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

Monday, August 31, 2009

Glassner Century Workers Ride

Our bike club annual supported century ride is coming up on Labor Day weekend, so the organizers did a mini version for the ride volunteers this weekend. We rode the same routes with the cue sheets, and were regaled with fresh beverages and provender at the actual rest stop locations. There were two groups, with the quicker pace people opting for the 54 mile route which is new this year and 4 of us going slower and thinking about 54 or 62 miles. We'd make up our minds as we got closer to the split off point. I helped map out the 54 mile version. It's one of my favorites to ride on a Saturday morning. I designed it as 51 miles, to make it easier for people than the 62 (which actually measures 64), but it was stretched just a little to connect to existing rest stops.

We hit the road at 7 AM and it was pleasantly cool, but very foggy and humid. Moisture was condensing on my skin and bike. My glasses were so fogged up, they were useless. I rode for a while with them down on my nose, peering over them. With a field of view limited by the cap visor above and the opaque lenses below, I felt like a medieval knight in a helmet, looking through the eye slit. After about 10 miles, I just took the glasses off and put them in a back pocket. It was amazing how much more comfortable I was without them, and I saw well enough to enjoy the ride thoroughly.

Here's a picture of a wet dog:Wet Dog by you.

This was taken at Rest Stop #1. The fog had JUST lifted and the sun was peeking out. Here is a picture of the rig and the rider. I am starting to tweak the set up on the Saluki in preparation for a multi day solo ride across TN along the Mississippi River Trail. The picture shows another wet dog. This one is wet from sweat too in addition to the dew.
Going by you.

Generally, it was pretty comfy, although after the ride, I rotated the handlebars upwards about 10 degrees. The Grip King pedals were very provided a good base for my feet, the Grand Bois Ourson tires rolled well over the chip seal and other poorer pavement portions of the ride, while staying reasonably plush and not too slow on the better pavement. I felt good in wool jersey, shorts, and socks.

Michelle and Charles supplied water and Gatorade, along with bananas, breakfast bars, and peanut butter and jelly "tacos." There were fresh grapes as well. We really didn't need anything else. After leaving Rest Stop 1, I noticed that Peggy's rear wheel was a-kilter in her frame. A loosened quick release was allowing the chain side to move forward, pushing the other side toward the chain stay. We stopped and I fixed it. She later let us know that she also had brake rub from a mis adjusted brake caliper, which we did not check for. She thought her legs were just weak. :) I've done the same thing myself before. Peggy decided to turn back to the cars, and Alice went with her. That left just Jim and I of the original group.

At rest stop 2, Jim announced that he was definitely going for 54 miles, not 64. I wanted 64, and Michelle and Charles would have gone out to Rest Stop 3 to support me, but it was silly to make them do that for just 1 rider. I changed my mind and stayed with Jim. The support car rode out in front of us, but we told them they were not needed, and they headed back to the parking lot to set up lunch. Jim had a sudden energy burst and disappeared over the hills in front of me, I never saw him again on the ride. It was fine being alone and I just settled into my "all day" pace and turned the cranks. When I am out on the road touring, slow and steady will be the rule of the day. When the sun got too strong, I pulled over and took 5 in teh shade. No worries. Because I'll be riding TN in October, I'll probably bring a wider than normal assortment of stuff to wear. The temps may change a lot. A trial fit shows that a rear rack with a pair of panniers a saddle bag for misc and a small front rack bag are are than adequate. All the clothes I intend to bring total only 5 lbs, but there will be some other stuff adding another 5 lbs or so. The list may change as weather forecasts for the tour duration become reliable. I won't be camping, but I do want to change into street clothes at night before going to dinner.

Anyway, I trailed the others by a little bit but made it back before lunch was all gone. Phillip provided portobello mushroom sandwiches which were excellent. There was a pasta salad which I did not try, and beverages too. It was nice to sit in the shade and chat while we ate. The ride came out to 55.5 miles at 14.2 mph avg, which is pretty usual for me. On a fatter tired, heavier bike, over rolling hills, it was fine.

I'm looking forward to working SAG next Saturday, and riding myself on Friday and Monday.

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