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

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Nice Day to Ride

When local riding buddy Rick & I were talking the other day (after he graciously came by and helped out with my lawn. Our mower is a non starter at present. I thought he was going to help me fix it, or loan me a mower for 30 mins - that's all my yard takes me, but no. He mowed my yard with his commercial rig, in about 10 mins, then we ran string trimmers to tidy it all up.) and he mentioned that a 50ish mile ride this weekend would be good. Since current circumstances preclude my presence in Atlanta for a pen show, I thought his idea had plenty of merit.

6 riders showed up for a reprise of the route from last June, which ended with a farewell BBQ to a friend finishing up at the local air force base class and heading "down East" as they say up there in Maine. A good mix of terrain with convenient stores along the way if needed. It was in the upper 40s at the start, and I added a thin wool tee under a s/s merino jersey, wool arm warmers and  wool knee warmers under my shorts. It really was just right. The arm warmers came off about 30 miles out, the knee warmers stayed on as it was really only upper 60s or so when we came back. We did 52 miles, and climbed 2,500' +/-, all rollers, no big hills.

Here are Rick, Mario, and I pedaling up a slight grade near Prattville.  I was looking down at the Garmin to see exactly how slight, it appears.

Plenty of wind (headwind outbound, and at the very end. Tailwind in between) and climbs in the 9% - 11% range. Nothing terribly tough, in other words.  The lead riders took off at a crisp pace, then there were 2 middle speed riders who re connected with us at the stops, then Rick and I, thoroughly enjoying the view from the back. We climbed steadily and slogged into the wind steadily. We enjoyed decent pace on the flats. To say that the azaleas are lovely does them a great disservice. They are spectacular. Plenty of other leafing and flowering things were beautiful to look at. Great reason NOT to stare at a cyclocomputer or down at the road.There were a few dogs today; none of any imminent threat. I saw a brilliant Indigo Bunting over a field and the distinct yellow belly of the Eastern Meadowlark soon after. All the usual animals were out as well.

I put the original wheels back on my Rambouillet and was surprised (again) at how well it rides. It's had other crank sets and wheels on to try but it's back to stock status and rides best that way. Apparently, its designer was onto something with the build he selected.  One of the other riders was on a very nice looking bike that was a size or two too small for him. He's made it work with lots of after market stuff, but he agrees that a larger frame would suit him better. It's so nice to finish a ride and my back, neck, hands and shoulders do not hurt. My legs are a little sore from work, which is okay and my bottom can tell it did something today, like sit on a saddle for several hours. But that's okay, and improves as the season goes on. The reason nothing hurts after 50+ miles is because the bike is properly fit. When the bike fit is right, the ride is so much more fun. 

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