I completed the Adventure Cycling TransAm from Yorktown, VA to Portland, OR this summer.
I had two cycling goals for the ride.
First, try to ride as close to 100 miles per day as possible, given that towns are so far apart, I averaged 98.6 mpd. I like how I chased this goal as I never sacrificed anything to achieve the mileage, I took what the road gave me and went how I wished to go, I did not let the goal drive my trip.
Second, the most important goal was to establish and join the TransAm Triple Crown and TransAm Thousand Mile Club based on the California Clubs of the same name. I actually completed 7 double centuries while riding across the country AND one stretch of 6 centuries back to back. So I complete the TransAm Triple Crown as well as the Thousand Mile Club and I am very pleased while cleaning the bike today to reflect back on the effort and the results.
The California website says that completing these requires “a lot of training and mental determination” and that doubles are a “Personal Growth Experience” and I would second that.
Inspired by the California Triple Crown I have crystallized one of my secret goals into an actual goal for the adventure which is the TransAm. I was reading on their blog about “The Rollercoaster” which is the whole emotional up and down that comes along with riding long distances. I didn’t know it existed as a major component, although I certainly have experienced it, and did not realize that folks have written about it.
This has been in the back of my mind and I didn’t know how to explain it. I would very much like to be a “Thousand Miler” on my my trip, that is to say…complete Five Doubles or Double Centuries (back to back days). I really haven’t a clue other than I think it has to do with my idea of fitness, or learning to ride within myself, or understanding “how to be” and probably all of them at once. I haven’t a better explanation for the entire justification, it simply feels like an itch, something I would like to try to do.
The trick that I see is to apply myself hard enough to the task to overcome the obstacles and put myself in a position to do it without becoming so obsessive that for one minute I fail to have as much fun and positive interaction with the people and the land I am traveling through. To not go so fast as to miss what touring is, but fast enough to get it done. I just think the balance will be something to contemplate: a trip inside myself
Wish me luck.