Training for a century -- 07/31/08

A century is what bicyclists call a one hundred mile ride....

No, this is not about me... it's about my brother...

My brother (and his son) are training for another Chad-and-Dad ride, a one hundred mile bike ride across Death Valley as a fund-raising effort to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. (Yeah, that's the group that used to be called the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation but they changed their name a few years ago to underscore that raising money to fund research to find a cure for diabetes is the organization's reason for existing.) Charlie is maintaining an online training log where he occasionally posts reports on their training efforts and sometimes photographs or video clips.

Most years the course they follow -- an out-and-back ride -- works out to being 105 mile total. That includes a ride up a mountain at the midpoint of the ride that is a long ten percent climb. Charlie says that this year he thinks he will turn around prior to that climb, so he will "only" actually ride 100 miles rather than 105. He says that's because he is "getting on" in his years. (Well, even though he is my baby brother, the difference in age seemed much larger fifty or sixty years ago -- now the slightly over three years of additional maturity that I possess merely means that although I am sixty-five, baby brother is going to be sixty-two in a few weeks... and his pacemaker was installed during the previous millennium.)

If you scroll down to his June 16th entry you can see a short video clip of Chad riding his bike in the rain. He had a doctor's appointment at the Albany Medical Center (Chad has been diabetic since he was a baby) and he thought it would make a good training ride (he lives about fifty miles from the medical center). Charlie drove his car as support crew (with spare tires, etc.) and then drove Chad and bicycle home after the doctor's appointment. Charlie took a quick video of Chad riding in the rain (beginning with a shot of the speedometer to show that Chad was cruising along in the 25 to 30 mile an hour range).

Charlie is getting himself into really good shape. (Chad is always in excellent shape -- he's 36 but looks like he's a college student.) Last week Charlie was down to 186 pounds from a starting point slightly over 200... and has had a few days where he has put in 50 and 60 mile training rides. In contrast, I was 208.5 on July 13th, 206.5 on July 20th, and 204.5 on July 27th -- and yesterday I returned home soaked with sweat after a mere eight mile bike ride. I will be quite pleased if I can get in some twenty or twenty-five mile rides in a few weeks.

(Oh, yeah, should you feel so inclined, you can make a pledge in support of their ride on Charlie's Web site. Oh, don't worry if you don't have time now... I'll probably mention it again before autumn... *grin*)

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