I am trying to quickly catch up on the last few weeks of training and preparation ... so three posts coming at you. During my ride I hope to get into a standard daily routine of posting (internet permitting). Work remained crazy with the final touches on a challenging proposal. I was not able to get out for a ride until Thursday, but made the best of four nice days. Hit the 200 mile mark for the week. Thursday saw a 40+ mile ride to Ellicott City, the Grist Mill Trail, Elkridge Furnance Inn, and around Arundel Mills Mall. Not too much climbing on that route. Friday saw almost another 40 miles toward western Howard County. Nice mixture of rolling hills and quietier country roads are norm out here. My motivation was high toward home ... did three hill repeats (up/down/up/down/up) on Harriet Tubman Road. It is about a 150 foot climb with a solid 10% grade.
The weekend included back-to-back metric centuries around Greenbelt, Lanham, Bowie, and College Park. 125 miles of warm weather riding ... good practice for thr trip and a good chance for a couple longer rides. Stopped in on Michael on Sunday thanks to some new roads I had never tried with a spin past the College Park Aviation Museum.
Fundraising was a little slow due to the heavy load at work. Inched past $13,500 with donations from Arthur & Elaine Kagno (my next door neigbors growing up) and Andy Greenleaf (co-worker at Northroup Grumman). The next few weeks will see a big push to hit my goal before I head out to Oregon. The proposal at work took a bite out of my PR plans, but I hope to make some more progress on that the next few weeks as well.
Princeton Sports, completed a full overhaul of my bike with complete disassembly, a new cassette, and new chain. I also had the crank arms replaced under warranty by FSA. The bike looked so nice and clean! Rode really sweet. Amazing how a few less pounds and higher-end components can make such a huge difference. My winter ride (Trek 1500) has been a great fill in and training companion. That said, it was very nice to get back on my Serotta. A huge thanks to Alan Davis and his staff for all their support and help. Princeton is also providing me with a huge amount of gear and supplies for the trip and will pack my bike for travel and help ward off any abusive TSA agents!
I made one additional change to my bike as well ... a new custom wheel set. That is not a task I would trust to just anyone. I called on Travis Evans of the Just Riding Along Bike Shop in Laytonsville, Maryland. Travis opened a small shop last year that focuses on top quality service. Travis is a master mechanic and skilled wheelsmith. He joined the ranks of Gold Sponsorship by building me up a rock solid set of wheels at his cost. The wheels consist of White Industries H2 (front) and H3 (rear) hubs with Velocity Aerohead (front) and Aerohead O/C (rear) rims. Finished off with DT Swiss spokes in a triple laced pattern with 32 front and rear ... can you say solid. Thanks Travis.