Despite my best intentions, my training program has completely collapsed. Yesterday was my first ride since getting back to Seattle, which means it has been almost a month since I’ve been on my bike for anything more than the short commute to work. Last month, I only got 330 miles on the bike, and most of that in the first couple weeks. Granted, after a sweet month of New England spring biking, the week of the cold, brutal late Nor’easter snapped me off the bike and back into my Eskimo coat and I don’t feel bad about it.
A month from today, I’m supposedly pointing the bike north from Boston and heading to Newfoundland. While I spent a good part of the winter giving lectures around Boston, inspiring folks to go bike touring despite not being in the best shape, I am starting to get a bit worried about my own riding! Training for touring is an odd, difficult thing to do in town because it is cumbersome to travel around for mile after mile with a loaded bike. It’s really not realistic. But I am a big proponent of seat time and then staging your tour so that the first week is easy. The problem for me is that I have no idea how hilly the coast of Maine really is (you can’t trust car drivers to really know), then there’s Nova Scotia which looks incredibly hilly, and I’ve have a deadline as the boyfriend will fly to St. John’s to join me for a couple weeks of touring.
At this point, only a month out, I’m planning on staying the course, trying to scoot out daily on the bike and keeping a ride journal. Seattle is better than Boston for hill training and I’m sure that will help. I’ll have to think harder about training next winter. Maybe I should start looking for a bike camp?
Whereabouts in Nova Scotia are you going? It all depends on the route you take. There’s some locations where hills are unavoidable (eg, the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, which I guess you’ll be going through to take the ferry to Newfoundland), but there’s also long stretches of relatively flat or lightly rolling road out in the countryside. There’s free topographical data available from a Government of Canada site that I think I have bookmarked on a machine at home, I can dig that out for you if it would help.