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

Monday, May 10, 2010

Meandering in May

For the 3rd Saturday in a row, I did not ride. Next weekend, I am committed to a golf tournament so unless I can get in a very early outing, it will be a full month without a metric or longer ride. Many people would not consider a round of golf akin to a prison term, but I am a terrible golfer. No amount of lessons makes any difference. This is a business thing, a best ball team effort and my attendance there matters to some people, so I'll show up and put my best foot forward, if not my best swing. This is an annual thing and sometimes a lucky putt of mine actually gets used as a team stroke. One year, I chipped in from the fringe. That sort of thing. After spraying yellow foam practice balls all over the yard last night, I know I'd better find a driving range this week, unless I want to exhaust my complete inventory of golf balls on the course next weekend.

There was no ride for me Thursday either this week; our family was in Dothan for the funeral of a much loved family friend. She was a special young lady who lost a battle with cancer after 6 years. As her mom put it, "Don't forget to hate cancer." I won't. I wore my Amici Veloci (cancer charity cyclists) jersey in a "Pedalin for a Cure" ride down that way a month or so ago in fact.

Tuesday was a great romp through the hills around Prattville. I had my fastest climb up Deer Trace (our local 20% er) ever. Very satisfying. That old Japanese steel frame bike with 'stache bars climbs like a goat. The more I ride them, the more I like those bars too. I took off the Brooks B17 saddle and Out Your Backdoor saddle suitcase 
replacing them with a B5N saddle and a burrito wrap tool kit.

The saddle was NOS from Ebay. Originally furnished as an OEM item on Raleigh bikes, it is the same shape as a B17N with lighter leather than Brooks normal supply, has lace holes, chromed rails and is pebble grained. It was as hard as rock, sitting as it did since the '70s in a bag on a shelf. I've been Proofide - ing it on the underside for about a year, and it has become softer again. I've said many times that I do NOT race, but there must be some subliminal reason that my hill ride is now a full pound lighter. Hmmm....

It was Louise the Rambouillet who went out yesterday though.  Terry ("T2"), a gal with MS who has been riding with me some and whose bike I've tweaked for her, asked about a 30 miler for Sunday afternoon. It would be her longest outing ever. I posted it to the club list, and 9 riders came out! I ended up with almost 50, biking to and from the start point, and had plenty of workout as we had a stiff headwind (I pulled almost the whole way. When I didn't, the rider who did got down on aerobars and made me work to keep up!) Louise sports a racy Ultegra double instead of her original equipment Sugino low range triple, but I never needed the lowest combo I carried up any of the rollers we faced. I had about a 16 mph average going until the last 6 miles or so, when my legs bonked into the wind. I pulled over and rested 5 minutes, letting the granola bars I chowed down percolate through my system. No speed wagon when I started up again, but not a slug anymore. I still lost about 1 mph in overall average, ending under 15. The ride was planned as a casual one, but you know how it goes. Someone in the group kicks it up and everyone goes. Terry paired off with Ron, on his 50 lb SUV of a world tourer. They went much slower, but at the right pace for them. A MUSA seersucker shirt was very comfy over a wool Tee. Some new shorts from Zoic were outstanding!  I saw them at the website for $25/pr and bought two. The liners alone go for $30 and you get one in the shorts. I took them out and rode with just a pair of regular boxer briefs quite happily. The fabric has 92% nylon and 8% spandex and it moves nicely with you and does not flap in the breeze. Super comfortable.

So miles in May are not what they might be, but some biking is making its way into the crowded weekly schedule. In two weeks, nothing planned, so maybe I'll get that next metric in!

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