Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Where's The Lite?

Ann posted a Club Lite ride for today leaving from the John Hall store in rural eastern Montgomery County at 7:30 AM. I'd been off the bike for a week for one reason or another (well, not exactly. I managed to putter about 18 miles around the neighborhood in street clothes, but nothing heroic, exertion-level wise.) and a "Lite" ride seemed a safe bet to knock the rust off my leg muscles. They planned on 35ish miles and I felt that I would want to ride a few more than that.

After arriving on time, and finding another rider or two before me, I thought it might be a low turn out. But in a short while, several others either came up on bikes, or drove in and parked. Parking was at a premium as there was a "garage sale" at the store today. No garage in sight anywhere, but they did have the sale for it. Angela, to no one's surprise, called at 7:30 to say she was "on the way." That element of our rides has been missing since Laura "PowerCranks" moved on up to competitive riding. (Laura: If you read this, I hope you're having a great riding year) When we pulled out, Scott led us (GREAT to see you Scott, you're riding very strong, stronger than last Summer before the titanium was added - and now removed) and Joe, Ann, Trevor, Angela, Kathy, and I followed. At 18 mph! Apparently, that's the new "lite" speed. Expecting rain today and a "lite" ride, I was on the touring bike with a "duffel" bag hanging off a Nitto Bag lifter (works great btw) behind the saddle, fenders, and 650B 75 psi max fatso tires. Try pushing THAT at 18 for a while. Oh, dopey me.

The bag had a rain kit in it along with my usual list of sundries. Folks, if you're with me on a ride and need something, ask me. It may be in there. Britt, you'd still have your gloves if you know what I mean. Need tools? a rag? rubber glove? check, check, check. And room to spare.

Scott was an Angus bull out in front leading us, but he peeled off after less than 10 miles to pedal back home, leaving us at the mercy of the breezes. Our pace varied somewhat over the day, but I ended up with 16 mph avg. I don't know how long I could have held on to 18, especially hauling up the hills. The ride itself was pretty nice even if it was over very familiar terrain. Clouds cut the sun factor down, but there was some humidity. Ann called out "car back" in the manner of Foghorn Leghorn. You hear her with perfect clarity, that's for sure. I say, I say, I say, good job there Ann. There was the usual mix of lovely fields, rolling hills and horses and cattle to look at as well as nicely done homes set back well off the road ways. At one point, a whole herd of deer shot out of the woods and sped across a field parallel to us. I pulled out the camera and got a picture, but they wouldn't stop and pose for me. I also got a picture of Patty's group as they shot parallel to us. The pictures look so much alike, I can't tell them apart. They're both above for you to decide. It seems everyone is fast except me.

Joe and I were originally going to depart from the main group and head south for a longer ride, but at our store stop the clouds looked like rain was moving in. I changed my mind about the longer ride and opted to stay with the pack and he agreed to join me. As it was, the rain hit us in Matthews and we pedaled the last 7 miles in the wet. Nothing severe, but it was wet. I pulled out the Comp-Velo rain jacket and proudly pointed out our company sponsor logo to everyone else. (they can always use more sponsors, so don't be shy. Email Dave Hiott for info) The biggest concern was keeping the camera dry, to be honest. The cool rain was refreshing. Fenders were nice too. No skunk stripe or wet feet as some others dealt with.

Angela is riding longer distances now, and is finding that the saddle which was comfy in the showroom or for a shorter ride is not very good for longer rides. I think we ALL deal with that. Saddles are SO individual in terms of what is comfortable. Generally, the more you ride, the less padding you want. Saddle position is also adjustable, and don't be afraid to try a shift of the tilt, height, or fore/aft settings to discover what works best for you. My saddle is great for riding on the top of drops, but not for extended periods down on the hooks. Its nose would have to come down.

I guess I'll have to bring a faster bike next time. Or maybe just faster legs. There must be a sale on those somewhere....

The picture titles are descriptive, but to recap bottom to top:

The other riders on CR 36
Me on the same road
One of the fast groups
The other fast group
Showing off my rain gear to the huddled shivering masses under the canopy at the Matthews PO
The rain shower

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