Sunday, October 19, 2008

Frozen Toes

Well, they kept calling for nice weather today - and it did get nice.  Eventually.  But when I headed out this morning at 6am, it was 41 degrees.  I thought I had everything I needed to stay warm.  A new jacket, two shirts, a pair of running pants over my bike shorts, some lightweight, full fingered microfiber gloves over my biking gloves, and a cover up for my ears.  I thought I was good to go.  I didn't even consider my toes...

So, after about 10 miles, my toes were getting seriously cold.  And I realised that I wasn't really having all that much fun.  So I made my first attempt at a sprint on a long straight section of the path, then turned the bike around and came home.  There was more than one section of the bike path where the leaves were so thick that I couldn't really tell where the edges of the path were.  And damp leaves get a little slick under road bike tires.  I wonder if I'm going to get another long ride in this season.  I may be better off just taking the Moab out for short trips now that fall is really setting in.
  • 20.19 miles
  • 1' 31"
  • 13.5 mph avg.
  • 26.4 mph max.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Another "Long" Ride This Morning

Rode the North Branch Trail again this morning. Just a tad over 36 miles. I changed my route slightly, and that seems to have made the trip slightly shorter than last time.

This was probably the prettiest bike ride I have had to date. The leaves are changing, it was just about 60 degrees when I left this morning as the sun was coming up. And as the sun came up it just kept getting warmer. The sun was filtering through the colored leaves, tons of people were out this morning, and everyone just seemed to be in a great mood. Deer were everywhere. Came home to a breakfast of scrabbled eggs and waffles with blueberries. It was absolutely a perfect morning.

Ain't endorphins great?

Strangest thing I saw this morning? A tandem recumbent. Talk about a long bike. It was like a tractor-trailer going past me.

Had to stop and raise the seat a touch more this morning due to my left hip complaining again. Still amazes me how different a 1 cm change in the seat height can make a bike feel. I can see why folks end up keeping the same bike for 15 or 20 years. Once you get a bike dialed in, who would want start over?

After riding the Moab to work and back a couple days ago with just some strapless toe clips, rather than the crazy shoes and pedals, I'm still wondering if clipless is the way to go for me. I kind of like being able to move my feet around on the pedals to relieve various aches and pains. I may actually end up switching the Roadie over at some point.

Due to several different factors, I had to stop a couple times this morning. I stopped to raise the seat, got stopped by a train, and I stopped once to fix my shorts. And I couldn't help but notice how much stopping, even if just for 1 minute, helps make the ride go smoother. I think I'll try to incorporate regular stops into my rides. Just like, every 15 miles or so. Stop, stand up nice and straight, stretch a bit, blow the nose, take a drink water and then carry on. I think this may be key to finishing up that century next year.

Then again, maybe I'm just a wimp.

Got passed by a guy for the first time this morning. Tried to pace him for about, oh, 10 seconds. The dude was seriously cruising. Amazing.

Cleared the 300 mile mark on the Fuji today. 320 miles now. Yay!
  • 36.31 miles
  • 2'30" exact
  • 14.0 mph avg.
  • 24.9 mph max.

Friday, October 10, 2008


A couple of "finallys" really.

I finally got the situation settled with Swagman bike racks.  I paid to ship the bike racks that I wasn't happy with back to them, and they sent me two different racks for no additional charge.  No return shipping, no 20% restocking fee.  I had to plead my case quite a bit, but at last my new friend, Karla, relented and helped me out.  I take back any negative words I used toward them, and I will stop sending negative energy their way.  Thanks Karla!

And because I now have a bike rack on the Subaru, I was able to load the Moab on the roof, truck on over to my beautiful daughters school, where I unloaded the bike and road the rest of the way to work.  Took me just as long to ride the Mighty Moab to work from my beautiful daughters school as it did to ride all the way from home on the Roadie.  But I took the Schwinn because I can ride at least half way to work on the Des Plaines Trail System which is an unpaved trail through a forest preserve.  Then, after work, I rode back to the kids school, loaded up the bike, picked up the kid and headed home.  It really is a nice plan, that I hope to do at least a couple more times before the weather just gets too cold.

So, anyway, I rode a fairly short distance today, probably less then 20 miles total, but it was into a headwind on a bike with super wide tires, on soft ground.  So I'm still pretty pooped.  Too pooped to type.  Maybe more on this trip later.  I'm hoping to get the Roadie out and do that 37 mile loop again on Sunday.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Hanging in There

So last Saturday I set out on the bike and got my best distance yet, and I haven't been on the bike since.  Heading out of town this weekend to visit my Dad, so no biking.  My new bike racks are on the way from Swagman, and I think I may have begged and pleaded my case enough that my friend Karla over there is going to let me off of the mat on the 20% restocking fee and maybe even return shipping?  The racks are on the way, and no charges have showed up on my accounts that I can tell.  If that is the case, I will immediately reverse my position that no one should ever buy anything from them ever again.  The racks should be here on the 8th.

But regardless, my new racks are on the way, meaning that I don't currently have any now, meaning the bike can not travel to Indianapolis with us for the weekend.  It is looking like it is going to be a beautiful week next week though.  I may just need to stay home Monday, just to get in another ride and then take care of some other things around the homestead in preparation for the upcoming cold weather.

Which brings up the question: I'm thinking of riding the bike into the house over the winter.  If the weather breaks from time to time it will still be wet and messy, so I'll probably just run the Schwinn on those days.  So, do I go with the trainer that just lets you spin, or do I go for full rollers?  It seems that rollers would give a  more realistic ride, allowing me to continue messing with the fit of the bike for more comfort.  But then, I still need to shake about 10 pounds, so  I thought I might just spend the winter using the bike as a sweating machine, and worry more about form in the spring. 

I'm asking this question as if there are millions of people reading... I need rest.