Sunday, August 31, 2008

LSD Trip

Well, with getting back to my regular schedule at work, and getting busy there as well, I didn't ride for a couple of days.

However, yesterday I loaded the Fuji into the Suby and drove over to a buddy's house and then the two of us rode down to the lake. Then we took a nice ride from downtown south. A casual ride where conversation and enjoying the amazing views of our skyline and the absolutely perfect weather were the main focus of the ride, rather than how efficiently I was riding. He was on a mountain bike, and we were riding the prettiest path in Chicago on a Saturday morning. Had I tried to ride fast, I would have quickly lost my friend on his mountain bike, missed the views, and then I would have likely crashed into a tourist anyway. The Lake Shore Drive path is not the place to try to set speed records on a bike. I must make a point of getting over there more frequently. I live in the far northwest corner of the city, and work in the suburbs, so I don't make it downtown as often as I used to. What a beautiful, beautiful city. I think it is important that every resident of Chicago make it down to the lakefront a couple times a year. It makes it little easier to pay the taxes.

We finished up our ride back and my pals house with a couple of ice cold, locally brewed, Goose Island beers, enjoyed out on his balcony. No personal records were broken, and no goals were met on this ride. But to be sure, this was the best rides I have taken on the Fuji since I started riding it.

Riding through the heart of the city in fairly heavy vehicle traffic to get to the lake front, and then riding the lake front in fairly heavy pedestrian traffic, the crazy shoes became a bit of a nuisance. It wasn't the kind of ride that required that much efficiency, or even that efficient a bike. So, as soon as I got home, the Schwinn (MTB) came down from its ceiling hooks. I spent the afternoon cleaning it up and lubricating all its parts. At one time I had put a set of road tires on the bike, in attempt to make it more streetable. I removed those and put its nice OEM knobby tires back on. No sense in trying to make this bike something it isn't. I installed a rear rack that I had in the rafters as well. I took some time to adjust the seat on the bike using what I have learned adjusting the road bike for a comfortable fit, and in an hour or so, I was riding it around the driveway. After riding the Fuji for all this time, the Schwinn feels like an SUV. My intention is to use this bike for these "casual" rides as well as for short trips to the store and other errands. Also, the Cook county forest preserve has more unpaved bike paths than it does paved. At one time I was pretty involved in Jeeps and off roading, so I do enjoy the dirt as much as the pavement. I figure as long as I'm pedalling something, I'm still getting a good workout, and still building my ability to spend time on a bike saddle. I have a great old mountain bike, and many available dirt paths to ride in this area. I may as well take advantage of them as a way of still reaching my eventual goal to ride a century in 2009. If anything, maybe pedaling against the resistance of wide knobby tires on dirt will do more to improve my stamina then gliding along on ultra narrow high psi tires on smooth pavement. Spending some time on the MTB should make riding the road bike feel positively effortless. A cross training, of sorts.

I also ordered bike racks for the Subaru Friday. Those should be here next week, so I can start taking the bikes to some new places to ride. I'm looking forward to seeing some new places.

16.41 miles (closer to 18. I forgot to reset the computer)
max speed unknown, I didn't reset from the last trip, but no records were shattered to be certain.
11.8 mph avg.


charles said...


I can relate to that kind of simple effortless day on a bike of any kind. Something infinite about riding a bike in the summer. I bought a Giant MTB about four months planning to exercise around the streets of Anderson IN. having no idea that there were nationally known MTB trails a half a mile from my house. Ain't life a trip.

peace, Hop

Paul said...

Had a similar day. Wendy and I went climbing for a couple hours, and then jumped on the road bikes for a leisurely jaunt along the waterfront. Today was the first day of... Pretty cool. It was packed, and it was cool to see so many people having fun and discovering a part of the city they haven't seen/noticed before.

Jimbo! said...

Hey, it didn't seem like a leisurely ride to me!!

Paul said...

@Jimbo!: Why didn't you take the tri bike? :)

Jimbo! said...

Baby steps my friend, baby steps. :)

-T. said...

So much for a ride today! Saturday is looking nice again though, Jimbo. Up for another ride?

Jimbo! said...

Sure!! Gimme a call!