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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, July 01, 2021

My Virtual Appalachian Trail Challenge: June Report

Highly conditioned, well-trained athlete
On Tuesday, some smartass sent me this message: "How are you today?" After I responded I was fine, I received this explanation: "Good. I just saw a PSA telling me to check in on my elderly friends."

This bastard is apparently unaware, despite my constant bragging, that I am a highly conditioned, well-trained athlete.  Not only am I in the middle of  a virtual Appalachian Trail challenge, but I am in training for a 330-mile bike ride from Pittsburgh to DC in August. In fact, I also received an invitation to compete in the Olympics, but turned it down because it looks too easy.  

Here's how the virtual Appalachian Trail challenge works. Any distance based exercise counts along this 2,190-mile journey. This includes walking, running, cycling, canoeing, elliptical or arc trainer, rowing, etc. Two friends are also doing this, although they have different starting dates.

As the weather has improved, I expected my mileage to increase. I had a bad May but made up for it in June. My grandson, who likes to cycle the 13-mile Ironton Trail, has been killing me.H ere's the data, starting January 17.

January - 132.72 miles

February - 220.45 miles

March - 247.03 miles

April - 304.64 miles. 

May - 271.63 miles

June - 429.76 miles 

So far, I have logged 1606.23 miles, which means I've completed 73% of the Appalachian Trail. My June average, helped by my grandson and great weather, was 14.32 miles per day. I'd say about 40% comes from walking or running. 

As pleased as I am about a 14.32 mile per day average, I'm going to have to do much better if I expect to conclude my bikeventure in August in a week or so.  

The 330-mile trip between Pittsburgh and DC starts on the Great Allegheny Passage from Pittsburgh to Cumberland Md,. From there I hop on the C&O trail from Cumberland to DC.. I'd like to complete the trip in a week, but it might take longer. I heard of one fellow who did it in 24 hours. He rode in the dark. I think that's pretty much impossible for mere mortals like myself. 

I better pick it up.  

Next month, I'll be telling you about Pathfinder, an avid cyclist who recently completed a bikeventure of his own. ... On the turnpike. ... The abandoned turnpike. He has offered to accompany me on a ride and I am going to try to fit it in, but that might have to wait until late August or September. 


Ovem Lupo Commitere said...

That's awesome Bernie. Hopefully the heat and humidity won't be too bad in August. Congrats.

Anonymous said...

Having watched your weight loss and constant bike training as described on this blog, wish you all the best. Believe you will do it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks. Although I'm bragging, the real reason for the monthly report is to keep me honest. It's like a report card. I had a shitty May. And really, it's not great. I should be riding more and am hoping the time spent running and walking helps with the endurance I will need. My experience has been that cycling helps my running, but not the reverse. I do think the arc trainer helps me cycle.

I can ride in the heat and humidity so long as I have water. I actually like it. I can walk and run in the heat or cold. But I cannot ride in cold weather. Once the temps drop to around 50, I'm done. It has to be fun.

Believe it or not, the exercise I enjoy most is running. I try to mix in a lot of walking so I don't beat myself up too badly. But the rush and sense of accomplishment is unlike any other exercise for me/ I also like to do a fast ride on the Ironton trail. That gets the heart going. By the way, "fast" for me is only about 12.6 mph. I have a friend who was averaging 22 mph when he was my age. He was a state champ. I also love Tatamy Trailanf the ride from Cementon is like heaven.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I was contacted by a Lehigh County lawyer who did it and told me it was a "life changing experience."

Anonymous said...


You're not bragging. Your focus encourages others.

Anonymous said...

That picture makes you look like the next Mike Tyson and your public wants to know when you will be stepping in the ring? Bernie vs MacRaZy in a fund raiser to defund local nonprofits and there political counterparts.

Anonymous said...

Bernie this is fantastic, good luck continuing your journey! Really looking forward to hearing about the C&O Trail.

The Banker

Anonymous said...


As Anon @ 9:05 states it does encourage others. Keep up the good work! I understand your love for running. It was my favorite also but my knees will not allow it anymore. Now I bike, walk, and swim.

Brad Osborne said...

Go, Bernie, Go!!

Anonymous said...

This blog is a fake blog