Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Coast to coast for Kika finished!!

Dear readers of this blog,

Last wednesday the group of velomobile riders arrived in Washington D.C. the final destination of Roll Over America. It was a great journey and a fantastic experience. I want to thank you all for your contribution for both charities (Kika and Innova). If you would like to find more information on ROAM then see this link that collected everything together.

Some statistics about the tour:
  • We travelled 28 days of which we had 2 days of rest and 26 days of riding
  • We covered 5178 km (3236 miles) (averaging about 200 km / day, 125 miles / day)
  • Longest stretch: 270 km (168 miles)
  • Shortest stretch: 91 km (56 miles) 
  • We crossed 4 time zones
  • We crossed 15 states (OR, WA, ID, MT, ND, SD, MN, WI, IL, IN, OH, PA, MD, VA, DC)
  • We climbed approximately 30.000 meters (90.000 feet)
  • We turned our pedals approximately 1 million times

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Daily updates

My first plan was to give you, the readers of this blog, the possibility to read a daily update for each and every day I'm riding through the USA. Unfortunately I have not been able to post these daily updates for quite some time. First of all the lack of an Internet connection and second the lack of time didnt allow me to do that. Now I do have connection let me give an idea of how a general day during our trip looks like:

5.30 Alarm and time to get up!
After I get up I start immediately packing all of my stuff. Especially packing the sleeping back, air matress and the whole tent take up quite some time. Immediately after that we start with breakfast. We have breakfast with all the dutch participants of the tour. We make coffee and eat bread, yoghurt and fruit in serious amounts!
After breakfast we clean up the remainings and the rest of our tent and so on. We put all the lugage on one place so our support crew can load it later in the Van that takes all of the luggage.

7.00 Start to ride!
I leave the campground around this time. Most of the participants have already left by this time so I'm kind a late together with my riding buddy Maarten Heckman. Before leaving we fill all of our water bags and bottles and take quite some Banana's, cliff bars, cookies and so on. We start riding!
All of the rides have been mapped out in our GPS devises, so we only have to follow the coloured line!
The evening before our tour captain Josef Janning holds a so called Riders Meeting where all the specifics of the ride of the next day are explained.

8.00 Getting into the mood!
After half an hour to an hour of warming up the most difficult part of the day passed: Getting your legs warm and ready for another heavy day. In the beginning of ech day you always wonder how you are going to make it through that day since you feel the sourness of your leggs of all those days before. Best thing is to take it easy and slowly start getting warm.

10.30 Coffee time
Most of the time we stop around this time for a coffee, some large cola's and some donuts or small pastries. When we stop at a gas station it also means that we explain to all the people there what we are doing. Stopping anyware means that people come and want to know everything about our bikes, our trip and so on.

12.00 Lunch time
We stop around this time and try to get a healty lunch. Thats quite challenging sometimes. Fat and fastfood dont go well with exercising. So we try to get something healty somewhere. Next to the food we normally drink quite some coke's to get some more sugars in. After lunch we've normally covered at least half of the day stretch. So most of the time around 60 to 70 miles, now we get ready for the rest of the cyling day

15.00 quick breaktime
.In the afternoon we try to make a long stretch untill we start feeling tired and feel we need a rest. One other stop is most of the times something like 25 miles before the end of the stretch of that day.

17.00 arrival at campsite
The arrival time at the campsite depends on the lenght of the day. When we have to cover around 150 - 160 miles its most of the time a bit later. After arrival we take some drinks and have some rest. Then we start putting up our tents, unpack all of the luggage and start fighting for a shower. We experienced that a lot of campings are fitted for RV guests so the facilities are small most of the times and not too many showers around.

18.30 Dinner
We most of the times eat at the campsite. We (or at least Winda, the wive of Maarten) is cooking us a great, healthy meal. We have dinner with a group of dutch riders. After eating we clean up.
The unlucky people arrive pretty much later at the campsite because they had some technical problems on the way or because it took them more time. We have 2 SAG (support and gear) vehicles that can take care of them. We have around 8 places for stranded Velomobiles on these vehicles.
So quite often after we had dinner and start to relax the people of the SAG team still need to come in with the riders that got stranded.

21.30 Time to hit the sack!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 10: Billings - Miles City

The last day before our restday was supposed to be a tough day. We had to cross 150 miles on this day. The track was pretty easy, only in the beginning and in the end we had some serious hill climbing, in between there was a lot of flat terrain. That allowed us to cross these miles pretty easy. We averaged about 20 miles per hour on this day which is the fastest during the whole trip. I recently read that incects could provide a serious souce of food for the future. Looking at the amount of grasshopper we met during this day I certainly believe so. In the fast decents it was like a constant "plopping" of grasshoppers against the CIBERQuest, and ofcourse against my sunglasses, T-shirts, legs and so on. People along the road promised us that it would only become worst when we would move further east... something to look out for.
During the lunchbreak the restaurant servant allowed me to take their icewater in my camelback (this is an isolated back of water that can hold about 1 gallon of water which I can drink from a tube). I was so thankfull for that because I could sip from that great cold water for the rest of the road. That felt so good during the enormous heat in the afternoon.

Day 9: Harlowton - Billings

This day almost felt like a restday. Only 100 miles to ride on an easy road that was slightly going down. We quite clearly left the mountains and were driving in a hilly area. Just before Billings the road became pretty busy so we had to ride on the shoulder of the road again. Then it started to rain. On our bikes we have a special cover that enables us to almost ride completely covered. Only the head sticks out of the bike then.
The last part of the trip was a steep decent into Billings, we had to cross the city in order to get to the GOA campsite. This campsite was perfectly equipped with all facilities that we needed. After 1 hour of arrival a tremendous rainstorm broke loose. We all had to hide in the toilet facilities.
During the night some party animals came in late and decided to keep us awake unfortunately...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Day 8: Helena to Harlowton

What a great day! The scenery on this day was just beautifull. It doesnt require any words, just enjoy the photo's: