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

Saturday, November 17, 2012

November Already?

After whining about not riding last month, I was surprised to tally up the month's saddle time and discover that it was the most miles ridden in any October, ever. Just goes to show I have no sense of how much I'm riding.

Last Saturday, a few of us met in Pintlala, south of Montgomery and did 45 miles. I put cleats on the Shimano MTB shoes and gave them a try. They're a size too large and allow ample space for thick wool socks with plenty of air insulation. To be honest, I like the Keen sandals better. They were okay, but not worth the extra weight. They are also thinner soled than the sandals and I ended up with sore backs of my knees from the saddle being too tall with them. The ride itself was fine. Very pretty and low traffic. We had a new rider, from the Netherlands. Willemin is her name and she is slim and lithe and of course really fast. She is also pleasant company, when I caught up with her at the store stops, but she doesn't like dogs running out to greet us. There were few dogs and those that appeared were defended by the other riders. It was the last weekend for really pretty foliage, and I'm happy to have had the ride.

Today we made a grand tour around Montgomery. Starting from Prattville, we went south to Hope Hull, then east to Taylor Road and north to the EastChase shops where we stopped for lunch at Panera bread. The wind was tough today and I slowed down quite a bit as we headed into it. It moved of course as the Sun shifted in the sky. So, we had tailwinds for almost none of the time and headwinds or sidewinds for almost all of the time.

I saw that the temps were going to range from 40 - 60 during the ride, so I dressed out with Rivendell MUSA riding pants, thick wool socks in Keens down below and a thin merino Tee under a Woolistic merino L/S jersey above. Long finger MTB summer gloves, a wool cap (Synaptic Cycles) and I was good to go. The other guys all had jackets and booties and stuff and had to stop and do equipment removal and rearrangement as the temps warmed. I was fine all day as it was. My motto is "If I can't be fast, at least I can be comfortable." (Think Red Green here, minus the duct tape)

We ended up with 65 miles and my average was just 13 mph. I purposed to stay "within" myself and not get exhausted into the very brisk wind. That was my undoing on the 300K last year. Since the ride was advertised at 13 - 15 avg pace range, I managed it, just barely. I was easily the slowest there, but we all seemed to enjoy the outing equally. We stopped at the MMS store in East Montgomery and said hi to the crew. The shopping center they inhabit would make a suitable start/finish for a Tweed Ride, which could wind through the Sturbridge neighborhood across Vaughn Rd. I'm thinking maybe two Saturday's from now.  Lunch was at Panera Bread and very enjoyable. They had ice coffee which I LOVE.  Max went next store to 5 Guys burgers and came back with a steer on a bun and a bag of french fries so greasy that the bag went "thud" every time we set it down. After swiping his fries of course. Here are Rick and Frank in line for lunch.

It was a fun ride and I'm glad we went.

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