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

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A mid winter's respite

Our February weather has certainly been cold enough. The mercury dipped to 16F this week, which is good for slowing insect populations, but less good for cycling. Things started to warm up yesterday though and by the time our 9 AM Lite Ride was ready to roll out, I was pulling OFF the tights and leaving the jacket in the car. The thermometer showed 49F at the start and it rose 20 degrees during the ride. The air was calm to start and of course there was a headwind to finish, but that's cycling, right? It was just perfect weather for a ride in my book. How's that for a mid winter break? Love it!!

jack, who asked for this ride, had to work, and our other Elmore regular emailed from some resort in Jamaica to say, "See ya later, suckas!" yeah, ole Therese was riding nothing quicker than a fat tired beach cruiser, that's for sure. Roger, who emailed to say he would be there, was not. Mike S, who said he might show up, also did not. I had a feeling that he wanted the hotter pace with the regular folks. They threw in some hills today too, which he was wanting. As it happened, Mike G came up, as did "Viper" (WITH car keys this time to the collective disappointment of the Millbrook Police Dept, I am sure) A "new" couple, Rick and Andi also showed up. they pulled in to the parking lot with hot looking Tri bikes on the rack, and they both have zero body fat. "Are you SURE you want the Club LITE ride?" I asked. They said yes, and Andi gave me the usual, "I've never ridden this far in my life and my legs are totally jello from lack of use." She and Jodi were able to comapre Tri traing notes as we rode so that all worked out well. Here's a shot of everyone not far from the start in Millbrook

It turns out that Rick had ridden with us once before. He and Jeff B did a break away, so I didn't see much of him the last time we were out together. Jeff had been running late for a kid thing back home, so he slipped the chain on that 56 front ring he rides and warp factor 9 ensued. (Maybe it's not a 56, but he IS fast) Everyone stayed together for most of the day today and we really enjoyed the time in rolling conversations. After leaving the Elmore store northbound on 143, we saw Scott (UPS, not BAS) heading south and waved and yelled our hellos to him. Moments later he was in our group. What a nice guy to ride with and he and Rick knew each other as well.

We crossed 111 and went over Lake Jordan. The day was beautiful and fishermen were out on land and in boats. We waved at them all. Most waved back. The route we took features about 5 good climbs and while Scott and Rick seemed to be sweatless, the rest of us were earning our keep moving up the hills. I brought up the rear, but my plan was to avoid over exertion and cramps. Both goals were achieved. Mike found that he could indeed handle the climbs just fine with a 39/23 combo. I was on a 26/27 at one point, but mostly 26/21. The others all did great, and were nice enough to let me regain their group after cresting the hills. Here are some easy rollers on Coosada Rd in Deatsville. You can see how far back I am. It was worse on the big stuff.

The day was ordinary in that no one wrecked, had animal trouble or flatted. Andi and I both threw chains. She dropped hers onto her chainstay, I dumped mine bewteen my freewheel and the spokes. Both of us got it figured out before damaging anything. Jodi and Andi had derailer adjustment issues, but Scott was faster than the eye could follow in getting them adjusted and working right again. Like the guy in this Blackberry ad: He rides about like this too.

Andi was a little tired at the end, but she was stellar on the ride. I do hope she comes back again. We all agreed it was a nice ride, good company and a great way to get out and get fresh air. the final tally was 43.5 miles and we were in the middle of our advertised 13 - 15 mph avg range. I won't expect another weekend like this one weather-wise for a while, but if we get one, I'll be out on the road, you can be sure. I'll be the one in the wool..

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