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

Saturday, October 16, 2010

It's Been a Very Nice Riding Season

Today was my 20th ride of 100KM (a "metric century" for you non-riders. About 62 miles and a bicyclist's benchmark.) this year. I hoped for 12 which is more than I did last year. 20 is more than I have ever done. Max, Doug and I also all got Century rides in as well (100 miles or more), with Max doing about 3 of them so far this year. In a couple of weeks, we're driving up to Mt. Cheaha, the highest spot in Alabama, to climb it on our bikes and eat lunch (of course!) at the top. Our cycling horizons have certainly expanded. I reflect on those rides, and the out of state trips as well, VA and D.C. and the new cycling friends made this year, and am overtaken with thankfulness for being able to have experienced all of it. Not every mile has been effortless, but every mile has helped me be a better cyclist. To put it in the context of the Apostle James, headwinds and hills, and rough pavement and unexpected detours all work to perfect me (in the quaint King James style of speech, for I am not perfect in anything, especially cycling) as a rider, and as a person too. I've learned to listen better to my body, and to the conversation and mannerisms of others. I'm more patient and I enjoy the good stuff and savor it.

In that last vein, I did not want this morning to end. The sky was so blue, the light so golden, the trees so vivid green with just a touch of Autumn color it took my sense of time away. The winds were light and the pedaling easy, and I could have stayed in that moment along CR 21 heading to Marbury for far longer than it actually took to get there. My skill with a camera is poor, but here is a picture to give some idea of the day.

Frank is looking natty in his Rivendell MUSA knickers. The day was cold to start (44F according to Accuweather) and we shed some clothes by the time we got to our 1st rest stop at Poseys. For me that meant only removing my arm warmers. Later, I opened my jersey zipper, but that's all I could do. Fortunately, the wool base layer and jersey combo handled the increase in temperature during the day with aplomb. I came home to 80F, and was sweating more, but nothing serious.

We went to visit the Confederate war dead at the memorial park in Chilton County. Lots of picnics setting up as we rode in. The soldiers there died years later in in old age homes, and from the headstone dates, looks like many fell during the flu epidemics of the early 20th century.

We paused enough to get a pic of the BIKES of course;

My Rivendell Road Standard is on the left, Frank's custom Bilenky is on the right. My saddle was overstretched by the previous owner (It came from the RBW owners list) so I did a hack-fix that seems to be working out well. I bought a longer bolt at Home Depot and it has so far worked. The saddle is 1" longer than it should be now.

And here I am in a Brooks jersey. Overpriced of course, but not when on closeout at Ben's Cyclery. This is a model from a few years ago, but it was new in the bag. I like it! Now if I could keep my helmet on straight, that would be nice...

It's all wool today. Baselayer, jersey, Kucharik (lightly padded) shorts and defeet wooleater socks. All good stuff. Those are 38mm tires on the blue bike as well. At 65 psi, fast and very smooth over rough roads. We hit plenty of coarse pavement today too.

Frank and I split up in Millbrook, as he turned toward home and I took a quick break under the drive through canopy at Millbrook Presbyterian. A friend, Kathleen drove up and she had a key to get in, which was good since I needed to find a rest room pretty soon anyway. From there it was just 6 more miles back to the house. All in all, 70.1 miles at 14.7 avg with 3,047' of climb. About 1 mph faster than when I rode the shorter version of this rout back in May. Which is to say, about 8%. I'm happy about that and not feeling dead to the world as well.

Until next time, tailwinds!


Suzanad said...

I love the pictures on your blog! :)

Fully Lugged said...


Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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