Note: Blog post subject matter is discussed in more detail on the Athalonz Podcast.
When I decided to do a cross-country bike ride six months ago to raise awareness of, and money for, child abuse prevention, I had a vague idea of the amount of planning and work that was needed. With just under two weeks to go, I still have a few things to finish up, but here’s what’s been done thus far.
The first major challenge was to create a training schedule that would get me in shape for a cross-country ride. Six months ago, I was mountain biking twice a week, an hour each ride; I was running twice a week (5 miles per run); and I was lifting weights three times per week. So, I was active, but my activity needed to be dramatically shifted. In Ron’s blog next week, we’ll go into the details of the training.
The next major challenge was adjusting my daily routine based on the training schedule and on the weather. I created a personal guideline in which, if the temperature was going to be 90 degrees or less for a given day, I would ride in the afternoon. If the temperature was going to be above 90 degrees for a given day, I would ride first thing in the morning.
My daily routine also includes working two full time jobs: one as CEO of Athalonz and the other as a patent attorney. I’ve always been an early riser; I’m usually up by 5 AM. 5 AM to 9 AM are my most productive work hours of the day. As the day progresses, my attention gets diverted by emails, phone calls, and meetings. By about 3 PM, I’m usually mentally spent, which made for a good time to go for a bike ride.
This worked well in March, April, and through most of May when the daily highs stayed below 90. I was fortunate that it stayed so cool for so long in Phoenix, but the heat kicked in and I shifted my rides to first thing in the morning. My daily rides were getting longer, so I started getting up at 4 AM
As such, I was now starting my day at 4 AM. Each day, I get up at 4, get my bike clothes on, make a cup of coffee, take care of a few personal matters, fill my water bottles, put recharged lights on my bike, put air in the tires, check the brakes, and turn on Strava. This takes about 30 minutes, so I would start my rides as close to 4:30 as I could.
When I finished my ride (90 minutes to 4 hours later, depending on the training schedule), I’d walk the dog and then get ready for my two jobs. This was a big adjustment; my best work time was now used for riding. I’ve done my best adjusting, but my productivity has slipped a bit. I’m just not as productive in the afternoon as I am in the early morning, but an early afternoon nap now and then does help boost my energy for the afternoon.
The next major challenge was to plan the trip across the country; I selected a southern route from San Diego California to Jacksonville Florida. I purchased a series of maps that provide a bike route from San Diego to St Augustine Florida from Adventure Cycling. From the maps, I selected daily destinations based on the terrain and my desire to ride between 5 and 6 hours per day. So, the ride will take me 40 days and cover just over 3,000 miles
For each destination, I selected a hotel or RV park to stay at. This was the easy part. The hard part was making reservations with each place. My support team of Beth and Kimberly have spent hours and hours making reservations over the course of several weeks. After most of the hotel reservations were made, we realized that we needed to park the RV somewhere. So, Beth and Kimberly called each hotel to see if they had a place for the RV to park. If not, they changed the reservation.
With me being on the bike, I need help with support and driving the RV. I have a group of people supporting me. My son-in-law Logan Healy is taking the first leg, from San Diego to Mesa AZ. My friends and colleagues, Jeremiah Johnston and Tim Taylor, are taking the second leg from Mesa AZ to El Paso TX. My friend and law partner Bruce Garlick is taking the third leg from El Paso TX to Austin TX. Beth and Kimberly are taking the fourth leg from Austin TX to Cottonport LA. My friend David Marr III and his wife Sabrina are taking the fifth leg from Cottonport LA to Gautier MS. My friend and colleague, Ron Cates, is taking the last leg from Gautier MS to Jacksonville FL
As I mentioned above, before deciding to do the cross-country ride, I was riding two hours per week on a mountain bike. My road bike was old and heavy in comparison to new road bikes. So, I bought a new road bike, which sound a lot easier than it was. With Covid, the biking industry has boomed, and inventory of new bikes and bike parts is very limited. So, I had to do a good bit of digging to find a bike that I liked and a store that had it.
After a few weeks of training on my new road bike, I was hurting. My neck especially. Sitting at a desk for 40 years is not the besting training for holding my head in a bicycling position for hours at a time. So, I made the decision to buy a recumbent bike to relieve the stress points on my body. After some research, I purchased a recumbent carbon trike.
Unfortunately, the recumbent carbon trike I bought was discontinued three weeks after I purchased it and the company I bought it from no longer supports it. So, I couldn’t get parts for the trike. As such, I bought another one to have a backup.
I also bought a gravel road bike for difficult road conditions. So, now I’m taking 6 bikes on the ride with me. The 2 recumbent trikes, my new road bike, my old road bike (for emergency use), my new gravel road bike, and my mountain bike (just in case).
The next challenge was how to transport 6 bikes on the back of the RV. There are no commercially available bike racks that will support two recumbent trikes, never mind adding on four other bikes. So, I designed my own bike rack for the back of the RV to carry all six of my bikes.
I just have a few more items to pick up for the RV and I’ll be as ready as I can be. I’m looking forward to the challenge of the bike ride and in spreading the message of stop abuse of kids. In particular, abusers need to stop abusing and they need to get help so they stop abusing.
I am the CEO and Founder of Athalonz, LLC., I am a founding partner of the patent boutique law firm of Garlick & Markison, I am a survivor of child abuse, and I am an inventor on over 300 patents.
Athalonz is a technology company based on Mesa, AZ. It develops and sells athletic footwear, which incorporates its patented technology that leverages the laws of physics to improve athletic performance. Website: athalonz.com
Garlick & Markison is a patent law boutique firm that assists clients in building a patent business within their business using proprietary tools and techniques. Website: texaspatents.com
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Today was a good bit of climbing. A little over 2,000 feet of elevation gain. Not as much as day 1 or day 2, but not trivial. I am really enjoying traveling through the small towns. The people have been friendly, the service has been good, and the food has been excellent.