Sept 7th, 2020. A day to remember, my biggest adventure till date. 200mile/320kms bike ride (bicycle) from New York City to Washington DC, crossing five states in the USA burning 11,000cal in a day. A new benchmark!!!
12 months ago, I bought my second road bike, a used one from the Facebook market. This time for a different purpose, to participate in #theEpicbikeride. An epic ride from New York Freedom Tower to Michigan Grand Rapids via Canada, a 1000mile journey to raise awareness and funds to support kids with Autism and Homeless Veteran’s, also by supporting a Mission of my Mentor and to get closer for my mission #IRONMAN by becoming IRON FIT Mentally and Physically in my 20’s.
The Power of Dream Board.
Like every year I sat down to build my dream-board on Dec 31st, 2019 but this time with my wife and partner Priya. This is a habit that I learned from my coach to work on my goals as a family, in all spokes of life …Health, Finances, Career, Relationship, Spiritual etc! Not just thinking about it or wishing for them, but by visualizing them through writing and seeing pictures ,then verbalizing goals by speaking out, so that they vitalize into reality.
This is the picture of our health goals which included 250 miles written on it. By the time I wrote the goal, I am just a 30 Miler who is figuring out how to use gears (Gears are your best friends when it comes to Biking).
” You are what you Manifest”
Building a routine
Slowly but steadily, I started including biking in my training along with running following the 80-20 rule, if I run for four days I used to bike one day as part of cross-training and got a knack of it. These rides mostly included Priya, as she is fond of riding bikes. During the whole year, we have done many adventures our first 25 mile, 50 mile, 100 mile and A two-day bike packing trip of 100 miles. By Aug 2020 I have done 1000 miles in a year to date, eventually built that confidence and Self Image to start speaking about 250 miles.
” Your success is found in your daily routine “
Planning and Preparation :
My initial plan was to do 250 miles. But, Where? How? and When?
I got inspiration from the east coast green way trail, a 3000 Mile trail from key west to Canada (yes !! I will do it ), but after looking at different options like east coast green way, Google Maps, Strava, Garmin and Komoot, I felt komoot is covering more cities for the same distance
Bike and gear :
Though my bike geometry is designed for speed and races, and I was confident that I can handle a one-day event given I keep balance in pressure points by changing the position, anything can happen in a day and you need to be prepared for everything.
Make sure you have a good tool kit, first aid, pump, spare tubes, all the protective gear, good shades, patch kit, external battery, charging cables, lights, GPS devices.
Food and Nutrition:
You will burn over 10,000cal during the ride, which is a lot. By the time you end the ride, your weight will probably be reduced by 3lbs. Nutrition is the key. Starting from hydrating your body, electrolytes, salts , sugars, and carbs, everything have to be taken mindfully. Not any random products, but the highest quality possible. Remember its not the quantity but the quality of the food that matters.
I carried over 3000cal with me and took a break to eat a well-balanced meal in the evening.
“Pressure builds up from lack of preparation”
Now that you are well-prepared let’s get into action
The Adventure :
The first setback!!!
Everything looked perfect both mentally and physically, trained for 6 weeks for this event making everyday count to prepare my body. Made all the preparations and was all set to start on Sept 6th.
As planned, I woke up at 3:30 AM to get ready and get this kicked off …!! The first roadblock arrived, the maps didn’t load, that took 30 Mins to fix and so started at 4:45 AM. Everything looked perfect until I hit the second roadblock, a flat tire once I reached Staten Island. It was Still dark, I needed to figure out how to fix my flat tire. I opened up all the parts and realized I brought a wrong tube, had to call in Priya for help and things added up with Maps and wrong tires. Lost over 2 hours of time, after evaluating decided to end it and redo it next day.
Remember that setbacks are only challenges in disguise. Look at them as lessons don’t waste time beating yourself up. Just get back on track and focus on what you want. It’s up to you, and you will do it!
“Your setback is just a setup for your comeback.”
Now I fixed all the shortcomings with maps, gear and decided to start an hour early to keep these situations as a buffer, 2:30 AM Alarm and on-road by 3:20 AM and The adventures begins………………!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I encourage you to watch the video, my shadow tells a story. It was a perfect day, started cruising by 9:30 AM reached Philadelphia downtown, took the first break to refresh and recharge. Clocked in 6:30 hours for first 100 miles and my body just started warming up, continued to cruise at 26 kmph. Soon temperatures started to raise and I started getting drained in sweat (salt bath)
I have experienced one of the best country roads in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland with horses, wine yards , rolling hills, and single file roads. These are the best part of my adventure. At the same time, a neighborhood in Philadelphia( Kensington), made me feel unsafe …for the first time I felt scared in the united states, came to know its one of the most dangerous regions known as the ‘Walmart of Heroin’
Things are going as planned, on track to meet Priya before heading Baltimore at 4 PM..clocked in 10:30 hours for 150 miles, had a good meal and felt refreshed, Started back on road by 5 PM and realized I am running out of time.
7:00 PM and its 175 miles … I had to take a break to attend an important meeting, the sun has set, need to turn back the head and tail lights , The roads are busy with traffic unlike morning.
9:00 PM reached Baltimore 195 miles and it did live up to its reputation of being one of the most dangerous cities in North America standing at 4th, every corner looked dangerous with homeless people at night, had to make a call to Priya to end the ride at 202 mile, once after entering suburbs of Baltimore.
Key Takeaways :
"Expect things not to happen as you planned, it only happens in imaginations and movie's, not in real life."
When I planned my route, my map showed 14 hours for 250miles, yes in fact I rode 200miles in 13 hours. what I missed is the 5 restroom and food breaks, 200 traffic signals, and fatigue over time. In life it’s the same, nothing is a simple straight line.
"We live in a bubble"
Everyone one of us live in a world of bubble, limiting ourself with boundaries thinking, “its not for me” , “I can’t do it”, “Its not my type” for me. This trip is a wake up call to ask myself. Did I live in a bubble of 24 hr endurance event , thinking it is where I break? No, that’s not true!!
"Balance between light and dark"
This full-day adventure has shown me some of the most beautiful places in US. At the same time, some of the most dangerous and scariest places, which made me change my perspective and start having more gratitude for what I have today. Life has its own way of balancing things. Always remember that there are more than a billion people out there who would trade places with you at any given time !!
"The things which will hurt you, are not obvious until they do"
Most people may think his legs must be in so much pain, imagining the same thing. Everyone trains them so much forgetting the rest of the pressure points. It’s not the legs which caused discomfort but it’s the feet lack of movement because of cleats, the neck and lower back..same in life if you focus only on one thing like your job or career neglecting your relationships, health or self-care, you are bound to fail.
"2 + 2 = 4 in books, not in life "
The biggest misconception I had was, hey I can bike 2miles in 10mins all I have to do is repeat it 100 times or I did a half marathon in 3 hours, just do it twice and a marathon is done. Get ready to be surprised, the moment you reach your threshold every step is stretching you, suddenly 2 becomes 20 and slowly 200, accept it and start respecting distance and people.
"The power of compound effect."
Most people overestimate what they can do in one week and underestimate what a consistent work ethic over one year can do, I can bet and help personally . Anyone of you can buy a bike today and do 200 miles next year by this time like me or even better, but it has a price to pay which is called consistency and persistence, also a strong desire which is backing it up, do you have it?… “Not just biking anything in life comes with the same principle
After 200 miles physically I am still 7/10, mentally 8/10. What surprises me?
I had a huge expectation that this adventure would challenge me both physically and mentally to go deep to push. In reality which turned out to be a fun ride (Disappointed) but at the same time excited to learn about my Threshold as it is not just a 24 hours endurance event but something bigger, maybe it is R2R2R Run or 100 mile Run which is later this year, or am I yet to visualize it for 2021?
Just the beginning………