Training for TOMRV: Part I

“Tour of the Mississippi River Valley” sounds like a leisurely drive along scenic highways, or maybe a relaxing riverboat cruise. When translated to its meaner-sounding moniker TOMRV (tom-rahv), you get a good bit closer to the truth.

It’s a challenging, 32-year-old bicycle ride – challenging for most of us humans, anyway.

I speak from some experience, having done the long route once in a mediocre fashion on a hybrid bicycle, the “short” route more comfortably once, and two other Saturday portions – the last one a miserable 106 miles that included about 45 miles of leg cramps and self-loathing.

So, of course, it’s time to go again.

It’s June 13 and 14.You can register by mail, like I’m doing, or online.

After the last time a few years ago, I swore I wouldn’t try to do it again being so overweight and out of shape. I’ve made some progress on the fitness thing, with TOMRV out there in front as motivation and ultimately, I hope, a great, rewarding ride. Spinning classes four or five times a week have me looking forward to getting outside on a real bicycle more and attacking real hills for a change. And looking forward to TOMRV and my 10th Century Ride overall.

Some of the guys from spinning class are going for the first time. For them and for others who might be interested, I’ll throw out a few training tips between now and June.

A few starter tips:

#1. Begin to get psyched now. It’s going to be fun, especially when you finish each day and say, “I did it.”

#2. Get your priorities in order. Don’t waste time on household chores and other stuff like that. Work if you must, but remember: You’re in training.

#3. Find the hilliest route around and ride it as many times as you can between now and TOMRV. You don’t have to do it fast, but you’ll be glad you did it.

Soon, some ideas about the hilliest route around these parts.

For now, I have to go do some work, followed by spinning class.

Pedal on.

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