycle began all over again.

So far this has been our routines. For this reason we haven't been able to update the blog as much as we would like, except for the instant updates from the road. Being in Birmingham today without riding and with WiFi access all day long will definitely help with that.

I hope you had enjoyed having a glance at what we have been doing every day for the past two weeks. People have been asking about our diet too, so I'll soon write about that.