Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Blog # 4 The route and the Ride

I will be riding with 23 other riders from all over the world; the ride we will be riding in is called the "Cross Country Challenge". I will be the only rider riding to raise money to go to Alzheimer's Research; some of the other riders will be riding for different charities such as heart disease, etc.
The Cross Country Challenge is a true coast-to-coast cycling experience that averages 80 miles a day for 3,850 miles, with five rest days.
The roads that we will be cycling on are close to major freeways; but a bit more rural and bike friendly. I will take you through each state, number of days in each state, cities we ride through, and miles that we have traveled. We start the ride in San Francisco, the riders dip their rear wheel in the Pacific Ocean (tradition); ride across the Golden Gate Bridge and off we go.
It will take four days to get through Northern California, we will pass through Vallejo, Sacramento, Auburn, and Truckee. From Sacramento to Truckee there is a fair amount of climbing, when we leave California we will have traveled 267miles.
Nevada - It will take us five days to cycle through Nevada; we will pass through Sparks, Lovelock, Winnemucca, Battle Mountain, and Elko. When we leave Nevada we be at mile 629.
Utah- It will take us six days to cycle through Utah; we will pass through Wendover, Salt Lake City, Provo, Price, and Green River. When we leave Utah we will be on mile 1,061.
Colorado - It will take us six days to cycle through Colorado; we will pass through Fruita, Montrose, Gunnison, Salida, Pueblo, and Lumar. When we leave Colorado we will be on mile 1,570.
Kansas - It will take us six days to cycle through Kansas; we will pass through Garden City, Dodge City, Great Bend, McPherson, Abilene, and Topeka. When we leave Kansas we will be on mile 2,049.
Missouri - It will take us four days to cycle through Missouri; we will pass through St. Joseph, Chilicothe,  and Kirksville(we have a rest day in St Joseph). When we leave Missouri we will be on mile 2,310.
Illinois - It will take us three days to cycle through Illinois; we will pass through Quincy, Springfield, and Champaign. When we leave Illinois we will be on mile 2,609.
Indiana - It will take us four days to cycle through Indiana (includes a rest day); we will pass through Crawfordsville, Indianapolis, and Richmond. When we leave Indiana we will be on mile 2,826.
Ohio - It will take us three days to cycle through Ohio; we will pass through Marysville, Wooster, and Niles. When we leave Ohio we will be on mile 3,120.
Pennsylvania - It will take us two days to cycle through Pennsylvania (one of those days is a rest day); we will pass through Erie. When we leave Pennsylvania we will be on mile 3,217.
New York - It will take us five days to cycle through New York; we will pass through Hamburg, Canandiagua, Liverpool, Little Falls, and Latham. When we leave New York we will be on mile 3,618.
Vermont - It will take us one day to cycle through Vermont; we will pass through Brattleboro. When we leave Vermont we will be on mile 3,697.
New Hampshire - It will take us two days to cycle through New Hampshire; we will pass through Manchester, and end our trip in Portsmouth. When we ride in to Portsmouth New Hampshire we will have cycled 3,845 miles.
We will dip our front wheel in the Atlantic Ocean at Portsmouth(tradition). that is your snapshot of the coast to coast ride that this rider is training to do. All  in all we will have travelled through 13 states, 52 cities, and cycled 3,845 miles.
It took me a while to wrap my head around what I would be doing(that is a long way to pedal a bike). With eight weeks to go, this rider is starting to get pretty darned excited.

My net blog will be when we are on the road across America, I am going to send out a blog at the end of each day.

My challenge Riding Across America to raise money to go to Alzheimer's Research is small in comparison to the challenge that the family members of Alzheimer's patients face day in and out. I thank the folks that have given for your generosity, and ask the folks who have not stepped up yet to please do and give generously.  Together we will help make a difference; helping to get closer to a world with out Alzheimer's.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Blog #3 Training, Hydration, and eating the proper food.

 All of these elements fit in while preparing for an extended ride such as The Ride Across America for Alzheimer's.

1. Training:

Spinning at the gym is ok if it is raining out, and to keep you fit. Make no mistake about it there is no substitute for getting on a bike and training on the road.
Chris Paterson my friend Bob's wife (Bob is my friend who has Alzheimer's) is taking spinning classes with Bob so that they will be able to ride out with the group when we take off on the ride. I know that will be a pretty touching moment for this rider.
When you train for a ride like this; every rider has a little different philosophy on how many base miles he or she should ride to be prepared for the event.This rider knows that he needs to build up a solid base not to be the fastest bike out there; but to finish the ride (3,780 miles) and still feel pretty good.
My focus is on four things - distance, hills, different speeds while training, and routes.
Distance - I am riding around 250 miles a week, 100 miles on Saturday, and three 50 mile training rides during the week. Long ride on Saturday, 50 mile ride on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday. Rest day on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Hills - About 35/40% of the riding that I do is on hills; some fairly steep (Kings Mountain, Tunitas Creek, Mt. Tam, Alpine Loop); and some more forgiving like going down the coast HI way to Santa Cruz.
Different speeds - While training it is easy to get lazy while riding out there. You need to vary your effort on the bike giving it 70% effort for some of the ride and pushing it up to just under the red line for some of the ride. I generally like to keep it at my higher end; but will very this on each ride. Pushing your body is not a bad thing; it is key to building up your strength and endurance.
Routes - I train all over the bay area. A lot of my riding is done on the coast HI way because I can ride from my house and do not have to use my car.
I will ride from Pacifica to Pescadero, Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Davenport, and Santa Cruz; depending on the miles planned for the day. I also will ride a Kings Mountain loop, Tunitas Creek Loop, Alpine Dam loop, and Marshall Wall loop.
It is always nice to ride with another rider, or a group of riders. There is a lot of solo rides that this rider does; not every one can get off during the week. Bottom line is this rider needs a pretty good sized training base to be prepared properly for the Ride Across America for Alzheimer's. (What do you expect for a 69 year old rider).
Hydration - This is a really important part of riding. The very worst feeling in the world is dehydration while you are on a ride; it is called bonking.
At times even though you don't feel the need to drink, you need to drink. I always go out with two 25oz. water bottles on all of my rides. If the weather is warm I will generally refill at least one bottle.
In addition I use a energy substitute, this provides carbohydrates for energy production, electrolytes  to help prevent cramping, and supplemental nutrients which keeps glucose levels stable and helps promote efficient carbohydrates metabolism. I know that was a mouth full, but that is what a good energy source does for your body. The product that works for me is Heed which is a Hammer Nutrition endurance powder.
Eating the proper food - If  you do not fuel your body before you go on a ride there is no way that you will be able to ride up to the level that is needed to complete a 50, or a 100+ mile ride. Your body needs fuel just like a car needs gas.
While riding I always have energy bars in my saddle bag. I have learned that if I start to feel the least bit hungry or weak I will reach in my saddle bag and break out an energy bar. It is amazing what those little bars will do for you.
Before I ride I have found that my body likes oat meal, it seems to give me the proper energy that is needed for a ride.
On shorter training rides, 50+ miles I will not stop to eat a sandwich to refuel my body. On a longer 100+ mile ride, I will always stop to eat a sandwich and refuel my body.
While some riders stay away from wheat, this rider does not. I tend to eat a lot of pasta, chicken, salad, and  fruit. I don't eat a lot of red meat, but must admit that on occasion I will have a big bowl of ice cream.

I will say this over and over again. - I thank all of the folks that have donated to the Alzheimer's Ride Across America, your generosity and support means so much. For those who have not made a donation, please go on the web site and donate to this worthy cause. Together we can make a difference and do our part to accelerate research and achieve a future with out Alzheimer's.

This gives you a little idea about training, hydration, and eating the proper foods. My next blog will discuss the route and the ride.




Friday, February 14, 2014

Blog #2 What is important - Bike Gear

First thing is a bit about the bike:

* Fit - A good bike fit makes the difference in power transfer and body fatigue after a ride. A bike fit is making sure that the saddle (seat) is just the right height, handle bars are at the right angle and proper length from the saddle, pedals are adjusted for tension and placement of the shoe. Most shops usually have a person that specializes in fitting a rider to a bike.

* Bike - Most road bikes that riders ride on now are made out of carbon fiber; this is a very light and strong material. Gearing most road bikes are 10 or 11 speed; and gives the rider 28 choices of a gear selection. I use Shimano components ( brakes, shifters, cranks, chain, and pedals. An important part of the gear selection is the rear cassette; I ride with a 11/28 rear cassette. This is a good choice for a rider that will be riding in hills, but still has the big gears for the flats.

* Wheels - Important part of the bike make up; the wheels that I ride on are ROL wheels. The reason that I like these wheels is they are a very strong wheel and can take a lot of abuse; the roads in Northern California are rough on road bikes. I use DT Swiss hubs which is the center part of the wheel; they role extremely smooth and require little to no maintenance.

* Tires - Most of the riders that I ride with including yours truly ride on Continental 4000s. These tires have fantastic road grip; and can take a lot of abuse. A good road bike tire will last around 2,000/2,300 miles, after that if you don't change your tires out you will start to get flats while riding. I have found that the best tire pressure for this rider to ride on is 100psi.

* Shoes - Key is comfort, a bad fit can make for a miserable time on the bike. Road shoes need to be stiff for maximum power transfer; they need to have good ventilation so your feet can breath and not get to hot. Shoes are clipped in to your bike pedals with cleats; it is important that they are adjusted properly. Just like ski bindings cleats hold your shoe in place on the pedal.

* Helmet - I never get on a bike with out one; helmets should be light and strong, and conform to US standards.

* Bike computer - I use a Garmin Edge; a bike computer is important to a rider for a few reasons. A good bike computer will give a rider distance traveled, average speed, vertical feet gained, fastest speed, and rolling time on the bike. A lot of riders like to down load this information from their bike computer to their lap top; and keep the information to reference a ride.

* Lights - I learned the importance of lights when I was doing double centuries last year. You leave in the dark, and ride in in the dark. It is well worth the money to invest in a good quality road light. Your rear light is important because it lets oncoming cars know that there is a bike in front. I often will leave my rear light on during the day if the light is low, so a car can spot me right away.
* Riding Glasses - I have learned over the years to use a lighter colored lenses, nothing is worst than going in to a shady corner at 25/30 miles an hour and you can't see very well because your lenses are to dark.
* Gloves - Road gloves will save you a lot of road rash on you hands if you ever go off of your bike; and every one does sooner or later.

Gear - What to bring for a 3,870 mile ride.

* Bike - Twelve tubes, two extra sets of tires, one extra chain, six spokes, one extra cassette, bike pump, large saddle bag, front and rear lights, extra batteries, chain lube.

* Clothes - Four pair of bike shorts, three short sleeve jersey's, one long sleeve jersey, two wind vests, two riding shells, five pair road socks, one set of rain gear, two pair of riding gloves, one pair of long fingered riding gloves, two pair road shoes.
Regular clothes - One pair of tennis shoes, three pair of socks, three pair of shorts, three pair undershorts, one pair of sandals, four t-shirts, two hooded sweatshirts, one pull over shirt, one pair levis, one belt.
* I will also be bringing a first aid kit, shaving kit, plenty of sun screen, and lube for my bottom.

That gives you a little idea about the gear, and why it is important to have the right gear. My next blog will cover the training that I have planned, and building up those miles to get in road shape for the Ride Across America for Alzheimer's.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Getting Started

This will be the official start of Dan DeBardeleben's Alzheimer's Ride Across America Blog.

Listed below is a scope of the first four blog's.

1. A little about Bob and Chris Paterson; and my decision to take on this challenge.
2.  What is important: Bike, gear, and what to bring for a 52 day ride.
3. Training, hydration and eating the proper food.
4. Route and the ride.

My friendship with Bob and Chris Paterson and how I arrived at my decision to take on this project:

I have been friends with Bob and Chris for over forty years. Bob and I worked in the spirit and wine business for most of our adult life.
Six years ago Bob retired from the spirit and wine business when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Chris Paterson is a very special person and since day one of the diagnoses has worked incredibly hard to make sure Bob's life is a good one.
Last September after visiting with Bob and Chris while driving home I made a decision to do something very special for my friend.
I first ran my vision through Chris to make sure the family was ok with my plan. The entire family had a meeting and loved the idea; and encouraged me to move forward with my vision.
The next step would be to figure out the route (I will be discussing the route a little later on); and how to undertake a project like this.
I contacted the Alzheimer's Association and set up a meeting with Ericka Smith the Director of Special Events. Chris Paterson, Ericka Smith, and I had our first planning meeting; and my vision started to germinate into a plan. Now all I had to figure out was how to get from San Francisco to Portsmouth New Hampshire.
Ericka Smith has been extra special in setting up the web site, blog site, and putting the fund raising part of this project together. I would have been hard pressed to put everything together with out Ericka's assistance; a big THANKS to you Ericka.
I will say this over and over: I thank all of the people that have donated; your generosity and support is means so much. For those who have not yet donated please go on the web site and donate to this worthy cause. Together we can make a difference and do our part to accelerate research and achieve a future without Alzheimer's.

Next week I will cover what is important as far as gear goes; and what do you pack for a 52 day ride. (That is a long time to be on the road.)

Friday, December 27, 2013




In June of 2014, I will be riding my bicycle across the United States for a very special cause; I will be riding to raise dollars for Alzheimer’s research.  I have set a high goal for myself and need your help in achieving this goal. You are a very big part of making this possible.

Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Our future is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease. Together we can make a difference and do our part to accelerate research and achieve a future without Alzheimer’s.

My journey will cover 13 states, 51 cities, and 3,845 miles. This journey will require a lot of time, training, and effort on my part. But all of the time, training, and effort, will certainly be worth it for this worthy cause. You will be able to follow my progress as I train and fundraise and then when my journey begins you can track my route each day of the ride across America on my blog site.

My challenge is small in comparison to the challenge that the family members of Alzheimer’s patients face day in and out. I am riding in support of my good friend, Bob, who is battling the disease and his wife Chris, who is his incredible caregiver.

You can support my efforts in two ways.  I need support in covering the cost of the ride and I want to raise $30,000 to support Alzheimer’s research.  You can donate by using your credit card, pay pal, or writing a check. All donations to the Alzheimer’s Association are tax deductible. Please help and donate as much as you can, and be part of this very special cause.  

Please visit my website at act.alz.org/goto/dansride
Thank you in advance for your generosity and support.  I look forward to the challenge that lies ahead. Together we will help make a difference; helping to get closer to creating a future world without Alzheimer’s.