Two days, 100 miles to go


Wheel full 70px I’ve been on the Keys for about 15 miles/25 km now.  I have almost exactly 100 miles/160 km to go to reach Key West, and I’ll ride something more than half that in order to make it to Bahia Honda State Park, where I have a campsite reserved for the night.


Wheel full 70px I started at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and the view from my picnic table-top bed this morning was very nice.


Wheel full 70px Strava, after a couple of weeks of behaving, was generating garbage yesterday, so no Relive track.  I’ll try again today, but it’s hard to look past the fact that RidewithGPS has generated 82 straight days of reliable ride tracking.  Just sayin’.

Wheel full 70px Tonight’s my last night on the road. I can do this!


The b2b Trip – Week #1

Wheel full 70px For those of you following along at home, it’s been a whole week that I’ve been on the road.  In that time, I’ve ridden 178 miles/~290 kilometers.  I’m making quite a bit of progress down the Southeast Coast of Nova Scotia.


Wheel full 70px I haven’t added it up with any precision, but a good ballpark elevation gain so far is about 10,000 feet/3,000 meters.  Not bad for an old guy, eh?

Wheel full 70px Here’s a bit closer look.


Wheel full 70px I have stayed on roads as close to the shore as I can, which has been both a blessing and a curse.  It’s great that, when those roads are level, they are absolutely flat, running just a bit above the high tide line, and sometimes for quite a ways.  The Nova Scotia coastline is as scenic as it gets, and I have hours every day to enjoy it.  Often these roads have minimal traffic, so I get to see the sights without worrying about getting knocked down by an inattentive driver.

Wheel full 70px On the minus side, when these local roads are hilly, they aren’t kidding.  When they were laid out, the cuts and fills of modern highway design weren’t in the cards yet, and there has been little effort to bring them up to modern standards.  The pavement is also often rough or otherwise in poor shape.  There are also long stretches without stores or restaurants for food or bathroom breaks.  You just can’t have everything.

Wheel full 70px I had planned to ride more miles each day.  What’s doing those plans in is my stopping every little bit to take photos.  I just can’t help it.  I’m probably also best off not trying to kill a bunch of miles/km a day at this point.  I am able to easily ride another 10 miles/16 km a day right now, I’m pretty sure.  I’ve not “bonked” yet.  My legs are feeling strong at the end of the day. We’ll see what happens when we pass Yarmouth and start rolling along on more level terrain.

Wheel full 70px A final word- Strava.  I am going to give up on Strava until I’m back in the ‘States and can turn my cellular data back on.  It has stopped working in the middle of the ride three of the last five days.  RidewithGPS, by contrast, has worked great.

Day 0.1 – The Sambro Loop

Wheel full 70px I had a great ride today.  Thirty-five point six miles/57 km around roads that form a loop along the coast and back south of Halifax.  Here’s the ride on Strava.


Wheel full 70px Even with the onboard power my iPhone was running on fumes when I got back.

Wheel full 70px Note to self:  Do not forget the high capacity battery the next time.

Wheel full 70px I think, on a very hilly route like this one, the onboard power can only be relied upon to slow the rate of decline of my iPhone’s battery.  It does not produce power when the speed of the bike is less than 6 miles/10 km per hour.    I spent a lot of time today just creeping up hills, and there were a lot of those.


Wheel full 70px When I was looking at through hiking the Appalachian Trail, I learned that on an elevation profile like this the hills were called PUDS, for “Pointless Ups And Downs.”  Even though I reached speeds of 35 miles/55 km per hour on some of the downhills, gravity, the nemesis of every fat guy, kept me from gaining any sort of advantage on the next uphill grade.  In fact, I think that deserves a law which I’ll call for convenience Edgren’s law: For a fat guy on a bicycle, gravity trumps inertia every time.

Wheel full 70px But enough of that.  Per Strava, here’s the stats.


Wheel full 70px I’m not proud of the time.  In my defense, though, it was lightly raining about half the ride and the road was often wet and potentially slippery. I’m not doing this to present a safety hazard to myself or others. But, to be candid, that’s not really the reason I was going so slow. If I could’ve gone faster I would’ve, but I just don’t have my road legs yet.  A couple of the hills were grades of over 10%, and I was happy just to make it to the top in any gear at any speed.   But others should’ve been easy and weren’t.  I know this will get better with time, but it’s frustrating.

Wheel full 70px On the positive side, 1,920 calories burned!  That ought to help the  weigh-in tomorrow.   I just wasn’t very hungry today, and so food consisted of a 300 gram/a little more than a quarter of a pound block of medium cheddar cheese and a pepperoni stick, washed down with two 20 ounce/591 ml Gatorades over the course of the afternoon.  When I plugged the data in MyFitnessPal and hit the close out the day button, I was amused to see this.


Wheel full 70px Well, I guess I can dream.

Wheel full 70px I texted with Heather right after I returned and she wanted me to do the blood pressure, pulse, O2 sat and blood sugar measurements I had promised I would take regularly before I left.  You might recall that all my BP and diabetes meds have been stopped by the various docs.  Here’s what we learned.

Blood Pressure


O Sat


Blood Sugar


Wheel full 70px What can I say? These numbers aren’t flukes. They are entirely consistent with what I’ve been getting since I got my dietary habits under control and began a regular program of exercise. My O sats are the one thing I can’t do much about in the short run because it will take a good while for regular deep breathing to recondition my flabby lungs and chest muscles. But I believe I can do these things, along with riding my bike a very long way, along with being in some of my favorite places in the world as I ride along. As I’ve noted, I’ve never successfully focused on my health as a volitional act. I’ve found out that I can and the results to date are very encouraging.

Wheel full 70px Another Haifax city ride tomorrow with my fingers crossed that my meds will arrive, probably including a stop at a bike shop for a look over before the bike and I hit the road. I’ll also need to find a place to do the Monday weigh-in. I’ll post the couple of photos I took on the Sambro Loop ride later today.

David Edgren

Day #2

Wheel full 70px Well, made it through the first day.  Wound up doing just a little over 20 miles/32 kilometers and spent the night at a Mom ‘n Pop motel in Baldwin, Florida at the end of the Jacksonville-Baldwin bike trail.


Wheel full 70px The room was not much to speak of, but it was clean, had a bed and the air conditioner worked.


Wheel full 70px Couldn’t ask for more.

Wheel full 70px As far as the bike goes, I had three issues yesterday.  The seat came a little loose, which I tightened this morning.


Wheel full 70px I kept kicking the front fender when I mounted the bike and once managed to push it out of adjustment so that it rubbed the tire.

Wheel full 70px I fixed that on the road yesterday but am going to have to be conscious of avoiding that mistake in the future.  The third issue was not a bike problem.  Both RidewithGPS  and Strava crapped out on me.  RidewithGPS reported the entire ride, but the mileage was wrong and Strava just stopped along the way.  I was disappointed, but what can you do?

Wheel full 70px I didn’t take many pictures yesterday- I was too focused on what was going on with the bike.  I hope to do better today.

Wheel full 70px Yesterday was also a very short day at 20.2 miles/32 km.  Urban riding accounted for much of that, and I just felt tired.  I could have pressed on and made it to Mcclenny, about 10 miles/16 km down the road, but it is a busy two lane, dusk was approaching, and there was a big thunderstorm off to the south that didn’t look good (it ultimately never rained here, but there was a lot of thunder).

Wheel full 70px Today I plan to ride to Booker, FL, just a little over 40 miles away.  I have an earlier start and won’t have spent five hours sorting and packing panniers.


Wheel full 70px Today’s weather is expected to be in the low 90s with intermittent rain this afternoon.  It rained for about half an hour yesterday while I was riding- like being in a warm shower.

Wheel full 70px Let’s go!