With new tires, Must come new goals

Its been a long year… We’ve all been to places, lost or found jobs, accomplished.. and failed… Heard.. and saw… But just around the corner comes a new year.

To some of us, it may seem like any other year, but to some, it is a new beggining. A new start, a time, to start over, set new goals, and pedal even further than You’ve ever pedalled before!

Over the last few months after ive started to blog, I personally feel like I’ve accomplished a hell of a lot.

Ive ridden my first century, I’ve raced my first race. Ive started my own blog, which you are reading as of right now. And I’ve done much more some of which I haven’t mentioned within my posts.

But the year has ended and let’s set our invisible trophies back on the shelves deep within our imagination. Let’s raise our eyes and see, what lies ahead? There will be many roads, many little paths, that we will take. Some of which might be a little rocky, some of which will be as smooth as a road can get.

I have a lot planned ahead. There will be a lot of falls for sure, a lot of times it might just be a dead end, but I am determined to do as much as I can, and I’ll try my best to keep it all up.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year everyone!

-Lape

400km trip: day 4+5

So it’s morning. All of our limbs are still in pain from yesterday, but we have the Baltic sea waiting for us, only 50km away.
Thats great, isn’t it!?

We set off, there wasn’t a lot going on that day, we got on the road, lucky for us, first time across the whole of lithuania, there was a bike path going alongside to the road. So we took it.
Eventually, around 20km later, we reached a smaller village where Paulius’ other grandparents lived. We stopped at theirs to say hello, and have a short rest.
Apparently they had no idea we were going to show up, even though Paulius’ dad stated otherwise. Funny.
Well, they still decided to prepare us something to eat. After a nice fulfilling lunch, we talked for a little. And had a little peaceful rest.

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After that, we took off again, leaving us with only 20km to go. We continued on another bikepath and headed to Palanga. There really was nothing ahead of us, no amazing views, no cool roads. Just a regular path.
Eventually we reached one end of Palanga. 

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Then we got lost. I’ve been to the city plenty of times, but this was a different end and it was confusing. So after wandering around, we finally reached the place were we were staying the night. Even though it was late and getting chilly, it didn’t take much hesitation before we both agreed to head to the sea, and take a swim. It was great!

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Here’s the ever so famous bridge of Palanga. It’s quite a nice one in the evening, although quite a lot of people are always on it.
After the swim, we went to the pizzeria with the rest of my family, ate some delicious pizzas and headed for the bridge again. The views are amazing, as well as watching the sunset was pretty cool and rewarding.

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After all of the nice walks and so, we headed for home, to our comfortable beds.

Day 5. Our last day.

This was our last day here and on our trip… It was nice to finally end our trip and the realization of having accomplished something this big at such a small age was truly great. Sure it wasn’t something impossible, but sure enough it was something big, something we both had talked about a few years back.

6am. Our alarm clocks again screaming for us to wake up. We both jump up and get dressed. Nope, not the biking clothes. The swimming trunks!
In the evening the day before, we both had decided that we want a morning swim. Our train was at around lunch time so we had to leave at around 9am latest. We got dressed pretty quickly and by 6.15 were both outside marching to the sea.
The main street, which heads to the bridge, normally is packed with people. This morning, presumably like every other morning at this time, it was almost a ghost town.. apart from the occasional drunk. Most of them were on the so called “walk of shame” heading home from the club. Swearing at their friends for what happened the night before. And as for us, it was just an early morning walk. Nothing too much out of the ordinary..

As we reached the beach, it was even quieter. The sea was calm, not a single wave. And the occasional jogger passed us.

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That’s the first time I saw this bridge dead empty… Nice, huh?
So having little to no time, we headed for the beach, taking of our shirts and placing our feet in the water. It was freezing! Oh holy god how cold it was. But that didn’t stop us, we walked until knee-deep, swearing at each other for making each other do this. We decided to run for it. We both counted to five (why the hell he chose five is still a mystery…) And ran into it. Diving into the calm waters of the sea. Ohh it was cold for sure. But there was nothing more refreshing than the nice breezy water covering us, telling us to wake up.

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We came back home around 7, had a nice breakfast sitting on the floor as my brother was still sleeping in the dining room.

We finally got ourselves ready for the last few kilometers on our bikes. As exhausted and tired from the trip we were, we both did NOT want it to end so soon. We wanted a few more days by the beach. A few more days on the bikes.
We hoped on, and hurried out as we had a train to catch.

We started from the streets, jumping into a gravel park. I was sure there was supposed to be a great curvy asphalt around here. Paulius was already annoyed at me for false promises but I did not ease down, and continued my way, looking for that single road.

Around 10km from our starting point of today, we saw this glorious road of ours. Oh the beauty. We were so amazed and distracted that no pictures were taken.

The road had everything. Peaceful nature surrounding us, flawless asphalt layed down, and no people other than the occassional cycler passing us. We sped up, these curves were too much to slow down, it got us awake, and really amazed at how greatly we end the trip! We continued the road for quite a while until it ended and we jumped on the road again.

We got to the station, changed to our casual clothing, and sat down waiting for the train.

Overall we had an amazing trip. It was one heck of an experience, we cycled a total of 450km plus some more back home to reach our homes from the train stations.
Both of us were tired but happy and proud.
We can’t wait for next year!

Thanks to everyone who supported us, and our bikes for making this possible!
Here’s a video of the trip highlights in case you haven’t seen it.

One baby-step closer to the moon

Where is my moon?

A week or so long ago, my mom notified me of a bike marathon happening soon in my whereabouts, and asked me if I wanted to join.

I’ve never participated in any sort of bike race except for this one time when I was around 4, and everyone won.. so without any hesitation I replied with a joyful ‘YES!’. 

This was going to be a great opportunity for me to try myself out in race conditions as well as see how everything works, and what I am capable of.

This was great, I signed up for the race the next night, and waited impatiently, looking at every little detail of the race track. I hadn’t cycled much after my trip with Paulius, only the occasional relaxed evening and morning rides, so I wasn’t ready for a full marathon (100km) (which I later found out I couldn’t even participate in the full one because of my age…) , so I signed up for 50km.

I had 10 days left till the event, and had to start riding again. I decided to make a plan, starting with a full speed 10km , next day 20, the other day some hill-climbing, the next I go for a 5km run. and so on.

After I had started the training, I started changing it since I realized, I can’t keep up with my schedule. on the 3rd (I believe) day of training, I had a nasty slip of the wheel. This is when I posted about The Fall. I took the next day off, even though I was already running behind my schedule.

It’s Time!

A few days just before the event, I get an email, saying I need to pick up my number and gps tracker as well as check in , saying that I will be there. Which I did the next day in the morning, a day before the race.

I picked up the bag, with some gift cards, as well as discount cards for bike shops, and of course, my first number.

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Even though it was just a number, I felt happy. It was my first race, and I still was shocked that I was actually doing it. I’m taking a step closer to crossing one of the bigger items off my bucket list.

#332, I had a good feeling about it.

Go time!

The day has arrived, I’ve done my training, and It’s the day to see if I’m ready for what’s ahead of me.

In the morning I rushed to my garage. I knew the bike wasn’t checked properly, so I had to look through it, as well as give it a wash. I only had 3 hours.

After checking the bike, and all my other gear, making sure I’ve got plenty of water and a power bar to munch if we start slowing down, I was ready to set off.

Me, my little brother, and my mom, all headed off for the race. I was starting to get slightly nervous. I knew I was a good cyclist, safety wise. I knew I will be riding in the professional group so others will most likely be experienced in this and won’t randomly swerve into me. But it wasn’t that. I was nervous because I wasn’t any more sure if I was ready for it. I hadn’t ever done something like this, and even though I’ve ridden greater distances before this, somehow this was more nerve racking than ever. This was my chance to prove myself to everyone who had doubts in me. And a single mistake could ruin it.

We reached the start line, I took out the bike, changed into my sports outfit, and clipped on my number-tag. I took the bike for a spin to see if everything was working and lined myself up for the race.

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Look it’s mee! The one that has ROSE on the side of his pants!

So here I was waiting for the start signal. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but I was sure I Had to get out of there before the people behind me (oh and trust me there was around another 100 people behind me) came rambling over me…

BANG!

I heard the shot! everyone at the front started rushing forwards, yet I was sitting on my bike, waiting for people in front of me get some sort of a move on.
I set off, taking risky jumps through the slower moving crowd. I knew I wasn’t able to keep up this fast of a pace, but I also knew being surrounded by slower cyclists, won’t get me ahead. So , being the dumb person that I am, I started jumping through out people constantly making sure there’s no one behind me that I might crash into.

I made it out alive, and got a nice head start, I wasn’t anywhere close to catching up the first ones as there were quite a few professional cyclists, but I knew I lost the slower amateur ones (I consider myself an amateur, nowhere close to a professional.. YET.). I pedaled through the little clouds of bikers clinging together to get better aerodynamic. yet only using them as a small windshield for fractions of seconds I managed to get in front.

The crowd was cheering, people chanting names, holding posters supporting friends and family. The feeling was truly phenomenal. Sure I knew I wasn’t going to be first, and there is no one , other than my family, that is supporting me, but that was more than enough for me. I knew how much as a toddler I looked up to those sportsmen, thinking how cool they look. Today, I was one of those sportsmen that the kid would look at pointing, saying he hopes to someday be the same.

End of the line buddy!

The straight line that I was riding was ending, and all my dreamy thought left my head faster than it takes someone to blink. There’s a turn coming up, and I knew I had to get my head back into the race, and plan out my actions. I gained up on some rider, and followed his bike.

Cobblestone was ahead. Dang it people, what kind of a race is this?! I’m on a road bike, no suspension , no fat, good grip tires. This was my weakness. I had ridden cobbled road before (also known as Belgian road) and was no stranger as to how much this will slow me down. I powered through, shifting all my weight to my feet, and letting my hands go as loose as possible without letting go of the handlebars.
I got through it, but I knew I’ll have to make a 180 turn and return to it again, as well as this was a continuous track, meaning I have 4 more goes on this.

I got ahead quite well during the first lap, but I knew I had made a mistake… Mistake I was well aware of. I rushed too much in the start trying to get ahead of the slow ones, I rushed too much, losing all my breath, and my legs aching worse than ever after the first lap (10km)

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So I slowed down (as you can see in the picture above, I was pretty exhausted on my second to last turn) keeping a pace of approximately 30km/h for the next 3 laps. The first lap, I did In 16 minutes 54 seconds. Which means I kept a speed of approximately  35km/h…

I lost count…

After my 3rd lap was done, I had already lost count of how much I’ve cycled for, I had nothing to tell me, and there was almost no indication from anything of how many laps it’s been… I was starting the 3rd one, when I was already sure I had done 5, but just to be safe I decided I’d rather do 6 than 4 and be sorry. So I pedalled another lap. Yet I got this bad feeling, like it wasn’t over yet, so I started screaming to my family standing at the end of the track asking how many laps I’ve got left. They weren’t counting. That’s fine, I’ll ask the people at the finish/start line. as I was crossing I asked one of the judges, they shouted “you’ve done 5″ so I took their word for it. little did I know it would’ve been 5 laps If I was with the fastest ones, which had lapped my at my 3rd lap…

 

I stopped… I went to find my family, saying I’m done. I did it. Happy and all. When they noticed me, their faces turned. they looked more surprised and worried than happy. I told them I did my five laps, and was ready to sit down for a bit. they told me it couldn’t be, you’ve only been cycling for 1hour 20 minutes, and with every lap taking 20 minutes, you’ve only done 4…

My jaw dropped. I knew I had one more lap to go, but it was too late, I had jumped out of the track, and I couldn’t really jump back in.
I’m still angry with myself, I could’ve just kept going until someone told me to just stop. I had the strength, even if I would’ve slowed down a little. But I ruined it. My first race…

Never the less, I was happy and proud of myself with the results. I had set myself a new record for 10km (16;54) and now I knew I could do it. I could’ve carried on a lot more and just keep going. I am already making myself promises to train hard, and enter the race next year, making the full 50/100km ,and getting an even better time, hopefully closer to the professional level.

powering up a small hill, before a sharp turn

powering up a small hill, before a sharp turn

This guy did 50km on a hand/arm powered bike rather than pedal bike!

This guy did 50km on a hand/arm powered bike rather than pedal bike!

was a fun ride!

was a fun ride!

Already dressed back!

Already dressed back!

So, What are we doing?

Lape:

I’ve started a new project, trading nothing to something. Check it out!

Originally posted on From nothing to something:

Alright, so in the other info page, I mentioned all this, but I’ll go through it more here.

This is more of an experiment, to see if I would be capable of doing something similar to what some of you might’ve read before in other blogs / news.
basically, my goal is to trade completely nothing to something big. and by big I don’t mean
moon-big, no, I mean big as in pricy, or something that people don’t normally give away for free.

I am not even going to try my luck looking for a free car/ phone / house or whatever else might be in your head right now ( no, I’m not getting a pet tiger, okay?). What I’m actually having in mind, is trading nothing to something small, and that small into something slightly bigger, and that small into something bigger, and so on. you get…

View original 424 more words

Aand I fell.

Any experienced cyclist will tell you, that when cycling, you will fall.

You ever had so much luck.
I did not know what to believe. The fact that I’ve yet to fall, even after doing over a 1000km on my bike, or the fact that the theory was false.
Well today I found my answer, and lost my luck. I’ve had fallen off every bike I had up to now, and this one was no different.

I fell during training for a race which I have coming up. It was starting to rain, but I thought “ah, what does it matter, it’s only rain”, as I finished my last lap near me, i turned to a gas station to cut off a dangerous cross road. I pulled out my phone while slowing down, and turned of Strava (which I’ve yet to review.), quickly put my phone back and grabbed the handlebars. I started leaning right, into a turn.

When luck slips right out from under.
I leaned too much, while peddaling (rookie mistake on a wet surface) there was a small oil spill there, and the surface went even slippier than what it was, before I realized, my back wheel was already slipping away, and I fell to the ground.

The bike skid a few meters away, as I managed to free my legs from my pedals. Lucky me, I got away with road rash on my leg and elbow. Could’ve been worse… Thank you  GLOVES and HELMET!

Bike Trip: Day 3

So it’s day three. We are awoken by our alarm clocks, screaming for some more adventure. As I open the door, we see my cousins puppy jump right at me, into our room. What a nice way to start the day.

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So after a few minutes of playing around with the puppy, I set off to make some tea, as I reached the kitchen, I see my cousins grandfather (my godmothers father). He’s there, eating his breakfast. As we exchange in small-talk, he tells me all about the recent book awards he won for his books, and other interesting stories. He’s lived his part of the life, and has so much to share, I enjoyed listening to it even more.
After some tea with Paulius, we set off to the lake for the last swim. Gorgeous water, great weather, and noone else around. Nothing better than a relaxing, quiet swim.

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As the day went on, we were already late for leaving the house… It was already 11.30, and we weren’t even ready to leave.
As I packed our bags, noticed paulius doing some DIY work on his pants. Apparently, his chair was too hard to ride on, so he needed a softening pad. Here’s what he made.

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He made it from some old cloth and a sponge, he found in the garage. As funny as it may have looked, it was worth the effort, and made the ride comfortable for our next few days.

So after being 2 hours late for leaving, we finally set off.
We’re both upset about the distance we have to ride. 121km is not what we were planning to do today. And even though we are able to do it, it kinda caught us off guard. And the wind isn’t being any nicer either.
But with good company, it’s not long, till we leave our troubles behind, and power through everything.

Today, we made many stops, basically because we were getting really exhausted from the wind. Every hour, we stopped, whether to change water bottles, or eat a Lion bar (oh sweet jesus, the amount of lion bars we ate… Out of all available chocolste bars, we found them to be the richest in the needed nutrition.) We made some more stops, to take pictures like these.

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The golden color of the fields was amazing to us, and made our days ride even more worth it! Even with the goal still 90km away,all those views, was initially what kept us going, we had reasons to take breaks, and take pictures.

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Empty roads were a big advantage for us, since we had the road all to ourself, letting us ride calmer. It was an interesting ride, to the first planned stop. A small town, we headed into the nearest shop. While locking up our bikes, we had some teenage guys walk up to us ask a little about our bikes. It was nice to find someone interested in us. We stocked up on lion bars, some water, and set out to the village square, for a nice lunch. We had sandwiches packed from today, and we ate those with big smiles on our faces. It felt rewarding, and we knew we deserved them.

We ate, and set off again, next city is in 26km, thats fine. We’ll make it! As we were leaving the city, there were a motorcycle group going the opposite way. Paulius, and I are big fans of motocycles, so being the nice people we are, we gave them a thumbs up. And got a few waves back. Even when it’s for a second, it’s a nice exchange to get between fellow motorists, or cyclists. Wether its a car, bike, or a tank, it’s always nice to see that.
So we cycled, we went, and went, we rode and rode, and it never ended. We were reaching the stage where out of exhaustion we were laughing at the smallest things, and the most ridiculous things started happening. We decided to make a stop, and check how much more to ride. It was around 7 pm, and we were afraid we won’t reach our destination till dark. Our GPS gave us different readings than the paper maps. Also the signs were even different.. thats odd. We knew we were going the right way, but we didn’t know how much more. So we kept going and we finally did reach the city of Rietavas. Now that’s great! Except that it was only a stopping point for us, we still had 30km to go. That’s slightly deppressing. It was 9 o’clock, and the sun was going down. If you watch the video, this is when we filmed that sunset ride. We had again restocked on water, and lion bars, and headed for the last road of the day, it was a long way straight. With the views being beautiful, road ahead being empty, and the wind being annoying. 

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Great views, aren’t they? So after a long ride, we finally reached Plunge. At aproximately 10 pm we had reached our destination. More tired than ever, and hoping to just sit down on a couch and drift off to bed.

We were staying at Paulius’ grandmas place, she made us soup for dinner, with some pork ribs (I think… the memories of that day are blurry). We ate it all, we were starving, and headed off to bed straight after that. It was a long day, luckily, only 50km were left tomorrow, and 30 the day after. We were very pleased with ourselves.