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

Sunday, February 26, 2012

It was a good week.

Not the most riding in a week, but the first time over 100 miles (117 to be exact) in any week since the week of November 5 - 12. I also was looking forward to each ride, not wondering if I should really ride. Both are improvements! Good ride Saturday with Frank. It was a new layout I mapped this week, and generally very pretty scenery. Climbing early on, but no grades over 10.5% and then long stretches of headwind. I slowed down and chugged along and looking at the time, opted to do 62 miles instead of 72. Redbuds and white buds are appearing on tree tips, and there is a green wash in the lawns. The weeds have been green for a while. Although we have had very cold days here and there, for the most part it's been a warm winter. Rain has been the principle anti-cyling culprit. Here's a typical view on our ride:
Interested Spectators
I rode the Rivendell Rambouillet for this trip. New 37mm Panaracer Pasela tires at 50/55 psi were super comfortable. The wheel set is a threaded Phil Wood hub  with Velocity Aeroheat (28s) rim and I put a wide range D-A FW on it (7 speed) it all friction shifts like silk. I was slow as molasses, having no climbing legs yet and hunkering down in the face of up to 20 mph gusts of headwind. Energy management worked though, along with serious hamstring stretches at the two store stops we made. Frank is always good company and it was a nice way to spend Saturday morning and early afternoon.
Today, we had our family friendly relaxer ride over a flattish 16 mile route. 2 kids on MTBs and 9 adults chatted and pedaled and just enjoyed an hour and half of the bicycle lifestyle. Rick had his minty looking (new paint, fresh FW and rear der) '74 Raleigh. He's owned it from new. New rider Nik found a yard sale special Spalding. I guess early to mid 80's. A lugged steel frame and working components. Good way to get started and see if the biking bug bites. Rode easier when we moved the tire rub generator off the wheel. Made sense since he was actually using a AA battery under seat tail light.
Here are Rick and another friend Tim (rode with us last a couple of years ago) cresting a low hill.

My wife Sharon has been listing things she is grateful for over on her own blog after reading "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. I see a lot of value in that. It is EASY to take life's blessings for granted. I am grateful to have the friendship of my cycling companions, the enjoyment of my body working in concert with a smooth running bicycle, the health to exercise and the beautiful places we get to ride through. And for so much more.
Have a great week everyone.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Don't think I've forgotten about bicycles

Between being under the weather myself and the generally rainy weather we've had on ride days, my miles have been scarce the past few weeks. I've still been cyclo-centric mentally though. At the request of our Alabama Randonneurs RBA, I've drawn up a 200K brevet, intended for night time use. My working title is "Dusk till Dawn Ride." Watch for it in late Summer. It's been a good time to service the fleet too. 3 new chains, innumerable replaced cables, adjusted shifters, and swapped around wheel sets bear witness to my bike activity. At least in the garage.

There has been a lot of local cycling culture action as well. Montgomery enacted a 3' clear passing rule for drivers around cyclists, prodded by many including the Montgomery Bicycle Club and its members. Prattville has a cycling enthusiasts committee (I'm on it) and an MTB trail development committee (on that one too) to bring a richer two wheel lifestyle to the city. All very exciting stuff, but like any worthwhile endeavor, it takes time, and cooperation.

I hope to see my long lost bike buddies back in action soon. Max is still on the mend from some recent surgery and Ron (pictured in the last entry on the Blackhawk Bike) had a run in with a parked car which he will be some time getting well from, although he is definitely working on it.

This Saturday is our Prattville Mardi Gras parade and the PACE (the city cycling group) will have a detachment of tweeded and beaded riders slowly making their way along the route with the ringing of bells and waving of hands.  Hope to get in some road time as well.

Tailwinds for now!

Blog Archive

The Pace Line