Training for Intercity

I've decided that the height of my spring this year will be the one-day Intercity ride. I've made the attempt to ride from Boston, MA to New York, NY several times before, but have always either opted to make it a two-day trip, or to stop in New Haven and take the train the rest of the way.

This year, I'm going to make a serious attempt to ride from New York, NY to Boston, MA in one day (24 hours). This is certainly the more difficult direction, as this puts the worse hills in the second 100 miles of the ride. However, there is a better chance of a tailwind in the northbound direction.

Since the last attempts, I've learned a few things. Compared to the last run, here are some of the new improvements that I hope will help me actually do this:

* Better training. Since November of 2007, I've logged at least 100 hours of riding, including at least 50 hours on PowerCranks. This base training will help me with the real training work coming in March and April: the slow transition to longer and longer rides, ending with a couple of 140-mile rides in May.

* Better equipment. My bike has properly fitting aero bars, which offer a radical new body position and allow me to ride faster, more efficiently, and more comfortably. I've made some changes to my fit, raising the saddle and shortening my stem, to address the fact that I have long legs. I have more places to store stuff on the bike, and more water bottles than before.

* Better fueling. I've learned volumes about proper nutrition and recovery from a number of sources, including a coworker who rode PBP this past summer. I know that, on average, I can expect to burn 35 calories per mile. This means that, every hour, in addition to consuming a liter of water, I will need to eat about 600-650 calories. I also need to eat and drink before I feel hungry or thirsty, or I just won't have the energy to continue. This requires liquid fuel; I'm experimenting with a few options at the moment.

* Better trained partners. Hopefully, when I do this ride again, I'll be riding with at least one other person who is driven to do this and has put in the requisite training hours.

* Better technology. A PowerTap will help me monitor how many calories I've burned, and a new GPS with longer battery life will help me avoid getting lost.

This May, we will learn whether or not I can, in fact, ride 230 hilly miles without stopping.