Derailleur deployed: Rider diary from Iraq

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by Frank Steele on Jun 19, 2006 at 7:20 PM

VeloNews | Sustaining Sanity in Iraq: The Chow Race

VeloNews has been printing a series of diary entries by Maj. Jason Bryan, a serviceman in Iraq who is keeping his sanity through daily “perimeter rides” around his base, 18.5 kilometers (about 11 miles) to a lap.

He’s doing a lap in the morning and a lap in the evening, and has been averaging about 100 kilometers/week. For June, he’s set a goal of 1000 kilometers, and says his VeloNews celebrity has motivated him: He’s through 800 kilometers with almost 2 weeks to go. He’s thinking about whether he could do 1600 kms, or 1000 miles. He set a new personal best this week of 36:04, and discusses the big advantage his bike gives him when it’s time for chow hall.

Some things never change: He’s got to contend with dogs on his rides, and the desert is hard on components, so he’s learning how to do maintenance. On the other hand, I’ve never come across two cobras on a ride.

Despite the trying conditions, Maj. Bryan is clearly One Of Us.

Maj. Bryan’s diary entries:

June 5: Letter from Iraq: Not your usual road hazards

June 7: Sustaining Sanity in Iraq: A Soldier’s Bicycle Journal

June 12: Sustaining Sanity in Iraq: What a long, strange trip it’s been

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