chris mcnally

Power of Bicycles

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I believe in the Power of Bicycles and their ability to change the world, WBR provides bikes to help with Health & Education needs in rural communities around the developing world. To spread awareness this summer I'm putting my miles to use and will be riding the 1,000 mile loop around Lake Michigan, SOLO! My goal is to put 20 bikes to work in underprivileged places of need.

Please consider supporting my personal fundraising efforts to help mobilize individuals in rural developing countries. Just $165 helps put a brand new bike in the field and forever changes the trajectory of an individuals' lives.

Please spread the word by sharing this page with others who may want to donate, or get involves with their own new initiative!

Thank you very much for your support, Chris

My Achievements

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Raised $165

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Its a Wrap!

Friday 19th Aug

Loop Completed! 966.12 miles & 15,839 feet of climbing the shores of Lake Michigan for World Bicycle Relief! It was a success and a belated thank you to prelaunch corporate sponsor, The Intelligence Exchange (TIEx) who helped come up with a data-based plan to achieve the 1,000 mile loop around Lake Michigan in about a week, self-supported. By achieving the complete loop we will hit our goal of 20 bikes provided (~$3,300) to remote African and Columbian communities in need of sustainable mobility solutions! This will change lives.

 

As proud as I am at our collective contribution to the WRB cause, I feel that the real recipient of gifts was myself. It was an amazing experience that is still just hitting in waves. This write-up wasn’t sooner because my brain needed to process the experience, and take a breath;) 145-100 miles a day for eight days providing my own food and arrangements, tenting four nights and hotel three nights due to rain. All day for 10+ hours straight I felt like I was in the engine control room monitoring watts, heart rate, cadence, wind, navigation, breath, positioning, sight, daylight, rain, pavement, traffic, wildlife... Two hours was required at the end of each day to break down, clean-up, eat, stretch, plug all the battery powered devices in, manage back up power systems, etc. An additional two hours in the morning bike maintenance, backup power repack, stretch, refuel, load up all the foods and drinks possible to prolong first stop, nav overview, nav decisions, identify route highlights, stop by convenience-store for supplies. I would sit a couple times throughout the day, but not for long and only one nap which naively occurred day one.

 

But for the 10+ hours of cycling daily, most of it was in a meditative flow, for eight straight days. And I can’t imagine many other scenarios allowing the luxury of such deep personal immersion, but it was delicious. Reentry was more challenging mentally than I would have expected. But TIEx plan of sustainable power-range to achieve 1k miles in about a week left my body in tip top health and comfort après-velo.

 

Lessons:

1)    Prepare what can be prepared mechanically (anything past ½ life): new BB, new chain, new cassette, new cleats, new heel pad, new tires, new tubeless mount, new bar tape, brooks saddle nose-adjust bolt replace, new brake pads, new brake caliper springs, flush hydraulic brake fluids, more.

2)    Dry Run what’s possible: practicing the 1k mile route was not practical, but I could do some long rides with new bag set up, convert to real food – no/minimal processed ‘energy food’, riding tired, carrying the tent/sleeping bag/hammock/extra water bottles, extra tire and tubes, tools, bike pump, cartos. Fully loaded bike with bags, gear and provisions was 57Lbs ~ 40Lbs over the naked bike.

3)    Endurance Power Zone Identification – sustainable performance. To achieve 1k miles in about a week I needed to average about 150 miles a day. That was my stretch goal. My two largest days were 145 miles. My shortest was 100 miles. 120 mile, 2000’ climbing was my daily actual average. Math dictated that it was possible to achieve 150 miles a day with the 15 hours expected sunlight at easy 10mph. going too slowly was not my risk. Risk of failure was injury, crash, mechanical failure, critical fatigue, illness, not speed.

a.     Piriformis Syndrome was one of a few nagging chronic conditions being monitored. Piriformis Syndrome is simply where some leg muscles pinch the sciatic nerve. Three months ago this condition had me unable to walk and in a wheel chair for two weeks. The piriformis muscle would take 30-90 minutes to warm up. Seated in a traditional road bike position, I had to stay in a very low power output range of under 160 watts. Tempo could normally be 200-250 watts on a 40-mile ride. This is a 20-30% reduction in rider’s primary position, and additional pressure on non-pedal points of contact... Exceeding 160 watts in the problematic position would start pinching the sciatic and make completion of the loop very difficult or impossible. The David & Goliath aspect of this perceived weakness or piriformis/sciatic situation did turn out to my secret weapon. Of course, I couldn’t contain myself to 150 watts, so I found myriad other positions that allowed me to output 300+ watts without a problem like lots of standing, which in-turn had an unexpected benefit of avoiding typical pains, strains and injuries of holding one power position for 10+ hours a day. I’ve never felt better after a couple long days of riding, ever.

 

The goal was achieved, successful completion of Lake Michigan loop in the time allowed. Data driven insights helped a lot. But TIEx captured way more data that could serve purposes beyond our narrow goal in this experiment, and the team would love to hear our community request answers to other cycling queries that may be pestering our collective curiosity. So please submit your data-driven learning requests in comments, chat or email/text and the team will take a crack at it!

 

Thanks to everyone’s support. This is only my first and I hope to announce a similar challenge soon, like maybe around Iceland next summer solstice …

WBR Day 7, actual

Friday 19th Aug

WBR Day 6, actual

Friday 19th Aug

WBR Day 5, tourista day @Mac Is.

Friday 19th Aug

WBR Day 4, Northshore Lake Mich to Mack Is.

Friday 19th Aug

WBR Day 3, actual

Friday 19th Aug

WBR Day 2, actual

Friday 19th Aug

Day 1

Friday 19th Aug

Triumphant Return!

Friday 19th Aug

The Day is SET! 8/6 sunrise

Wednesday 3rd Aug
D-3 today and as final prep takes place fear is being replaced with excitement, thank goodness. Forecast is favorable. Horoscope says it'll be a spiritual, but also says international which wasn't in the trip manifesto,,, so maybe a quick diversion to Sault Ste. Marie to check out the Lake Superior locks in Canada which adds an additional unwelcome 100 miles. No Promises. The big decision now is to bring the hammock or not. These last three days are variety of self-care and light conditioning. New pix to come soon including some of the rig, with some WBR signage!

Gear update: Final bikepacking bags have been selected, installed and tested. Wow what an improvement over panniers: aero, weight, balance/handling!! Tires are Panaracer Gravelking Slick+ but reduced from balloonish 38mm to appropriate 35mm. happy about this improvement in handling. We've also installed the first handlebar bell of my life. Testing a couple mega power back-up systems to bring along as keeping devices powered is key to come comforts and safety. Various lithium ion devices are being monitored for terminal battery syndrome before they're cleared for take off or benched, I'm looking at you Garmin and Light & Motion. Turns out my fork can't handle weight of btl cages, so we shuffled some things around. Brooks England saddle I've been using since 1999 has been refurbished and reports good health for the voyage. ENVE 65 rear wheel with broken spoke history has been cleared for take off, we'll see how she does. New shoe cleats and heal pad was money well spent. Unlike questionable spend on Brooks England genuine leather bar tape seems less padded than expected. Gloves for break in period required;/

Still need to transfer tentative routes to Garmin device and make some map-flashcards. More to come, Chris

Thank you to my supporters

$344.52

The Intelligence Exchange

$26.10

Christopher Newton

Good Luck Chris!

$50

Emily Twomey

Go Chris!! Great cause!

$52.20

Jake Rheude

You rock Chris!!

$172.26

Windy City Coffee Roasters

Way to go Chris! Let me know if you need help with a support vehicle.

$231

Pscx Juniors Team

money from dekalb WBR fundraiser race (mostly George collected) I sent an email to the group too

$172.26

C N V Y R .

$172.26

Christopher Parkin

Great cause! Go get em!

$52.20

John Geletka

$200

Laura Mcnally

$26.10

Christopher Mcnally