Packing it up....!

My obvious over-thinking-it-all about which bike to bring along and how to carry things on the bike for the commute has been solved. I spoke with an avid cyclist in Stuttgart about the weather as well as what there is and isn't for me to ride around there. He was quite blunt about which bike I should bring based on all of the information. He owns a singlespeed, geared mountain bike, and road bike as well - so knew exactly the bikes I was considering.

Now it comes down to seeing if I can fit my gigantic bike into the Serfas travel case today. I took the lid off to take some internal measurements, walked away to watch an online video of packing the bike in a Serfas case, and when I came back into the room - I found Max wanting to go with me...


I went with the Arkel rear rack and a Switchback 2.0 commute bag which seemed simple, easy, and can move from bike to bike.

The Randonneur Rack (jives with my carbon post on the road bike)...

The Switchback 2.0 commute bag will hold my laptop and books...

The company was great to deal with and my shipment should arrive today, if not early tomorrow morning. I ran a lot of errands yesterday to tackle my "to do before I go list". Haircut, new procurement card, credit and course number discussion with the Registrar, accounting talk about cash for starters, stopped by State Farm, had a meeting with a local graphics/printing company for IMBCS, picked up the letters for the students' residency permits, started setting everything next to the suitcase that is supposed to go in the suitcase, shoveled snow, and then I ran out of energy and took a nap. Today's "to do before I go list" somehow managed to get longer, but doesn't involve quite as much running around. Lots of phone calls, typing, and printing - perfect for a day with -30 to -40 windchills!

After I woke up from the nap in the late afternoon yesterday, I had an FTP test on tap to set training zones to begin the next leg of base training. First, however, I took the dogs out for a walk while I lumbered through the 7 inches of snow on my version of a FAT BIKE - my Karate Monkey with the 2.4 Racing Ralphs. Every winter, I am always surprised how well it cuts through the snow for my dog walking needs.

Getting back to the house, I suited up for the FTP test. I will admit, leading up to this, I had done some pretty good training in month one (December) of base, lifted plenty of weights and felt out on the bike after 2 days of rest that I surmised had left me in pretty decent shape for the test.

December and January look like this...

December 2 - rode 24.6 miles for a duration of 1:34:32
December 4 - rode 5.57 miles for a duration of 00:33:43
December 5 - rode 5.58 miles for a duration of 00:32:00
December 6 - rode 29.3 miles for a duration of 1:58:20
December 7 - rode 23.2 miles for a duration of 1:37:48
December 9 - rode 23.2 miles for a duration of 1:35:30
December 10 - rode 18.4 miles for a duration of 1:09:27
December 12 - rode 23.7 miles for a duration of 1:29:50
December 13 - rode 17.4 miles for a duration of 1:11:19
December 14 - rode 27.5 miles for a duration of 2:07:46
December 16 - rode 18.3 miles for a duration of 1:21:53
December 17 - rode 18.4 miles for a duration of 1:14:00
December 18 - rode 21.5 miles for a duration of 1:05:00
December 19 - rode 17.4 miles for a duration of 1:57:11
December 21 - rode 40.3 miles for a duration of 2:42:13
December 23 - rode 20.4 miles for a duration of 1:00:58
December 25 - rode 22.9 miles for a duration of 1:40:08
December 27 - rode 30.7 miles for a duration of 1:38:58
December 28 - rode 43.3 miles for a duration of 3:03:53
December 31 - rode 20.9 miles for a duration of 1:04:58

December Totals: 452.55 miles -- 30:39:30

January 1 - rode 8.3 miles for a duration of 1:05:00 (mountain biking)
January 2 - rode 17.3 miles for a duration of 1:49:32 (singlespeeding)
January 3 - rode 31.2 miles for a duration of 2:24:56 (foundation road miles)
January 6 - rode 20 miles for a duration of 1:03:58 (included FTP test to set training zones)

January Totals: 76.8 miles - 6:23:26 hours

I did the required extended warm-up of 30 minutes with some intervals on the bike and included the all important 5 minute blowoff period, followed by recovery before starting the actual test. The warm up and 5 minute blowoff prepares you to get a more accurate reading when doing the 20 minute FTP version. Off I went into the test and was happy to see that I matched my best FTP test from all of 2014. Not a bad way to begin 2015, but I'm sure it has a lot to do with my carrying over fitness due to the time and effort I've put into December and January to this point. Heart rate was a bit higher, but I attribute that to having two days of rest from cardio, and having somewhat of a busy, stress filled day leading up to it.

After the test, I managed to cool down and finish up in Zone 2 while watching the news. Tara made some wonderful stir-fry which we all really enjoyed for a late dinner. I don't remember too much after that, but did wake up at 2 am which is typical after running a high heart rate at race effort.

On tap for today due to my poor night of sleep: a NAP!

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