Increased Cycling Speed and Distance Goals // Kicking It Up a Gear During the Pandemic // Necessary Tools

increased cycling speed and distance goals, Increased Cycling Speed and Distance Goals // Kicking It Up a Gear During the Pandemic // Necessary Tools

As the Covid Pandemic descended, my cycling partner and I halted all road cycling. Our thinking was that our need for exercise was less crucial than the need to keep health workers safe. If we became injured; we would put a burden on the system as well as potentially expose ourselves. However, I wanted to work on increased cycling speed and distance goals

For three months, we eschewed cycling. I think part of the avoidance was simply depression. We didn’t run, cycle, or do much involving power tools. Anything potentially dangerous, we avoided. Well, we reconsidered, weighed concerns, and we are back on the road now with increased cycling speed and distance goals.

increased cycling speed and distance goals, Increased Cycling Speed and Distance Goals // Kicking It Up a Gear During the Pandemic // Necessary Tools

Here Comes the Two Month Cycling Itch

After about ten weeks, we got the itch. We did a ride here and there. Endlessly, we discussed how dangerous cycling can be, our history with cycling, and our health goals to maintain.

We decided to set a personal goal to increase our cycling speed and distance goals.

increased cycling speed and distance goals, Increased Cycling Speed and Distance Goals // Kicking It Up a Gear During the Pandemic // Necessary Tools

Balancing Safety Versus Health

Which was more important – our health, or the safety of others? We decided to design a training schedule that would accommodate both.

All along from our first day of “Working From Home,” we continued up our three-times weekly weight and core strength training workouts.

Also, we threw our energies into some high intensity projects. We demolitioned two entire houses, built a porch on a house, cleared a yard of years of debris, and began a demolition project on a houseboat. So, strength- and muscle-wise, we were still on top of the physical and cardio.

increased cycling speed and distance goals, Increased Cycling Speed and Distance Goals // Kicking It Up a Gear During the Pandemic // Necessary Tools

Our Biggest Cycling Safety Concern: Roads

The biggest safety factor of all to us is our roads. Where we cycle we see very few cars. When we cycle at 4:00 a.m., we sometimes see the newspaper carrier and maybe one or two other vehicles.

Plus, we are lit up “Looking like EMT’s” as our neighbor described us; strobe lights everywhere, and actually far more visible than during the day!

Unlike in large cities, we are not cycling around other people breathing the same air. Sometimes we share the air with a few cows, but we see every few people out exercising. Sometimes we see a walker or two, a jogger, or someone riding a bicycle.

increased cycling speed and distance goals, Increased Cycling Speed and Distance Goals // Kicking It Up a Gear During the Pandemic // Necessary Tools

New Cycling Goals: Increased Speed and Distance

So, two weeks ago, we re-began. First three ten mile rides, then 15, then 20.

This week, my goals are two 22’s and one 32-mile ride.

Changing cycling speed and distance goals is pretty challenging. And I’m up for a challenge!

For each ride, I’ve set my “spoken” speed at 15 or 16 miles per hour. However, I also set an “unspoken” speed goal of 16 or 17 miles per hour.

My distance goals are 30, 50, 62.13 (metric century – 100 kilometers), and 100 miles. This year. 2020. Not next year; this year.

Simultaneously, my speed goals are to maintain an average of 17.4 miles per hour. This means I have to move even faster than that in order to average through my stopping and restarting slow times at stop signs, railroad tracks, and such on each ride.

increased cycling speed and distance goals, Increased Cycling Speed and Distance Goals // Kicking It Up a Gear During the Pandemic // Necessary Tools

Cleaning Up Garmin, Run Keeper, My Fitness Pal, and Strava “QOM’s”

I’m so serious about my changing cycling speed and distance goals, especially my 17.4 mph goal, that I went through all my Garmin activities and cleaned up absolutely everything – most importantly, I moved all indoor cycling episodes to indoor so their higher speeds would not artificially increase my averages.

Any “outliers” of strangely faster or slower speeds, I consulted my calendar and verified those activities. Luckily, I often include a photo which really helps me remember that day’s activities.

In RunKeeper, I double-checked all my settings, and same in My Fitness Pal.

Then, I dared to check Strava. I still hold eight “Queen of the Mountain” or “QOM” titles for segments in my area. A couple months ago, I lost one of my segments to someone from a community north of us. Part of my training will be to reclaim my title!

increased cycling speed and distance goals, Increased Cycling Speed and Distance Goals // Kicking It Up a Gear During the Pandemic // Necessary Tools

Total Life Cleanup

I’ve already got two weeks of good habits; get up on time, workout. One area that needed improvement was dinner; we cook all our own meals, but sometimes the serving and eating time was erratic. Now, 5:00 p.m. is solidly when cooking begins, and dinner is on the table at 6:00 p.m. every night.

Although that sounds strict; that enables dinner clean up, a dog walk, and a 7:38 p.m. bedtime that allows a bit of reading before our 8:00 p.m. lights off deadline. Three mornings a week, wakeup time is 4:00 a.m. due to fitting in workouts and work commute. The other mornings, 5:00 a.m. is the set wakeup time, so getting to bed on time is crucial to getting those eight hours of sleep nightly.

Without adequate sleep, meeting the changing increased cycling speed and distance goals would be impossible.

increased cycling speed and distance goals, Increased Cycling Speed and Distance Goals // Kicking It Up a Gear During the Pandemic // Necessary Tools

Using “The Secret” To Meet Life Goals

When you set your mind to a goal, and give yourself a visual reminder, that’s the idea of the book “The Secret;” to bring those goals to you through repeated visualization.

To help remind me of my goal, on July 1, I ordered an inscripted bracelet with “17.4” engraved to wear, touch, feel, and remember.

My visual reminder is because this goal involves a lot more than sitting on a bike. It involves all that eating and drinking differently, setting good sleep and food choice habits, and an entire lifestyle makeover.

My plan is to order an “18.5” bracelet on September 1, and a “19.6” on November 1. Allowing two months, or eight weeks for each goal is cutting it pretty close. However, a goal that pushes me out of my comfort zone is a good target for which to aim. Increased cycling speed and distance goals. Oh, yeah!

increased cycling speed and distance goals, Increased Cycling Speed and Distance Goals // Kicking It Up a Gear During the Pandemic // Necessary Tools

You Can’t Catch Up By Slowing Down

My husband and riding partner // coach // cheering team has been telling me for “years and years” that riding in back does not make me stronger.

That’s true and false – riding in back made me stronger than I was before I rode at all. So, it’s sort of true. However, it does not make you stronger than the person pulling you along, and when they need to be pulled; you can’t.

So. In my training now, I’m in front. If I’m not in front, then I stay several bike lengths separate so that it feels like I am pulling and not drafting off his wheel. Previously, I was able to surge a bit and take the lead for something less than a mile; not nearly enough rest for him.

Now I’m doing the whole 20 “in front” or far enough back from him that I get the whole effect of headwinds.

increased cycling speed and distance goals, Increased Cycling Speed and Distance Goals // Kicking It Up a Gear During the Pandemic // Necessary Tools

What Incentives I Bought to Help Me With My Cycling Speed and Distance Goals

Well, I really did not think there was a single thing I needed to purchase to become a faster stronger rider. However, I soon realized there were things I needed to meet my increased cycling speed and distance goals. Then there were things I simply wanted to make the journey more comfortable.

Already, I have a great bike. It’s a Specialized Roubaix with 11 gears and two water bottle holders. From CamelBak and from Vanderkitten, I have cute water bottles. Yes, sometimes cute matters.

So, from Vanderkitten, I have beautiful kits with high contrast – that’s for safety. My shoes from Shimano feel like they were custom-made for me.

True, my helmet is five years old and probably needs replacing from sun exposure. I’ll shop for that next month. I have a sweat strap, hair ties, Vanderkitten socks, and a shoe-installed Road ID.

So what on Earth more could I possibly want?

increased cycling speed and distance goals, Increased Cycling Speed and Distance Goals // Kicking It Up a Gear During the Pandemic // Necessary Tools

A New Chain! Woot Woot!

Luckily, Bill set me up on Garmin which tracks miles on my chain. I’m at 1,900 miles, and 2,000 is the magic number. However, magic varies, and measuring my chain shows it is stretched which can eventually damage other gear.

New chain arriving today: SHIMANO SLX/105 CN-HG601 11-Speed Chain.

The cycling computer he gave me is the Garmin Edge 1030, 3.5″ GPS Cycling/Bike Computer. I love it.

increased cycling speed and distance goals, Increased Cycling Speed and Distance Goals // Kicking It Up a Gear During the Pandemic // Necessary Tools

Pre-Cycling Glide Cream

For four years, have used an eight-ounce tube of Chamois Butt’r Her’. You’ll probably tell me that means, with three rides a week, I wasn’t using enough, and you’re probably right. For about $7 more than the eight ounce tube, I scored 32 ounces, four times as much! I find already, I am more generous, which probably is a good habit to build.

For women Chamois Butt’r Her’ Anti-Chafe Cream, 32 oz Bottle with Pump.

Here’s the funny thing; yesterday I read an article about “pink tax.” It pretty much means that the same products, when marked to women, cost more. Strangely enough, the men’s 32 ounce bottle is almost twice the cost of hers!

Post-Cycling Intimate Parts Wash

Saddle sores are goal-killers. Post-ride washes seem to help. Through Vanderkitten, I found Petal Power. The formula is perfect for me, but they went out of business.

So, I waded through all those cringe-worthy names like button hole, cycle booty, and splurged on a French wash called Honeyfur. The ingredients are similar, and it was crazy expensive, so I’m hoping it works to prevent saddle sores.

HONEYFUR Feminine Wash For Sensitive Skin, pH Balanced – Propolis, Tea Tree Oil, Natural Intimate Cleanser – Sulfates & Paraben Free – Soothing, Refreshing, Calms Irritation – 200 ML/6.7 FL OZ

Also, I ordered a travel size of Cycle Booty Travel Size Kit- Soothing Post Ride Cream 0.5fl oz and Citrus Cleanser 1fl oz- for Chafing, Saddle sores and Skin Irritated by Friction to see if I like it. Full sizes were not offered, so I’m worried it won’t be carried much longer. If it does work, then at least I have the smaller size for when we travel to rides.

If anyone has another recommendation, I am listening! Leave a comment below. I’m not a fan of the “trial-by-error” method since this involves my wallet. Much preferable is to hear from you what you already know works well, so please leave suggetions in the comments below!

increased cycling speed and distance goals, Increased Cycling Speed and Distance Goals // Kicking It Up a Gear During the Pandemic // Necessary Tools

An Engraved Cycling Speed Goal

That bracelet engraved with “17.4” It’s made in Italy. Italians are good cyclists. I will be a good cyclist. I have Increased cycling speed and distance goals. Ross-Simons Italian Sterling Silver Byzantine Name Bar Id Bracelet For Women 7, 8 Inch 925 Made in Italy.

What speed will you have inscribed on your written goal?

New Foundation Garments for Cycling

Not one, but two! After running and cycling in my two for the last six or seven years, it really is time. Something that I wear for that many miles, for that much sweat deserves to be replaced.

I’m trying out the Berlei Sf3 High Impact Underwire Bra, left, and the SYROKAN High Impact Sports Bras for Women Wirefree Full Coverage Active Padded Sports Bra, right, after hours of research on best sports bras.

If you have time, it’s worth putting items like these into your wish list, and use the comments section to record for yourself an “ALA: $xxx” as low as and a price. I see the one is now almost $20 more than I paid, and the other is now about $4 less than I paid.

Hydration for Road Cycling

We cycle in Florida, where it’s over 90 degrees in the morning with humidity of 98%. Yesterday I swore I needed gills to survive my increased cycling speed and distance goals!

We’ve always been fans of Scratch and Nuun, and recently added Clif to our pantry. I research endlessly for the best per ounce price. When they arrives, I decant them into a glass container so they are properly sealed.

Confession; last month, I put all three of these onto a schedule of automatic delivery so I don’t forget. Plus, it’s so easy to go to your scheduled deliveries and move them sooner if you cycle more than planned, or cancel or postpone them if you have a less-busy cycling month.

SKRATCH LABS Sport Hydration Drink Mix, Lemon Lime (15.5 oz, 20 servings) – Natural Electrolyte Powder Developed for Athletes and Sports Performance, Gluten Free, Vegan, Kosher

CLIF HYDRATION ELECTROLYTE DRINK – Lemon Limeade – (15.5 Ounce, 1 Pouch) by Clif Bar. Made by the same people that make the candy bars we carry with us on rides. Fewer ingredients, which seems better to me!

Nuun Sport: Electrolyte Drink Tablets, Fruit Punch, 8 Tubes (80 Servings) I prefer tri-berry or fruit punch, but they come in other flavors as well. These are easier to carry with us than mix since they are tablets in a tube. I save the tubes for craft projects! They are more expensive than dry mix, so we view them as a convenience product for carrying with us on rides.

My Big Fitness Splurge – 25 Day Battery Life

I ordered – gasp – they were on sale – the Withings Steel HR – Hybrid Smartwatch – Activity Tracker with Connected GPS, Heart Rate Monitor, Sleep Monitor, Smart Notifications, Water Resistant with 25-Day Battery Life in silver and in gold. Plus, I ordered about four watch bands for each; blue leather, brown leather, pink, light aqua, and the matching metal color for each.

Bill ordered the Withings Steel HR in silver, the 40mm size.

We have a Withings scale we have loved for years. Recently we invested in a new blood pressure cuff from Withings that reports to the same app, and it’s fantastic. When we need to replace our thermometer and pulse-ox meter, they will be Withings as well so all the data reports to the same app.

Truly, I love my FitBit. I wear it solo for exercise, or paired with a dressy stainless or gold watch to work since it’s slim enough. However, I find I would prefer to not wear my dressy watches to work anymore, but save them for outings with friends, the yacht club, and fancy events.

Also, charging my FitBit every three days… If I didn’t have two of them and the ability to rotate which one is charging, I’d miss recording some of my activities.

So, for about three years, I have been on the lookout for an attractive daily watch that looks like a watch but has all those smart features. I think I found it!

Once again, if you’re in the market for more expensive items, keep track of their lowest prices. I was able to purchase both watches at the sale price and all eight bands for about the price of one of the watches at full price!

increased cycling speed and distance goals, Increased Cycling Speed and Distance Goals // Kicking It Up a Gear During the Pandemic // Necessary Tools

Too Spendy?
What’s My Health Worth?

Well, here’s how I justified all these purchases. We have gone to the grocery once every five weeks to pick up everything we need. Eating out and takeouts are “off the table” for now with Covid concerns. Also, with working from home, we have saved a lot on fuel and maintenance as well as time.

Some of these items, like glide cream and a new chain, are absolute necessities for me for my increased cycling speed and distance goals. My husband would argue that hydration mix falls in the “must have” category. Other purchases like new foundation garments, a bracelet or watch – not critical, but if they help me reach my cycling goals… as the Italians say – Va bene! All Right!

increased cycling speed and distance goals, Increased Cycling Speed and Distance Goals // Kicking It Up a Gear During the Pandemic // Necessary Tools

I Don’t Go Anywhere Without:

  • Stream2Sea Reef Safe SPF 20 or 30 mineral, regular or tinted sunscreen, mask defog, shampoo, conditioner, rash guards and more reef-safe supplies. Use my code “DeepWH” for 10% off.
  • Crisis Medicine Tactical Casualty Care Course knowledge so we can help ourselves. With code “DeepWH” you save 20% on the TC2 course
  • MyMedic Individual Bleeding Control Kits, this link and my code “DeepWH15” will save you 15% on your purchase. We take ours everywhere.
  • North American Rescue CAT tourniquets. Use code “MAY25” for 20% off through midnight on 5/31/20. This is a huge savings!
  • Airbnb, “Kimberly gave you up to $55 off your first trip.”
  • Airbnb says, “Deep gave you up to $415 off your first adventure.
  • Uber gives you $2 off your first three rides.
  • Travelex is our trip insurer – click for a free quote.
  • Girls That Scuba – members discount card for all things diving.
  • REI Co-op for great sports equipment and travel clothes.
  • Sailo for $100 off your next boat rental! Discount Code: “KimWa1”
  • PierShare to rent your dock out or rent a dock.
  • BoatUS for your boat towing insurance! Code: “HEWAF88”
  • RoadId for $5 off your cycling/running/kayaking/travel id.
  • Dazer Ii Ultrasonic Aggressive Dog Deterrent Repeller Dazzer – keeping dogs at bay while we cycle.
  • Thank you for using my links – your price does not change, but they may gift me a small percentage of your sale in return for my mention, which allows me to continue to bring to you fun content.
  • AD: affiliate links used.

Thank you Bill for always being ready for the next adventure and holding out your hand to lead me through the next door! Best Cycling Partner EVER!

increased cycling speed and distance goals, Increased Cycling Speed and Distance Goals // Kicking It Up a Gear During the Pandemic // Necessary Tools

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