Yesterday was THE big day. Every Bike and Build participant is required to ride at least one 65-or-more mile day as part of his/her training, and yesterday I did 70 miles. I rode from Cambridge to Madison, ran some errands, and then came back, with only slightly sore knees and a hefty appetite to boot. And now... pictures! Just to prove I did it.
So I was passing over I-90 and thought it'd be fun to hitch a ride with an oncoming semi, just to see if I could do it. I wound up maxing out at 94.2 mph, and here's the proof.*
Present to myself for doing 70 miles.
T minus two weeks and counting! Stay tuned and remember... I'm GRATEFULLY accepting donations right up til June 18th! *Just kidding. I found my computer in my handlebar bag going haywire after stopping at a Subway for a sandwich and it kept reading 94.2 mph for some reason. Possibly has to do with it being in close proximity to my cellphone.
This past weekend I went on a short bike tour from Hortonville, WI to Columbus, WI. I spent a night at the Green Lake Campground (WAY overpriced, by the way, don't stay there - I paid almost $40 for a patch of dirt, picnic table, and a fire ring. The showers didn't even work) at mile 56, and at mile 104 the next day, about a mile or two outside Columbus, I flatted. This wouldn't normally be a problem, but I was still waiting for a part for my Road Morph and so it wasn't working at the time. Hence, I had to call in my support team (aka the parents) for help. My tour was supposed to go all the way to Cambridge, WI. Oh well... next time. The good news is that I now know how to find the puncture in a bike tube and fix it, as well as replace the tires without getting a pinch flat. Woot.
I am SO SO CLOSE to hitting the $4000 mark, I can almost taste victory. If you're reading this and haven't donated yet, you totally should. Clicking the big blue button to your right will get you started - come on, you know you want to be my favorite person today. Thanks again to all of my amazing donors - I never could have gotten this far without you guys!
That's right friends, just 43 more days until B&B-Day! Flights have been booked, (almost) all of my gear has been purchased, and the only tasks I have left are to raise about $500 more, sublet my apartment, and do sweat equity! Woooo! I finally got my brand-spankin'-new Defy 2 and she is awfffffully purty! Check it out:
I can also add another 15 miles to the Training Total of Training(TM), bringing said TTT(TM) to 227 miles. Grand!
Bike and Build has also posted a brand new video (and if you haven't checked out any of their other videos, you definitely should), and you can check it out here. I will be adding a list of previous videos to this blog shortly - stay tuned!
Finally, to all of my valiant readers (you are out there, right?), I plan to be posting quite a bit more often starting... soon. More likely in a week or two, once exams are over. I've also added a button to this blog that will allow you to donate more easily than ever. Donating is awesome and will instantly increase your aptitude with the ladies (or gentlemen), make you more popular, and help you win the lottery* *Disclaimer: Results not typical, but donate anyway.
This is it - I'm officially more than halfway finished with the required $4000 in fundraising - but there's still another $2000 to go, so please keep the donations coming. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and a million times thank you to everyone who has donated so far!
I rode to Cambridge again, and this time I did manage to make it - woot! Unfortunately, riding a mountain bike with fat, knobby tires on the road leads to the expending of more effort than necessary and slow speeds. I can't wait to get my new bike.
And now, a brief, open letter to the Wisconsin DOT:
To Whom It May Concern,
I'm writing to inform you that the quality of Highway 134 out of London is atrocious. It is literally crumbling into the ditch, there are potholes in which many species of large South American rodents might live, and all of this pales in significance next to the fact that this road LEADS TO A STATE BIKE TRAIL. I fail to understand how Highway O can provide one of the smoothest, most pleasant, and otherwise enjoyable bicycle rides I've ever experienced, better even than the famed bike trails of Madison, and then turn into the atrocity that is Highway 134.
I'd also like to point out that either the sign along Highway O that says CAMBRIDGE: 5 or the sign along 134 that says CAMBRIDGE: 4 is wrong. Those signs are AT LEAST 3 miles apart.
Sincerely, Disgruntled in Dane County
Trip mileage: 30.6 miles Total mileage: 212.1 miles
Today's weather was INCREDIBLE! It was 70 and sunny with a light breeze - just PERFECT. Thus, it was very important that on this first BEAUTIFUL day of the year, I go on a nice ride! Having been off the bike for about 2 weeks, I was expecting my typical 15 mile ride to be a bit tough, but I did it like it was nothing - I think the awesome weather really helped.
In other news, as soon as all pending donations clear, I will have $1900 raised! This is AWESOME, and I appreciate every single dollar donated - it also means I'll be getting my bike very soon! I'm going to need another $100 by April 17th, so if you have a few bucks to spare, hit up http://www.bikeandbuild.org/donate and select "Katch, Allyson" from the list.
Again, thank you all so much for all of your support. Pictures of the bike will be up the second I get it out of the box.
...carrying 20 pounds of stuff. In freezing weather. In your lowest gear.
Wisconsin winters are like Donkey Kong: absolute brutality. We're talking regular subzero temperatures, etc etc. However, recently it's been in the high 20s/mid 30s, so I decided to kick it up a notch and ride outside this week. I did 15 miles on Monday, another 15 on Thursday, and tried doing the Madison to Cambridge route yesterday. It was going great - I made good time into Cottage Grove, felt awesome, even pushing my dad's heavy, rugged mountain bike up all those hills whilst towing at least 20 pounds of gear... I was in the zone. That is, until I actually hit the GDST trailhead. Being the epic ree-ree I am, I didn't stop to consider that the Glacial Drumlin State Trail just might still be covered in snow at this time of year. At this point, my two choices were to either ride further down highway N and see if I was brave enough for the very busy and highly not-recommended-for-cycling 12 and 18 or try my luck with the snow covered bike trail. Like Robert Frost I...I took the road less traveled by. And that made all the difference.
I got about halfway from Cottage Grove to London before it got dark and my dearly beloved father insisted that he pick me up.
Total distance: 17.2 miles Total time: 3 hours Average speed: A whopping 5.7 miles per hour. Thanks a lot, GDST.
The good news is that I can now add 47.2 miles to my training total, bringing me to 166.5 miles.
I know it's been awhile since my last update, and I do apologize. I swear by my Girl Scout honor that updates will be much more frequent come May or so. Having said that... updates!
Fundraising is well underway - thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far! I appreciate donations in ANY amount - every dollar puts me that much closer to being able to ride next summer and I get very excited every time I see the little number on my Bike and Build account page change, so if you can spare it, I do appreciate it.
If you live in Wisconsin (or any of the northern states), you know the weather gets pretty nasty around here, and as such, it's been tough to get on the bike outside - but that has not stopped me from training! I recently picked up an indoor bike trainer (a device that lets you use your bike as a stationary bike) and I've been spinning like mad ever since I got it. I plan to have legs of steel by the time the snow melts.
Over spring break I'll be going on a short tour to Devils Lake State Park and back to help prepare for the Epic Bike Trip(TM) next summer. In addition, a fellow Bike and Builder from Appleton and I will be going on a slightly longer tour around Door County, Wisconsin at the end of May as a final "dress rehearsal" for Bike and Build. If you're in either of those areas and you spot me chugging along, please don't hesitate to stop me and say hi!
Last Friday, Madison's WKOW TV covered me in their "Someone You Should Know" segment. You can check it out here or by clicking the "Ally on WKOW TV" link in my Links sidebar. Special thanks to Joe LaBarbera for taking time out of his day to interview me and give me a tour of Channel 27's studio!
Also, special thanks to my first three donors! Your contributions were all very much appreciated!
Hi there! My name is Ally, and this summer, I'm going to ride a bicycle across North America to raise money and awareness for the affordable housing issue. To learn more about this issue and my bike ride, visit my website or Bike and Build's website.