Sunday, February 21, 2016

weekend rides (i barely survived)

In an earlier post, I mentioned how I wasn't riding because of a glitch in the medical insurance. Well, that got cleared up enough so that I was able to get out this weekend.

Laura had a ride scheduled for the Freewheelers for yesterday, and Tom H decided he wanted to do a ride, so they combined: Laura did the sheet and Tom did the route. Tom was planning about 45 miles from Mercer Park East area, and Laura was going to ride from home to bring it up to about 60. Normally, 60 miles is a good day for me, so I decided to do that.

Pete and Ed met us at Laura's.

...and we rolled over to Mercer East at a pretty good clip to pick up the rest of the gang:

(bad photography and klutzy deletions: this is the only one that came out).

We got rolling on this route, and it quickly became clear why our pace over was so quick: we soon turned to face a demanding headwind. It came and went with the turns on the route.

Tom had sent Laura the route, and then changed it when he found a bit of used-to-be-a-road (between miles 10-11 on the route), but evidently we mostly followed his route. We stopped at Roy's (Yay!).

I hope never to have to go back to that benighted pit in Clarksburg again.

But at about 45 miles, I began to flag, and then I tired quite quickly. I did fine on the flats with tail- or cross-winds, but with any resistance (hills or headwind), my energy and speed just dropped. I now think I didn't have enough calories on board (I've been trying to lose some winter pounds), but at the time I thought it would pass. It didn't. Further, I was riding the Krakow Monster, my do-everything bike that weighs over 30 lbs., and is now sporting a pannier, so I'm sure it has the aerodynamics of a brick parachute.

Refusing offers of food, I fell behind the group. My thoughts seemed mostly clear (well, as clear as my thinking ever is), so I didn't think it was a bonk... but I'm pretty sure now that it was. I came home, and wound up eating my weight in junk.

For today, though, Laura had made noises about a recovery ride, and we'd met Sean I. at the end of the ride, who hinted he might come out. He didn't; it turned out that this ride was just Laura and me. We did this route.

(Laura said that she was pretty sure that part of the problem from the previous ride was the heavy bike, so I prepped up the Yellow Maserati and took that today. I haven't been on it in months, and I forgot how much I like that bike, too.)

Laura had complained of a headset problem on one of her bikes, which I thought would be an easy fix, but because of the 1"-to-1 1/8" headset adapter, it turned out we didn't have the tools to fix. We made a plan to do the ride and end up at Hart's, which would open at noon. We dawdled along, and stopped for pictures.

On a whim, Laura decided to investigate a bridge on Province Line that's been out for years. We found it newly covered for pedestrian traffic (there's a sign to walk the bike across) and Laura resolve to plan some routing across it. It's pretty.

We went further up to where the old road is now only a power trail.

Then to Boro Bean for coffee.

We saw Andrew, who'd been on the ride the day before, so he stopped and chatted for a few.

Then over to Hart's, where Laura got the headset fixed, and back. Just enough miles, at a slow enough pace, that I'm about recovered from yesterday. I've thought I was pretty strong as a rider, and maybe I am, but I'm not invincible, and I obviously need to prepare and recover properly. It's probably about time I learned that.

Couple of extra pics:

As tough as it was, I'm glad I got 90 miles in. (90 miles in February, and over 350 since the first of the year. Not bad for a guy who doesn't bike-commute.)

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