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

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's Christmas Eve

An early Christmas present arrived today. Instead of the very windy weather forecast earlier in the week, we were blessed with calm air, abundant sunshine and reasonable temperatures for this time of year. 30s at the start and about 50F at the end. 7 of us gathered at a convenient corner and shoved off a little past 9:00 AM. We didn't have to wait to connect to Tom this week. He was there before I was. JOHN was the latest arrival, but was welcome when he made it to the parking lot. Steve is now fully persuaded in the power of wool, so slowly but steadily, the movement of merino through the ranks of club riders continues. He had a baselayer and  Wooly Warm jersey on, and expected Santa to bring Wooly Warm tights to go along with them. I have them too, and love them, although I decided they were TOO warm for today and wore a lighter pair of Pearl Izumis over my Smartwool shorts.

We did the relatively flat 1/3 of the route 1st, which was fine. I prefer to tackle hills on warmed up legs. I say "relatively flat" because that section included two 9% climbs. But it was flat in between them. Just before we started to climb for real, we grabbed a rest and regroup stop at a stop sign.

As you can see, the leaves are gone from these trees, although surprisingly, many still have their very dead and no longer pretty leaves attached to branches. At this point, we had gone up a total of about 300' in 16 miles. Since we finished with 2,100' we had a LOT more ahead of us. I have not been climbing as much as I need to since our Cheaha trip, and Joe and Michelle both said they too were not climb-ready, so it was a good workout for us. Tom, Steve and Frank are all strong, while John hurt a little going up, although he was plenty fast on the flatter sections. John in fact had a spoke break soon after this rest and had to SAG it back to the cars. A good Samaritan gave him a lift, although he had someone to call had that not happened. Steve wore our colorful tights today. It seems someone always does. I'm glad that we rode, these folks are always good to be around. Joe and I keep trying new bike tweaks. His Sam Hillborne now sports Paul Canti brakes and Maxy Fasty Tires. I tried to talk him out his now out of use Pari-Motos but no dice. He had a new handlebar bag and bar tape as well. Joe does bar tape well, including the twining of the ends. I do bar tape sloppy, but it works. I had an Ebay crankset on which I liked a LOT. An Ultegra 52/42/30 triple, it is smoother and quieter than the stock Sugino XD was, and I like that 42 a lot better than the Sugino 36 middle ring. Yes, I'm limited to about 30 mph in a 52/12 as far as pedal ration goes, but I can barely turn that, downhill! I don't see where I need a 53/11, ever.

I'm off most of next week, and will try to get a few more rides in. I'm about 140 mi shy of 4,000 for the year. It COULD happen!

Tailwinds and Merry Christmas to you all.


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