I grew up doing the normal amount of bike riding for a rural kid, but a white-knuckled ride down a highway in Cape May, New Jersey around age 10 left my nerves so frayed I couldn't enjoy the pastime anymore. For more than a decade, I'd only get on two wheels if some kind of vacation merriment absolutely demanded it, and even then I would be terrified the entire time. So when I say that I, a new cyclist, am training to do a 545-mile ride for charity in June 2019, I mean that I, a new cyclist, basically a baby deer clipped into a sleek metal death machine, am spending basically all my scant free-time cycling in a desperate attempt to survive a week-long ride. OK, yes, I'm doing it on a tandem, which basically means I'm using my partner's body as a set of (sort of) socially acceptable training wheels. But suffice to say I've got a long road ahead of me, and I'm learning a lot about what it takes to get a beginner ready for multi-day bike trips.