Friday, April 16, 2021

For A Ride

It was supposed to rain all day yesterday, so TigerBlog figured it would be an off day for bike riding.

Then when he woke up, it was only drizzling, and the forecast had changed enough to make him think he could get out without getting soaked. By 8 am, he was out for a ride.

When he finished 11 miles later, he was feeling pretty good about things.

Then, at 10, it was time for the monthly Princeton Department of Athletics staff meeting. And who was one of the guests?

Matt Marquardt. 

If you don't remember, Marquardt is the extraordinary young man who is a senior on the men's swimming and diving team. He's headed to medical school next year.

He's also become an expert in sleep management. As part of his comments yesterday, he posted a slide with five tips to improve your sleep:

1. wake up within a one-hour time range every day
2. get your sleep at night (7-9 hours, plus one when training)
3. make your room a sleep oasis
4. only nap in 90-, 26- or five-minute intervals
5. avoid regular use of melatonin and sleeping pills

And there you have it. 

To TigerBlog, Marquardt will always be the guy who rode his bike across the country. He touched the Pacific Ocean in San Diego on Dec. 30, and he touched the Atlantic Ocean in Jacksonville 20 days later.

That's 2,479 miles in 20 days. That's an average of 124 miles per day. That's essentially TB's regular daily ride squared.

He did all of this to challenge himself, see parts of the country he otherwise might not have and also raise money, in this case for St. Jude's Children Hospital.

He endured seven inches of snow in Texas that forced him to take a day off. The next day he had to ride on a wet 35-degree weather with a tough headwind.

As TB rides these days, he keeps wondering how Marquardt did it. TB would have loved to be able to do something like that when he was young, and he'd still love to be able to do some sort of Point A to Point B ride one of these days.

But to go 2,479 miles in 20 days? No chance.

TB has written about Marquardt before. He's never actually met him, and yesterday was the first time he's heard him speak. He's obviously an extraordinarily impressive young man - even if he's sort of made TB feel bad about his own riding regimen.

Speaking of Princeton athletes who are riding across the country, there are two others who are currently doing so. 

Women's basketball player Maddie Plank and men's basketball player Charlie Bagin left from the Jersey Shore this week. They'll arrive in Washington state on June 17.

That's a little more than 3,000 miles (3,058 to be exact), and that's 65 days to do so. That's an average of 47 miles per day. That's a bit more manageable.

Interestingly, they both talked about training with weighted bicycles, to be ready to ride while carrying up to 40 pounds at a time. 

Plank and Bagin are doing so to raise awareness of mental health issues, something both have said they have been dealing with in the last year. 

Here is what they had to say on the subject:

"Maddie and I are very excited for this trip; we've been thinking about it and talking about it and planning it for about 8 months now," said Bagin. "It's taken on extra meaning now that we've decided to ride for mental health awareness, an issue that we have both been keenly aware of, especially over the last year.
"Upon selecting this amazing cause, I felt so willing and empowered to speak about my mental health struggles and give support to others," said Plank. "I continue to battle an eating disorder and understand that it's a huge problem in athletics and women everywhere. I hope Charlie and my journey gives hope and provides help to those who need it!"

You can read more about their trip HERE.

You can also follow their progress on Instagram at namicoast2coast.

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