March 6, 2009

Tired Legs Make for Efficient Work

To cap off the culmination of my first (and definitely not last) 4 years in college, Nate and I are going to complete a bicycle tour across Nebraska. We thought up the idea for the trip last summer coming home from Kansas City. Our ideas started off much grander. We wanted to ride across the country. We quickly realized that we did not have a clue what we were talking about and we shortened the trip to span Nebraska, from Sidney to Lincoln. Here is a rough map of the route:

The blue markers are rough pit stops along our journey. Some highlights will be Ole's Big Game Lounge in Paxton, The Dairy Queen in Lexington, and Nate's parents' place in Cario.

According to GoogleMaps, this will be a 363 mile long trip. We will be riding on Nebraska Highway 34 for the majority of our journey. If we ride around 50 miles a day, the trip will take around 8 days.

When we originally thought of the bike trip, we wanted to volunteer along the way. Nate and I wanted to teach computer science workshops (In Python of course) in the towns we stopped in on our ride. We even branded the potential trip - The Road of Code. For the 09 trip (meaning that if all goes according to plan, there will be more trips) we decided against trying to volunteer with something every stop along the way. I still think it would be a great idea to do volunteer work along the way, but we need to make sure that we can actually complete the trip before we worry about coordinating volunteer efforts.

Nate and I (and anyone else who is brave enough) will be riding road bikes and will have a support car waiting at the next stop. We are planning on camping all but one of the nights, so we need the support car to carry camping gear. Erik has graciously volunteered to drive the support car for a portion of the trip, but we are still looking for volunteers. We plan on riding early in the morning, so we can make it into the next town right around lunch time. This will give us a great chance to interact with the locals over some coffee.

Afternoons will most likely be spent in a library or anywhere else that has WiFi access. We want to blog actively during the trip and take as many pictures as possible. One of our original (more effort required) was to throw together a short documentary of our trip and the people we meet along the way. I have always wanted to make a documentary, but it would be better if we focused on completing the trip - saving bigger ideas for later years.

At night, we will have to hit up the local nightlife and get to know the town bar. We will need calories and beer has plenty of them.

That brings me to a mathematical side note. Riding around 50 miles per day at 20 miles per hour puts us in the saddle two and a half hours per day. Based on our performance so far, we each burn around 45 calories per mile. So 50 x 45 = 2,250. We will need to consume roughly 2,250 additional calories per day to maintain our weight. We could eat 30 eggs a day to make up the 2,250 calories. Or, we could drink 22 beers a day to make up the 2,250 calories. Now we won't be able to keep riding if we eat 30 eggs or drink 22 beers everyday - but hopefully a mix of the two will keep us in the saddle.

We have quite a bit of planning left on this trip, but Nate and I are both 95% sure that it will happen. Here's a rough list of things that need to happen:
  • Get in shape.
  • Get in better shape.
  • Buy new road bikes.
  • Find a few more support drivers.
  • Find support gear.
  • Detailed plan of the trip.
  • Learn an anti-rain dance so we can ride everyday.
This is shaping up to be one exhausting summer vacation.

1 comment:

  1. I want in on this. Definitely. My Peugeot is dying for some mileage - no stopping though, the brakes are totally sketch.