Saturday, June 1, 2013

Day 458-Weigh-in Day: 285.6lbs

Start Weight: 365.4
Last Week’s Weight: 280.6
Current Weight: 285.6
This Week’s Weight Loss: +5lbs
Total Weight Loss: 79.8lbs
To Go: 75.2lbs
Miles Biked this Week: 72.32
Total Miles Biked: 2480.54
Miles to Go: 5019.46

GEOGRAPHY (Where I'd be on the map having started at my house in Salt Lake City, Utah, heading for Tokyo):
Pacific Ocean (1760 miles off the west coast. I am heading for the Hawaiian Islands which is 2650 miles from San Diego)

Weekly Bike/Workout Totals
Monday: REST
Tuesday: REST
Wednesday: 10.12 miles (bike)
Thursday: 9.51 miles (bike)
Friday: REST
Saturday: 52.69 (bike)

About a month ago I signed up for a 52-mile bike race out in the Rush Valley/Tooele area. For all of you non-locals, that is about an hour west of Salt Lake City…out in the desert. I’ve really been looking forward to it and signed up for the race as a way to really kick-start my longer riding for the year.

Well, the race was supposed to start this morning at 6:30am so I was up around 4am getting ready. I happen to check my email before leaving and noticed that the bike race organizer had refunded my money and announced that due to low numbers, they were cancelling the race. I was bummed for a moment, but that wasn’t going to affect whether I was going out or not. The race to me wasn’t about trying to win, it was about finishing 52 miles!

My faithful wife and daughter came with me to be my cheerleaders. So my wife would follow me grabbing footage with our GoPro and her iPhone.

When we pulled up to the Stockton, Utah LDS Church, the beginning point of the race, not a soul was around. There was a lady sitting in a truck out in front of the church. I figured it was one of the race organizers.

I jumped out of our van, pulled my bike out of the back, grabbed my essentials and started riding out of the parking lot. I stopped to chat with the lady named Helen, to see what was going on. She confirmed the race had been cancelled. They wondered if the economy or something had affected the attendance. She told me that only 2 people signed up. I guess I was one of them!

Anyway, they invited us to the lunch at noon at the finish line and I told her we would be there. Then I took off up the first part of the course, which was uphill. It got my heart pumping and I was breathing hard. Then once up the hill a ways, the course began about a 5-mile descent. I was hauling butt and thinking I could take advantage of this descent by putting it in high gear and pedaling hard.

The race course starts in Stockton, Utah, heads up the hill a ways and then turns into Tooele City. Then the course takes you into Grantsville down Main Street. By then I was at the 17-mile marker and called my wife to let her know where I was. She and my daughter had gone in another direction to go look at some Ostriches.

We met up at the next leg of the ride where they shared a little food with me and I downed some Gatorade. This is where the ride started to get really hard. The next 15-20 miles was a nice uphill ride. The grades for the hills were about 3-6%. It was a very good way to train, and get a taste of some long hill riding. After a while on the hills, your legs just seem to go numb, and pretty soon despite the pain being there, you just keep peddling through it. At one point my quads were burning big time to the point where I was actually feeling some serious pain. I had forgotten to take some Ibuprofen earlier and so I quickly took some. That made all the difference!

One of my favorite parts of the day was hearing my little girl yelling out the window as she and my wife would pass me back and forth. She’d yell, “Yeah Daddy!” I was really grateful that they came along to give me a morale boost.

At the 37-mile mark I could feel my butt getting tired, and one of my toes in my right shoe was in pain. I think my compression sock was tightening up on it and making it hurt. I tried to stretch it while riding, but just plowed through it. Before I knew it, I was passing the starting line as the race course is a big loop. But the ride didn’t end there. It was still up a 6% grade hill and down the road another 4 miles to the finish line. I was so grateful to get up over the hills. I was literally praying and thanking God for helping me make Then, the next thing I knew, I could see the finish line…finally the end! 52 miles! It took me 5 hours and 10 minutes. I would say an hour of that time was pit stops, resting and eating.

This next part’s cool…

The organization that was sponsoring the race the local Tooele Masonic Lodge…still held a BBQ at the finish line. They were the local Masonic Lodge and, and some very friendly people. So here I am, the only cyclist, pulling into the parking lot, to a race that was cancelled. Yet, I could say that I was the first one over the finish line! Ha ha. This may be the only bike race in which I will ever come in first place! Ha ha. Well, the good people at the lodge took good care of us, feeding us and giving us some good conversation. I felt bad that their race, which was also to benefit a local children’s charity, hadn’t had the success they had hoped for. We all ate and enjoyed the BBQ though. Now, here’s the kicker, they went ahead and presented me with the First Place prize for the race! I guess that’s what one gets for showing up! It really made me happy and was the cherry on top of the whole experience today! When we came to the race this morning, I hauled my bike inside our van. But when we left to go home after the race, I took home a vehicle bike rack, which was the prize they gave me! I don’t have to haul my bike around inside my van anymore.

I have to thank Sean, Helen, and some other very nice people at the Tooele Masonic Lodge for their hospitality and generous prize. They all made me feel special today, even though I was the only guy that came out to do the course! Again, I guess “just showing” up can make a big difference!

Well, I’m a little tired after this adventure out in the high desert of Tooele County. It was a good experience and we took a lot of great footage and pictures.

So here I am thinking during today’s ride… “Okay, I’ve got to not only bike the distance I did today, but then bike up a mountain for 2-3 hours, and then hike that mountain when I’m in Japan!” It seems a little impossible, but 16 months ago, biking 52 miles seemed impossible too! I remember 16 months ago that biking 2.5 miles seemed so far!

Happy June!


The good people at the Tooele Masonic Lodge present me with the First Place prize at their bike race! But I was the only biker that showed up to the race!

The Route I rode today. 52 miles!!


  1. I was just looking at the map around your area - I don't know if there might still be snow up there, but a round-trip to "East Canyon Reservoir", via Emigration Canyon Road & Rte.65, looks great!
    Or even just as a single climb - 16 miles to the top (from Foothill Drive).

  2. P.S. Congratulations! FTW...

  3. Funny that you should hone in on that. That is my new training ground. If I ride from my house up Emigration Canyon and back I can get around 40-50 miles. I am just a bit freaked out though about Fuji. I was looking at the grades on that ride and I saw some as high as that really true?

    Thanks for being a great support Travis! You really are the inspiration to this whole experience! August is coming fast!

  4. WOW!! SO PROUD OF YOU! I am seriously amazed at your progress these last 16 months. You have hung in there and accomplished so much! 52 miles is incredible! Awesome job and it can only get mo betta mo betta LOL!!!!

  5. Hooray for you!!!! You and your family are AWESOME!

  6. Don: It was both our pleasure and good fortune that you showed up yesterday...~in spite~ of being given an excellent excuse to skip the ride. While we'd certainly hoped for many more participants than what we garnered, with you alone we more than made up for our lack of quantity with your ~quality~ of character and subtle life-lesson of persistence and great attitude! You, sir, are an inspiration! You teach us that we're capable of anything when we commit ourselves.
    Not to be outdone, your cute daughter and wife are a testament to solidly supporting our loved ones! Their mutual dedication to your cause is admirable.
    You're all great people and I'm glad that I had the opportunity to meet you and talk to you over lunch yesterday! Best wishes on your goals!
    - Shawn Milne, Tooele

  7. Hi Shawn, thank you again for your hospitality. We had a great day, and made an unforgettable memory! And I learned how to spell your name...he he.



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