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Getting Ready for 2008 Bike Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) on Inline Skates

Getting Ready for the Long Haul.

So you think that A2A is more than you ever want to do? Think of A2A as a warm up for this years vacation. My third Bike Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) www.brag.org 433 miles in two 3 day sessions.

This is installment one of a multi part Blog

Prepping for BRAG. So I have new skates, 100mm wheels to make the road smoother. The skates are broken in so that should not be an issue. My girlfriend, Patricia, has been joining me on my long skates on her bike protecting me from the Atlanta Traffic as i have been doing skates on the weekend from 20-55 miles long. During these outings I've been playing with new ways of carrying my nutrition, tool kit and the new cell phone. The cell phone is new as in I finally got one so I can call for help. Also plan to carry with me a set of Aqua shoes in case I have to walk something or can't enter a building with my skates on. All of this in a 3 pocket bike jersey? yeah ok, so figuring out this part can be fun.

Let's see how to cut out some weight? Remove the water I need to carry. BRAG is supported very well with water stops every 10-15 miles. A 24 ounce water bottle normally lasts me over an hour so i should be good there. The powder and Gu's I can carry with me. I have decided on using a mix of Hammer-Gel's Sustain and HEED products. I've been using them for years with great success now but I don't want to carry huge cannisters with me over the week so I figure I'll load up some tubes to take with me. However this "tube" concept is new to me as in I already had the measurements figured out by the scoops, but how many tubes to a bottle? Well I've decided after a few tries the 3 tubes and two Gu's per bottle will work fine so all I'll need to do is carry the tubes and Gu's in a jersey pocket. Also in that pocket will be one aqua shoe.

Tools and I'D will fit into the other shoe and set in the middle pocket and the ever so important water bottle will be in my left most pocket. So all that is figured out now.

Daily, post skate, I plan to ice my feet and ankles down. I'll do this by placing a trash bag in a cardboard box, which i'll get from the traveling coffee shop. and pour a bag of ice in it, go take a post skate shower, and then ice bath my feet. I found a cool little device made by energizer that will recharge my Garmin 305 via two AA batteries. Unfortunately I can't seem to find an adapter for my phone so somehow I'll need to charge it up during the camping trip. I did mention this was a camping trip too right?

Every day we bike (or in my case skate) to a new town and set up camp. It's sort of like a village on wheels this event. Most of the wheels are pedal powered there are Sag and baggage vehicles also and of course 8 100mm wheels this year. My first year, 2003< four of skaters from APRR, two loved supporters and three dogs got a 41 foot RV for the week. My second year one other skater joined me and we did a camping service. Bubba's Pampered Peddlers. Very great guy BTW but I can't afford it with just me. So this year I do it solo, pack a tent a mattress and all the gear I think i'll need. Some shorts, some jerseys, a lot of socks, books and since I won't have any mechanical services available some spare parts and tools for the skates. Oh yeah and lots of Motrin, <Homer Simpson> Mmmmmm Motrin.</Homer Simpson> Plastic bags for the ice bath and batteries to charge up the GPS and to play the MP3 player. I can only take 40 pounds of stuff so it's got to be light packing. I'm hoping to get it all into one duffel bag. The Army after all did train me in packing.

I had been thinking about doing a post event article on this but a good skating buddy here wanted to know what and how i ate during this event after I figured out the estimation on the calorie burn. 36,000 calories from skating and then a 2,500 daily calorie burn for basic metabolic rate. A grand total 53,000 calories during the week. YIKES

Well I hoped you liked Part one. With three weeks left I only have 2 more long outings and then a week off with light skating and biking.


roadskater's picture

BRAG is one of those I'd like to be able to do

Chuck that's great stuff. I can't wait to hear more about the training and practice with the gear, then the event itself. Those are some great ideas.

The Energizer phone charger is what you are using for the Garmin I assume? I guess anyone with a computer with a USB port free could charge the Garmin too.

Do you have access to electricity at the campgrounds? I've seen some solar panels at Wal-Mart in the fishing/camping section but don't know if there's any good there for you, since by the time you finish each day there may be no sun left!

A couple of Soy packets from the Chinese restaurants might work for a high dose of sodium in convenient form. Then you'll want to drink Gatorade again! Or mix in some Morton Lite Salt for sodium and potassium...or bring it in a zip bag. 

Any tips on packing are welcome here. Most who know me know I used to and still tend to bring everything. Not a great plan for an event like BRAG.

Is BRAG a charity?

It's great that you're continuing this tradition. Let us know what it takes to be ready next year. We have some folk here who might manage to join you if you like.

Skateylove amigo...roadskater

BRAG is a Charity event for Special Olympics of Georgia

BRAG is a Charity event for the Special Olympics of Georgia (SOGA). The rest stops are manned and provided by SOGA. I'm not so worried about lack of sodium or such since this is such a well supported ride. So far I've never been late for any of the rest stops, yes I've pushed it a close a few times but never past close time. Typically I'm in around 1 pm, so plenty of sunlight left for me. The campgrounds are actually typically school grounds, so yes there is access to electricity but it's not a guarantee. Not many folks have computers on this event. Between the Tent Camping and it being a week long and baggage being stuffed into a truck no one wants to risk the damage. Some folks of coerce have their own vehicles and they do have extras since they don't need the official baggage truck. I like the safety net of being able to charge my own GPS and not rely on the charity of others. Don't get me wrong, there is a ton of charitable types on this event I just don't want to bother them. Any one that wants to do a day or a few days is more than welcome to join the event. They love us skaters because we actually make them look normal. On the Web site that have "single day" and a "3 Day" (BRAG Lite) options. The biggest problem here is your never really alone here. Everyone says "Hi" to you as you pass them or they pass you and of course with you on skates they have a 1001 questions for you. It's fun though I get to feel like a celebrity. Although the massage guys hate us; we get tighter muscles than the cyclists do and actually make them sweat as they try to stretch us skaters out.
eebee's picture

72 miles/day?

That sounds like a lot of fun, Chuck! Do they break it up into even mileage, or how do they do that? I was interested to read that you are going to be doing this on somewhat new skates. What type of boot? I have a ton of questions but I will wait for your next installment :-)

the avg is 62 miles a day.

the avg is 62 miles a day. it is not broken up evenely though. If I remember this right it's, 55 miles, 66 miles and then 75 miles. off day and then 63 miles 68 miles and 55 miles again. they say total milage is 433 but the math only adds up to 382 miles. the boots are the Bont Semi-Race and well new is a relative term. In the 6 weeks since i've gotten them i think i'm up to 300 miles. i've already done a 55 mile and a 44 mile skate and even did the Callaway Marathon in them at only a month old.
eebee's picture

Blister demons

That's great - the blister and bone bruise demons are leaving you alone in your new skates. May we all be so fortunate!

I have not measured the individual mileage between stopping points along the BRAG route, and I didn't see it on the website. You'll be going southeast, so extra mileage can't be due to the jetstream or the coriolis effect :-). Besides, since you're going down the map it'll be all downhill too, right?

Enough of that stupidity. 

I was curious about the feet-icing idea. Did you not do that before, and what were the consequences? Or is it just a precaution in case you develop some pressure points from your skates? 

a multi day weekend

So with Memorial day weekend it's the perfect time to do a 3 day trial set. As I've done in the past for this I'll do a 55 mile and 2 40 mile skates. This will give me a pretty accurate feel on how I'll do over the event.

 Eeebee, the ice is a trick I've gotten from the runners and something I've used in the past as well. Even though my boots are feeling great the ankles get sore just supporting me that long. The ice will reduce swelling as well as inmprove the circulation and improve the healing of minor tissue damage. I'll also take ibruprofen (motrin) to help conteract swelling from tendon and joint overuse.

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