Today was a perfect, beautiful day on Long Beach, WA for me to begin my ride across America. In case you missed my post yesterday, here's an explanation along with a map of the route I will be taking: Fat Mom Across America. At the suggestion of a commenter (thanks!) I have created a page at My Virtual Mission, where my route is mapped and I can enter my bike rides each day. The map updates after each entry to show where I am, and I can click "street view" to actually see photos of where I am riding! I love it so far!
I have been to Long Beach, Washington many times in the last 20 years. It's a beautiful place where my kids and I have spent countless hours walking the boardwalk, playing in the sand, and watching the birds and the waves.
Today's ride began this morning with a nice cool temperature of 62 degrees and overcast skies, according to My Virtual Mission's weather updater. I got on my bike and rode as far as I could go before my feet were almost numb: 4.3 miles, which took me 25 minutes. I changed resistance between levels 1, 2 and 3 and averaged 10.3 miles per hour according to my Schwinn's display:
I arrived at a beautiful spot on US 101, a road I am very familiar with. When I see these street view pictures, I know exactly how the rest of the ride looks. I can feel the cool, damp air and I can see the large, flat fields and the roadside clumps of bushes and wind worn trees.
Later this evening, I wanted to go farther! I don't want to overdo it and cause myself pain, so I gently biked another 1.4 miles at an average of 9.1 mph, which took just over 9 minutes. I arrived here, down the road a bit on 101, with more of the gorgeous scenery that I love.
Isn't it pretty? It's truly one of my favorite places. I know I am probably two days away from crossing the Astoria bridge, which will be exciting! I get goosebumps driving over that bridge in a car, so imagining riding across it on a bike is pretty thrilling.
A couple of thoughts on the ride: according to my Virtual Mission page, if I want to complete my 3,035 mile ride by my 10 year Blog Anniversary on August 4, 2017, I will have to ride 8.2 miles every day. Right now, that seems pretty far out of reach. I could only go 4 miles this morning before my feet were going numb, my knees were slightly sore and I knew if I pushed it farther I might end up too sore to ride much tomorrow. But I think I can do this. I believe I can build up to 8.2 and even more miles per day, over time. Obviously there will have to be longer rides and double rides on many days. I am up for the challenge.
This bike ride is different than the bike riding I have done in the past. The goal isn't weight loss, although I certainly hope that is a side effect. The goal isn't to "bike 5 days a week" and check it off on the calendar. The goal is to ride across America. Period. And that is a new motivation for me... one that has me excited for a new reason.
I don't know if I will post here every day, but I will update my rides live on my Mission page so you can check there to see what I am up to on a daily basis. I plan to write here about my rides and share photos frequently, too.
Thank you for your support!