Archive | March, 2014

Navigation on a bicycle – easy with this celphone holder

30 Mar
bike mount for cellphone

cellphone holder,bike mount

Now that we have our routes mapped out for our Big Ride Across America we will be navigating through lots of small towns with our favorite apps right at hand.  This little gadget holds my cell phone in view without interfering with the handlebars. It is a Gomadic Bike Handlebar Holder Mount System suitable for the Motorola DROID, and I got it on Amazon for $26.93

It has several foam pads to help the phone fit snugly into the holder. There are lots of micro adjustments to get the perfect placement.

It appears ideal but I am reserving judgement until I get out there on a 100 mile ride. I am hoping that it is voiceless without any rattles. We are looking forward to a break in the weather so we can get out there and ride. Today we woke up to snow and yesterday we rode in the freezing rain. I am going to need a waterproof pouch to hold the phone before I put it in the holder…

Navigation on a bicycle - easy with this celphone holder

Restful Nights assured when using a Pro-Lite therma-rest mattress.

19 Mar
sizes of therma rest

sizes of therma rest

Restful Nights assured when using a therma-rest mattress. Here is the ideal sleeping pad for the cross country bicycle ride.  It packs to a small cylinder sack that is 11 inches tall and 4 inches wide.  The pad is very easy to inflate and just as easy to compress back into the sack.

This is my third therma-rest purchase in a row.  Shopping online, the first one was large and didn’t pack up small enough for our trip on bicycles.  The second one was a NeoAir XLite mattress that is smaller and lighter (12 ounces) but it made a horrible cracking noise when moving on the mattress. I knew I would never sleep with the loud voice of that pad.   Rather than buying online again, I went to the local REI store and found this fantastic sleeping pad.

This Pro-Lite therma-rest mattress is very small, the women’s packs to 11 x 4 inches.  The pad comes in 4 sizes including a women’s size that is a full size sleeping pad  measuring 20 x 66 in.  It inflates quick with a super easy self inflation valve that is fast and easy to inflate.  The mattress has a self inflating foam core that makes setup quick and easy.  The pad was made in USA which is a bonus!!

Training for The Big Ride

18 Mar

Training for a long bike ride takes a lot of time. It is not just the workouts, but the extra hour or two of getting there and fussing about with the stuff you need to be active. Training to get ready is taking a big chunk of time.  It is still cold and Wintery  here in Pennsylvania and so far just a few nice days but not the weekends when I am off.  While we seek sunshine to get outside, our workouts are all indoors. Hopefully, this week on Sunday we will get out for a long ride.  It is time to step up the training and get out doors…asap!

Here is what I am doing with 3 months to go:

Monday – 45 minutes on elliptical or treadmill
Tuesday – 2 spinning classes 15 minutes break between (120 minutes)
Wednesday – 90 minutes of Flow Yoga
Thursday – 2 spinning classes 15 minutes break between (120 minutes)
Friday – easy day – 30 minutes on elliptical or treadmill
Saturday – 90 minutes of Flow Yoga
Sunday – 3 hour  Bike Ride depending on weather.

Here is what the organizers suggest:

The organizers of the Big Ride across America have a webpage that shows a recommended training schedule for participants.

Month Total Weekly Miles Longest Ride in Miles Days per Week Total Hours per Week
1 50-75 10-25 3-4 6-8
2 75-100 25-40 3-4 8-10
3 100-150 45-55 4-5 10-12
4 150-175 55-75 4-5 12-14
5 175-200 75-100 5 14-16
6 200 + tapering 100 5 14-16

Schedule for the Big Ride Across America – Daily Mileage

16 Mar
Day City State Arrive Depart Miles Total
 0 Seattle WA 15-Jun 16-Jun
1  Easton WA 16-Jun 17-Jun 91 91
 2 Vantage WA 17-Jun 18-Jun 72 163
 3 Odessa WA 18-Jun 19-Jun 83 246
 4 Spokane WA 19-Jun 21-Jun 77 323
 5* Spokane WA Rest Day 323
 6 Sandpoint ID 21-Jun 22-Jun 76 399
 7 Thompson Falls MT 22-Jun 23-Jun 88 487
 8 Missoula MT 23-Jun 25-Jun 101 588
 9* Missoula MT Rest Day 588
10 Avon MT 25-Jun 26-Jun 99 687
11 Townsend MT 26-Jun 27-Jun 61 748
12 Harlowton MT 27-Jun 28-Jun 101 849
13 Billings MT 28-Jun 30-Jun 92 941
14* Billings MT Rest Day 941
15 Hardin MT 30-Jun 1-Jul 56 997
16 Sheridan WY 1-Jul 2-Jul 85 1082
17 Gillette WY 2-Jul 3-Jul 112 1194
18 Newcastle WY 3-Jul 4-Jul 76 1270
19 Rapid City SD 4-Jul 6-Jul 81 1351
20* Rapid City SD Rest Day 1351
21 Kadoka SD 6-Jul 7-Jul 102 1453
22 Pierre SD 7-Jul 8-Jul 96 1549
23 Miller SD 8-Jul 9-Jul 73 1622
24 De Smet SD 9-Jul 10-Jul 77 1699
25 Tyler MN 10-Jul 11-Jul 78 1777
26 New Ulm MN 11-Jul 13-Jul 87 1864
27* New Ulm MN Rest Day 1864
28 Owatonna MN 13-Jul 14-Jul 72 1936
29 Winona MN 14-Jul 15-Jul 90 2026
30 Viroqua WI 15-Jul 16-Jul 66 2092
31 Madison WI 16-Jul 18-Jul 100 2192
32* Madison WI Rest Day 2192
33 Garden Prairie, IL 18-Jul 19-Jul 94 2286
34 Coal City, IL 19-Jul 20-Jul 106 2392
35 Valparaiso IN 20-Jul 21-Jul 84 2476
36 Kendallville IN 21-Jul 22-Jul 109 2585
37 Napoleon OH 22-Jul 23-Jul 70 2655
38 Sandusky OH 23-Jul 25-Jul 90 2745
39* Sandusky OH Rest Day 2745
40  Burton OH 25-Jul 26-Jul 92 2837
41 New Waterford OH 26-Jul 27-Jul 59 2896
42 Washington PA 27-Jul 28-Jul 62 2958
43 Confluence PA 28-Jul 29-Jul 88 3046
44 Bedford PA 29-Jul 30-Jul 81 3127
45 Gettysburg PA 30-Jul- 1-Aug 100 3227
46* Gettysburg PA Rest Day 3227
47 Clarksville, MD 1-Aug 2-Aug 60 3287
48 Washington DC 2-Aug -42 42 3329



Big Ride Across America – Business Cards

16 Mar

Big Ride Across America starts June 15 in Seattle Washington.

support a rider

Find us on Facebook

Like Us to follow the ride

Share the joy as we ride a bicycle across America this summer June 15 to August 2, 2014.

The adventure starts in Seattle Washington and ends in Washington DC.  Bicycle riders trek across the country averaging 85 miles a day. Join in on the adventure by  clicking “like” us on Facebook.

If you want to support a rider click here to donate to the Big Ride which benefits clean air and the American Lung Association.



agenda of the big ride

I just got a new High Visibility Reflective Raincoat

16 Mar
high visibility cycling jacket with reflectives

high visibility cycling jacket has reflective sleeve fabric, reflective piping, reflective rear triangle.

zipper off sleeves to convert to a wind breaker vest.

zipper off sleeves to convert to a wind breaker vest.

Cycling in the cold and rain? No thanks!

As we plan to ride 85 miles a day on the Big Ride, the cold and rain are sure to torture us. I never want to ride in the rain. So, what’s a girl to do? Suffer?

This is the jacket we selected after trying on and evaluating all the jackets available to us (see  Men’s Cycling Jackets and Women’s bike jackets )  It is a rain coat, with taped seams. It is made out of a fabric that is three layers. The outer layer is a soft polyester that is laminated to a waterproof/breathable membrane.  The inside layer is lined with a a polyester mesh that is soft and wearable.

The jacket is a bit on the heavy side but given all the features, It looks like a winner.  I love the fit around the neck and face.  The hood snuggles up around the face and is adjustable.  The hood also has a zipper on/off.  The pockets are deep enough and inside you can pull a round elastic cord to synch the hip tighter or looser around the hips.  There are three zippered pockets.  The jacket is specific to cycling but it feels like a normal jacket to wear.  It is highly visible in low light conditions with the added reflectivity built into the fabric of the sleeves.  The safety yellow color creates the visibility we will need riding on the road.  The sleeves on this jacket zipper off so it can be used for layering as a vest.  I like the wrist adjust-ability with nylon cuff with a thumb hole that seals off cold air from going up the sleeve.   Check out the jacket details and lots of images.     IllumiNite Reflective Rain Jacket Switchback Safety Yellow


New Shoes for the Big Ride across America

15 Mar
cycling shoe

cycling shoe

The Summer Cycling Shoes I picked for the Big Ride Across America

As I get ready for the Big Ride across America, I am going through all of my equipment and assembling the stuff I  already have to see how much things weigh and what needs replaced or updated.  As an avid cyclist, I have been riding for many years, so, a lot of my gear is outdated.   One of the most important pieces of gear needed is a good pair of summer cycling shoes.  I have already returned two pair of Pearl Izumi shoes as they were about 2-3 sizes too small.  I found these Terra Vent shoes in a listing for Men’s Cycling Shoes  and they fit perfectly.  They are like a sneaker with a stiff sole that has two mesh internal ventilation ports.  The shoe is designed like a sandal with lots of open spaces and mesh ports for air flow.   The upper part of the shoe has the look/feel of a mesh water shoe or sandal.   They look like they will be very cool this summer.   Can’t wait to spin in them tomorrow.

Terra Vent Shoes have a nice stiff sold with optional plate that can be removed for your clipless pedals or SPD cleats. Next, I venture into the realm of choosing clipless pedals.  Here is a cool buyers guide to clipless pedal systems.

Getting ready to ride…new stuff

10 Mar

The Big Ride Across America – 3300 miles

Countdown.  Today is March 10 and we leave for Seattle on June 14th.  Just three months to get our body’s into shape and get our affairs in order.   I have been training 4-5 days/week for a mere 30 to 45 minutes all winter long.  This week,  I made up my mind I need to step up the training to about double the intensity.  I signed up for a Spinning class four nights a week and whew, that is kicking my butt already.

Today we got our tent, which will be our home for many nights while on our cross country adventure. We bought the Northface kaiju 6  which we saw earlier this year at the Outdoor Retailer show.   This tent is roomy and lightweight.  We liked it because it has an awesome extra porch space outside the tent.  This extra space is ideal for our bags.  The tent is big enough to stand upright at about 6 foot in the center.  It is really roomy and has extra mesh shelves you can hang on the inside to dry out your stuff.   Since it will be the two of us, and they carry the bag for us from point to point in a truck, we thought we would indulge in a roomy space.  If we had to carry this tent on our bikes each day, of course we would have gone lightweight 2 man tent.   I’ll keep you posted on how this works out on our bike ride.

Home on the Road

This is the tent we selected for the 2014 bike ride across America. It is a 6 man tent –  19 pounds