Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Saturday, March 17, 2012
The 1st supported ride of the year for me, and my 1st time riding this venue. The weather was great. About 60F to start and mid 80s by end, but low humidity and some breezes. 5 locals made the hour-long trip South: Max, Rick, Robert, Joe, Larry and me. Joe and Larry paired up and did the whole ride at 18 mph, and NO rest stops. Or so they say. Joe is over 50, so there had to be a stop behind a tree somewhere.
Good organization, quiet roads and nice scenery. Rick and i paired up and did the ride together. He is faster than I am on flats, I climb quicker, so we looked like a mini slinky at times. Both of us ride lugged steel frames and both use free wheels, so there you go.
Here is Rick on the right with his '74 Raleigh and Max in St Pat's Day green on the left. Robert in the center did not get the memo, and sports orange socks. Green bike though. Joe had no clue on the calendar, and came with an orange bike. He smoked the course at an 18 avg (no rest stops over 55 miles) to be sure no one stopped him to question his allegiance to Ireland. Larry told us that growing up back home (Boston area) his job was drive Mom around to the bars so she could observe the day properly. Since he was still wearing the bar band from last night's entertainment on one wrist, it seems he made up for all that sober drive time back in the day.
ALL hills, all the time. The downslopes went by too quickly and the looooong up grades were grinds. No steep ups, just 5% after 6% after 4%, after 7%. You get the idea. After a calm morning with nary a breeze, we turned into a stiff flags-straight headwind for the last 25 miles home. Pretty though. Wisteria wafted perfume across the pavement, azaleas adorned the ample yards, and the hill tops offered nice views.
We had motorcycle safety escorts and they were good folks. This guy was parked at the top of a long climb and after noticing the sign on his windshield, I mentally started to run the numbers.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
It was Larry, Max and I on Thursday. Larry needed to get back early so we swapped elevation for miles. We climbed Gin Shop Hill twice (from 2 approaches) and then did the long grind up Durden. The moon, stars and several planets were out and lovely to behold once we were clear of the city lights.
Yesterday, Max and I did a 20 mile hilly meander to meet up with the Club Lite ride over in Millbrook. We did 33 with them and then pedaled the 6-ish miles back to Prattville. Although we had some pretty decent grades to scale, it was the head wind that was most daunting. Steady 10 - 12 with frequent gusts to 24. It started out from the East, and shifted to South so he headed into to it twice. Bummer! I have to say though, when you go slow, the wind is less of an issue. We rested when we needed to, and enjoyed some social banter. I have to agree with Glen though, we could have made our rest stops a little shorter.
The skies were not especially nice today, but we still had some folks turn out at 2 Pm for the social ride. Good to see Bonnie and Robert T, and Robert A as well as Robert B. Mike came by to harass me for not pedaling to the start (I was mowing the lawn before the ride, Mike. If you'll do my lawn, I'll ride the bike any time) Frank came by to say "Hi" and let us know he'll be back in action soon (back strain) Frank looks way slimmer than last time I saw him. Joe better watch out in the slim and fit dept. His lead is shrinking! And Chris says he's working out too! He's been out on medical for a while but soon to return. Still windy today but no one complained too much about it. The pollen was worse for some people. Mike looked like he was going bank robbing, wearing a neckerchief like a wild West train bandit. He says it was just for pollen. right.
My first charity ride is next week in Greenville. Only a metric, but has some hills. Then in a few more weeks, it's the Dothan Tri-States Century on 4/1, a populaire in Leeds (108K) on 4/7 and our local Tour Autauga coming up on 4/30. Like I said, Riding Season is here! Next month is the official start of our 7th or 8th year (I forget which) of Prattville rides, and we need to start our Tri County Gastronomical excursions again too. Busy busy busy....
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