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

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ready for Spring to come, already.

It's been about a month (Since 11/8) since my last Club Lite ride. A month ago it was in the 60s. Today it was in the 30s. Guess which temperature bears the Bruce seal of approval? There were 4 of us today at John Hall for an 8:30 roll out, and we all made comments about "out of shape" or some such. Some faster riders came out as well: Richard, Patty, Dan, and Vanessa cooked along smartly. They left after we did, rode further than we did, and returned to the cars before we did. 'Nuff said?

I had on my birthday suit. Literally. The base layer and long sleeve jersey were BD gifts of Joneswares Wool, as were Ibex wool gloves. Wool Joneswares shorts and wool socks (is there a trend here?) too. Some tights over the shorts and a wind breaker over all that. Wool cycle cap by Jackie Walz on top. I have been taking some ribbing at home for wearing basketball shoes on my bike. I got the things (on closeout) for cheap when I was coerced to come out for the church league basketball team. While Woody Harrelson may not be able to jump like Wesley Snipes, I can't even get my feet more than an inch or two off the floor. Needless to say, I did not stay on the BBall squad, but still had the sneakers. They're black with yellow piping and a yellow Nike Swoosh. UGLY. But wait! What lately unretired cycling Texan sells a line of Nike sportswear in black with yellow trim? Presto chango, these are now my LIVESTRONG cycling shoes, and are considered uber cool by my fellow riders. They all are so jealous now: hunting up another pair is a fruitless exercise. Courtesy of Ebay, I already had a pair of actual Livestrong dri-fit shorts, and today the nice Fedex ground driver brought a year end closeout from Lance: (or one of his elves. Does he have eleves too?) a Livestrong Dri-Fit jacket.

Bottom line is that the clothes took the weather out of the equation. Too bad I couldn't order up more legs though. I was breathing heavily when we started and wondered if I could even do 35 miles. It took about 7 miles for everything muscle wise and cardio wise to warm up and then it was pretty much okay. I carry a lot of weight too. A steel bike, fattish tires and typically, everything except a kitchen sink in my saddle bag. Today the 24 oz water bottle (another BD item) was on the bike so I carried 44 oz all told. Oh, and I think I carried another couple of lbs around my waistline. Yet another BD gift, and all that good T-Day week eating at middle sister's too.

Joe came today, and relaxed along with us some. Mostly he was a mile ahead. We know because his Dinotte tail light is visible that far. He said he was out of shape, but his riding didn't reveal it. Therese came out and I suckered, err, persuaded her to take a clown looking jacket off my hands. It's pink and silver and blue. Oh wait! It looks GOOD on a girl. Hmmm..... Could that Ebay seller have lied when he said, "sure it's for a guy. Paypal or check?" New guy Mike was along too. He and his wife are here for just a year to attend one of the many classes at the Air Force base that go by an acronym. MKY MSE or something like that. I could never keep that stuff straight when I worked for Uncle Sam. Life was simpler back then too. Your fatigues were just one color. My eyes hurt looking at some of the camo patterns they have these days. I notice that Air Force and Army people have different camo schemes. I guess the Air Force doesn't want their troops to be seen when they are in the air. Army people are more often on the ground, so we had to blend in with trees and grass and stuff like that. I think I could spot an Air Force person in a plane or under a parachute pretty fast though. Their camo is just not that good.

We wore whatever it was that we had and rode to the store on US 231, then back to the cars. The Sun was out only fleetingly and when it went behind the overcast, it was damp and cold. It's hard for me to remember to drink enough when I ride in the cold and today was no exception. I ran into cramps about 2 hours out and had to drink all that was in the bottles. It helped and spinning the last 7 miles back really helped. You wouldn't think a month away would do that, but it did. Everyone said they had a good time regardless of the weather, or my snailish pace. Mike said the headwind didn't bother him much, to which I suggested that he ride in FRONT for a while. I need to connect him with that other guy who says he loves the wind. Hopefully, Mike will come out and join us again, and maybe bring along his wife too. I'm glad that we got the ride in, all things considered, and now there is some good football in the offing to watch on TV. Nice Saturday on balance.

It's time to start on winter bike projects too. The handlebars on the Ram will be re wrapped, and the interrupter brake levers removed. They never see any use, why have them? Brake cables will be replenished then as well. I already did the chain on that bike (got 4,000 mi on the original one. It was nothing fancy), and the BB looks good. The wheels have serviceable bearings and we'll get that done as well.

If I wake up with legs tomorrow, I expect I'll go ride somewhere. I already know what happens when I don't ride, I guess I better keep it going.


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