First virtual loop completed, Atlanta to Pacific and back

It’s certainly not the same thing as a real bike ride but it’s about all I’ve got available. And while competitive distance cyclists could do this in less than a month, skilled ordinary riders in a couple of months, the fact that I’ve done it in 14 months (426 days elapsed, 231 riding) is not too bad. What am I talking about – a virtual loop from Boston (actually started at my old address in Woburn), then west across the U.S. to Los Altos (near San Jose, California), then south to Los Angeles, and east on I-40 (passing through my birthplace), then a side loop down to Savannah and finally back to Boston (Cambridge, actually, right to 77 Mass Ave, for those who know where that is (somewhat famous location)).

7094.3 miles!



IOW, averaging 16.7 miles/elapsed day and 30.7 miles/riding day. It looks like I spent about 420 hours on bike or exercise bike, so average speed of 16.9MPH (around my old road riding speed when I used to do 4000 miles/year of real riding). According to measurements on my machine that appears to be about 200K calories burned, or nominally 57lbs I haven’t gained (or lost during early part of this fitness plan) so clearly this has contributed. Meanwhile, as I reported in this post my much longer virtual route (hitting all lower 48 states) has moved along from Portland (as of previous post) to near St. Louis.

So, plodding along, steadily sticking with at least some exercise plan and translating daily records into a virtual trip produces some sense of progress.

Now, other than the fact most of the virtual route is on freeways, I’d actually like to do a trip like this. I can handle it physically but the logistics are fantasy. I certainly wouldn’t take this route. But the real challenge is where to stop overnight and eat and such. That requires an escort (or a lot more distance endurance than I have plus camping).

I’ve done two long-ish trips, an escorted trip in Germany and Austria and a camping trip along the coast highway in northern California. Obviously the escorted trip (our guide arranged overnight lodging and meals, plus had luggage in the sag wagon) was a lot more pleasant than the camping trip. But the camping trip, along about the best route there is, was much better than what a transcontinental trip would require. So I know I’d never make it trying to do bike camping. And then where do I get an escort (or the multiple tens of thousands of $s to go on escorted trip like I encountered last summer up in South Dakota). All that means my virtual trips will also stay fantasy. But again, better than nothing.


About dmill96

old fat (but now getting trim and fit) guy, who used to create software in Silicon Valley (almost before it was called that), who used to go backpacking and bicycling and cross-country skiing and now geodashes, drives AWD in Wyoming, takes pictures, and writes long blog posts and does xizquvjyk.
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3 Responses to First virtual loop completed, Atlanta to Pacific and back

  1. kjmacleod says:

    This is a really fun idea! Perhaps it would keep me motivated to tot up my running miles in the same way…

    • dmill96 says:

      I highly recommend it as an incentive/reward to stick with otherwise (sometimes) boring exercise activities. Sure it would be fun to do real adventures but that often is not possible so a “virtual” trip is better than no trip at all.

      In some of my earlier posts I described my virtual hiking on the John Muir (and later Pacific Crest) trails, again using the same trick, plotting static exercise (treadmill) against a route and using Google Earth to “see” where I was. I’ve actually done portions of those trails and enjoyed that activity far more than the virtual trip, but, again, for me, doing that today is not an available choice. So by translating miles (whether it’s treadmill, bicycle or running) into the virtual trip provides a tiny bit of the feedback (and encouragement to continue the exercise).

  2. Pingback: 18 months of virtual cycling | dailydouq

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