The Road BEYOND Warrior Dash: Leann Papineau

Posted: May 20, 2011 in Fitness, Friends, Motivational

Last week I mentioned that I wanted to feature a blog about Leann. She recently rode coast to coast on her bicycle. This week I managed to ride 60 miles on my bike by doing 30 miles per day for two days in a row. I can’t imagine doing three or four times that many miles per day. I wanted to know what made her tick and how she managed to accomplish it. Here’s the outline of our Q&A session.

Did you ride alone or with a group?

I rode alone

What kind of bike do you have?

A Scott mountain bike with a road set up

Any necessary additions or modifications to your bike that you recommend?

I had handle bars with bar ends and aerobars, i also had a somewhat roadie wheel set with road tires to help improve rolling resistance.

You had Panniers. What did you pack in them?

I did use panniers but initially started with a trailer that I ended up ditching before I even left Florida. I packed a change of clothes, bike parts/supplies, and food and fluids. Really as little as possible. I also carried a small tent that I used when there was a nice place to camp.

Where did you sleep?

I mostly stayed with friends and/or in hotels, what ever was available. i wanted to camp more but safety became in issue.

How long did the entire trip take?

The trip took 33 days of which 4 were days off for rest.

How many miles did you try to cover per day?

The first two weeks I averaged over 100 miles per day but the later weeks were slower based on the location of towns. In addition, long term fatigue really started wearing me down physically. I was on my own for the trip. I rode with another cyclist one day but dropped him cause he was too slow for a long term riding partner. I did rent a car one day to get to a bike shop cause I had some mechanical problems. I also rented a car to hit the grand canyon for the night (had I rode it would have been an additional 10 days that I didn’t have time in my schedule for.

How did you get back home?

I flew home.

Did you sustain any injuries along the way?

No real injuries other than muscle failure and back and shoulder pains from being in the seat so long.

What was the best part?

Inks Lake outside of Austin, TX and Borrego Springs, CA. Both were stunning.

How much soreness did you experience and what did you do to alleviate it?

By the end of the trip I was on an Aleve and Advil doubled up. It took me almost an hour each morning for the pain killers to kick in and I would have to massage my legs just to get out of bed.

Not to be gross but how did you avoid wear and tear in the lower/nether regions?

I used something called butt butter for saddle sores, it’s sold in most bike shops.

What was the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge was the loneliness, the last two weeks I missed my family so much that it was hard to stay focused. Dehydration was an issue as well. It’s hard to figure out exactly what the proper intake should be and it changed daily depending on the weather and/or climate. Dehydrating in the desert is really easy to do even when you consume gallons of fluids. I also had to force feed myself daily to get the appropriate caloric intake needed to sustain energy levels. Getting enough protein was very hard because I needed 80 grams a day to avoid muscle deterioration. It’s really hard to get that much protein on the road.

What made you decide to do this?

I did the trip because I was just really unhappy with the way my life was going. I’m not really good with depression and/or feeling sorry for myself so i decided to use the trip to take the time I needed to work out some issues from my past and present, as well as to plan out my future. I also figured that if I could pedal to California then every obstacle in life afterwards would be easy and pale in comparison. It worked and I really feel better now than in the last 20 years 🙂

A pretty incredible account of an experience most of us may never have. I hope to give it a shot one day. I’ve only managed 30 miles at a time without leaving the seat for a break. I’ve been toying around with the idea of going from Orlando to Cocoa Beach with Matt and James in the next few weeks. That’s a 53-mile ride. If I can do 30, I can do 53.

A Quick Update

My weight is up this week. I’ve had a six pound increase and find myself at 317 this morning. At least I’m still aligned with my lowest weight since 2010. I’ve been a good boy with my eating so I’m wondering if I’m retaining fluid or…well…could I really have had a 6 pound increase in muscle from all the jogging and biking this week? Hmm…yeah. Let’s go with that answer!

Talk to you later!

  1. Barbara Hochreiter says:

    This happened once before and then the following week it was gone (plus a little more). Don’t let this get you down. What you’ve accomplished is incredible and I am very proud of you and your determination.

  2. Maria says:

    You have been staying the course, I bet the weight today is probably just fluid and will be gone just like it popped up… I love reading your posts, thanks for sharing all of this, of yourself 🙂

    • Pasquale says:

      Thank you, Maria. I’m going back on intermittent fasting Sunday. I know it’s just a number but 300+ has haunted me long enough and I really want to start my membership in the 200 club.

  3. Nice blog! Glad I found you on Twitter! After reading this I think I’ll get a mountain bike!

    • Pasquale says:

      Heck yeah! My bike is one of the greatest things I own. I’m always wanting to take it farther and the calorie burns are intense. Also get a Camelback for the long rides, padded gloves and a helmet. You never know when you might fly out of the seat.

  4. Melissa says:

    I honestly think it really is muscle gain. It’s entirely possible that you’ve gained that much muscle in a week considering everything you’ve been doing.

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