After weeks of mornings with lows in the 20's, yesterday (Saturday) started at 38F and the forecast called for a meteoric mercury climb to 70! I had comitted already to help our son relocate some of his bulkier possessions from our house/garage to a storage unit (that we made him rent!) in preparation for his move out and marriage later this year. Also to make room for some things we want to do with the inside of the house. So, a mission style entertainment set, a dryer, a work bench, and assorted smaller items joined his torch kit and tools, already moved over by car. For today, he rented a U-Haul and bewteen 8:00 and 10:30 AM, we got it done.
That left plenty of time for lunch and getting a ride together. I sent out an email, and then had some delicious Hamburger-Broccoli Alfredo casserole that Sharon left for me before heading off to labor in Fl for 2 weeks. ( http://www.genaw.com/lowcarb/hamburger_broccoli_alfredo_casserole.html ) This stuff is de-lish! In fact all the recipes tried out from this site have been excellent. (For those who don't know, I've been on Atkins Maint Phase for about a year now. It helps with weight control and also blood sugar and cholesterol #s. As Atkins writes in "DANDR" - Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution - I do add carbs when engaging in prolonged cardio activities like a spirited bike ride. Usually something like a granola or breakfast bar with up to 1/2 the carbs in sugar and the rest in grains about once an hour. It's far fewer calories than are being burned by the ride, which uses up about 50 per mile. I would bonk without them. Not needed though for easier rides or any of the muscle building exercises I do during the week. Anything in HR zones 1 or 2 in other words, while zones 3 & up require some added carb boost.)
After lunch I went out to the garage to put the fenders back on the Saluki, which I intended to ride today. They were removed to better clean them up. Salty sweat drips over the several summers that the bike has been here had oxidized the aluminum and formed "white rust." Maguiars aluminum rim paste seemed to help, but did not do a perfect job.
In any event, there was some delay while I located all the clips and the special "Daruma" nut required to install these fancy Japanese hammered Honjos. Back when I disassembled it all, I put everything away carefully, where I would be SURE to find it. Right. Anyway, while I was at it, the time seemed right to change the tires just to have a different feel. Grand Bois Oursons have been on since the Fall of 2009 when the bike went from KY to the MS-TN border on the MS River trail, and since buddy Joe had put Maxy Fastys on HIS bike, I had to keep up. There happened to be a pair in the garage stock so I put them on. Well, FIRST I put on a Speedblend, but the wire bead was all mucked up and it was too much trouble to get it to seat on the rim. I decided to leave fixing that to a rainy day. I installed the folding Maxys (no tools needed. Gotta love a folding 650B!) and quickly pumped them up. 55 - 75 is the range, and 65 works well for me. Went inside to change and check emails. When I came back out and jumped on the bike to pedal it out the Yukon parked along the curb, it went "squish." Uh oh. Rear tire was flat. Poked a hole in it when changing the tire, I guess!
The good news is that there were 3 other bikes in the garage to choose from. Since I was pressed for time, instead of putting in a tube (why is it ALWAYS the back tire? Is it just ME?) I took Louise the Rambouillet down off her hook and put her in the car. Chad, Donna, Jacob and Jean were all no shows at the meeting point, but Clarence, Pete and Autumn were there and Frank soon joined us. Autumn rode with us about a year ago, maybe more, and is just back on the bike following her return from deployment in Iraq. She's Air Force. The temperature was up around 70F and the weather was perfect for a ride, other than a brisk breeze blowing from the WNW. While we were still getting ready, a rider on a Harley-Davidson came to a stop at the corner light and the bike promptly fell over on its side. He braked suddenly and the handlebars turned to the right, causing the bike to fall on its left side. He remained sort of astraddle, trying to pull the bike up while sitting on it. Having ridden a number of cyles in my younger years, I figured this guy was NOT an experienced rider. He had paid $$$ for a big bike, had a leather vest, and the 1/2 way down your head style cap helmet, and thought he could ride. Anyway, I shouted, "Do you need help?" and he nodded emphatically yes. I ran out from the lot across the street and told him we needed to get some leverage on his bike. (When I was just starting to ride many years ago, I had a friend help me lay my own bike on its side when I got it and made sure I knew how and could pick it back up again. It was smaller, but the idea is the same) We got it upright while cars slowed down and thankfully did not hit us. He said he was okay when asked and (motor still running all the while) he drove off. The gas tank took a dent from the smack down, but he can get that fixed/replaced. The handlebar seemed true, which is helpful for steering!
Following the minor excitement, and always glad of blog material, we set off for 33 miles to the Slapout Boys Store. Clarence quickly decided he wasn't feeling quite as perky as he thought, and called me to say he opted for a turnaround at about mile 7. He still got some miles in and fresh air. Not bad at all. Here are Pete, Autumn and Frank all as we headed north on Rucker Rd.
I also wanted a shot to show Sharon that I wore my birthday short sleeve Vittadella jersey. This was the 1st day warm enough since she gave it to me in November to wear it again. It was perfect. Not too hot when the temp crested at 74F and not too cool as it rapidly dropped following the Slapout store stop. I packed arm warmers, but did not need them. The sky really was as blue as the picture shows. It won't last however. Rain is scheduled to set in for a few days and then colder temps again.
The ride was fine. WIth only about 645' total elevation, only the wind held down our pace. We ended with a bit over 15 as an average, nice for so early in the year, and more than that, I felt really good. Except for the foot cramps. I didn't add salt to the Propel today and should have. With the warmer air and perkier pace, sweat and salt loss was higher than it has been on the recent cold days. As usual, riding free (no cleats or clips) meant that I could move my foot around and press out the cramps, never needing to stop and only slowing a mph or two for a few minutes. If the weather permits, we'll get in a beginner ride today at 2. If not, there's a tube in the garage that needs a patch....