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

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Riding Season is here

DST began today, which is the same thing as saying, "get off the couch and ride!" Isn't it?  It was good to get in 3 rides this week. Hill training on Thursday night, a 60 miler on Saturday in the face of very brisk winds, and today's relaxer outing. I very much appreciate the opportunity to get out and ride and remarked to Max somewhere along the way that riding slow enough that I actually ENJOY it has a very strong attraction! 

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.

Here are our bikes in repose while we dry out some of the sweaty stuff.  I rode the Riv Road and it behaved like a dream. The saddle is about 4 or 5 rides from being broken in, but it was bearable already.  Riv's MUSA riding pants work very well on windy days. I had a pair of Joneswares merino cycle shorts (unpadded) under them. Up top, it was a swobo merino tee under a Joneswares Robinson jersey.  Heavy wool socks in Keen sandals down below, wool cycling cap and wool blend thin Giro Westerly gloves. Temps ranged from 44F to 71F and no issues with clothing. Someone asked me about where to get wool stuff. Besides the retail web sites like Joneswares, Swobo, Ibex, Portland Cyclewear and Kucharik, the bike owner email lists and Ebay are good places to look. There are several cap only places too. Walz, Pace, Randi Jo to name a few. Riv and Synaptic Cycles have nice caps they buy from makers like these to specs. I have a saved Ebay search for wool in cycling and there are 100s of items every day.

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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