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

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Late to the Half-way Point

My cycling miles finally inched over 1,500 for the year this week. A good month to month and a half behind the curve, I'd say. This year's wetter Summer has a lot to do with it, but other factors play in as well. I can't say I'm enjoying riding any less though, despite getting fewer chances to do it. Today's weather shortened outing is a good example. Many of the usual locals are away today at the Hot 100 in Tuscaloosa. Max, new guy Jeff and I headed out on a route that we hoped would get us back before any real rains hit. We trimmed 64 original miles to 38 and only got rained on a little. Still managed to get some hills in. Overcast and very humid, it was not a pretty day to be riding, but it was still good to be out on 2 wheels.

Over the past few months, my cadence has been creeping up and today I focused on maintaining cadence during climbs. A couple of friends are very good about that and I try to emulate them. It worked well today. I was not fatigued even after a long 9 - 12% triple decker climb. Not fast uphill mind you, but not fatigued and spun the entire way. I'm faster when I mash a bigger gear, but then when I hit a wall, I'm done. No wall this way. Average for this ride was 81, just shy of my goal of 84.

A Port Clinton OH cyclist that I made the acquaintance of on Dailymile was struck from behind on his bike and killed this week. Dale Tusen was a friendly and dynamic 37 year old who started road riding in 2011. I'll definitely miss his posts and comments. The elderly driver said the usual, "I didn't see him." Why should that be an acceptable excuse? I managed NOT to hit 3 dogs that ran out in front of my car at various times this week. Paying attention to the roads helps a lot.

I joined Twitter this week. After seeing what people post, I've decided to only post when I have something to say. I am not witty enough for the stream of consciousness tweets that some can keep flinging into cyber-space. I tweeted one work out, but no more. No one really needs an update in 140 characters. I already have it on Facebook anyway.

Sold my 4th building this week (in 6 weeks of trying). Things are picking up steam it seems. Visited with that customer yesterday. He is replacing a structure that burned after a lightning strike. The building was insured, but the 2 fully restored Pontiac GTOs inside were not. Euuuw. He decided to take a break from restoring for a while and showed me a "project" he hopes someone else will want to take on. It looks to me about 50% ROUGHER than this one I snagged from the interwebs:

I suppose to a restorer, this is normal. The 330ci V8 car has only 80,000 actual miles on it and yes, it runs fine. The body and interior needs a lot of work however.

The rest of the sales swing this week went fine. Auburn/Opelika is still generally depressed, but Huntsville/Decatur is doing better. Had a good stop in Winfield (near Jasper). Later that night I was helping a local church do Pioneer Club, and 2 boys visiting grandparents in GA for the week said they were from Winfield. They were floored that I not only knew where it was but had just been there.

I'm getting close to needing to do some bike restoring. Two bikes could use new paint. Nothing fancy like the last one I had done at Airglow, but to stop further rusting. Maybe a powder coat will do.

I rode in Ga on Thursday and it was a great ride. I did NOT feel like it after work, but went anyway and was so glad i did. Beautiful quiet roads and a couple of big hills to go up. Followed it with a veggie pocket at Milano's Pizza. Good stuff.

I have no confidence that I'll make it to 3,000 miles this year, but there are years where 1,500 is all I got for the whole 12 months, so I am glad to have what I do.


Monday, July 15, 2013

C C Rider Weekend

No, not really a blues fest, just a couple of "c' rides slung back to back. Of the two main riding groups in town, Montgomery Multisport (MMS) features priamrily serious, go-fast, event training types.This picture is from their FaceBook Page:


The other, the Montgomery Bike Club (MBC)has a few racers (and good ones) but also caters to a wide spectrum of riding types. On Saturday, I did a guest shot at leading the MMS "C" ride from their retail store. It was 31 miles, and about 1/2 flat and 1/2 rollers. We had a nice showing and some from each local body came out to pedal, so there were new faces to meet and greet as we went.

My pace ended at 15, which is a tad high for a C ride, but it seemed to fit in okay. The group was very happy to paceline behind me the entire 16 miles out bound INTO the wind. Strangely, they flew by me on the return trip. No one offered to pull for ME. Max later told me that as the lead group got within a mile or so of the end, Michelle got down on her aero bars and said, "Okay boys, let's take it to the barn," and promptly dropped him like he was hauling cargo on his bike. I'm seen that routine before :)

Everyone, including Max, seems to have had a good time. Recent road bike recruit Heather is lighting it up on a bike that fits, Pam is back in action, and newer rider Barbara makes consistent gains in pace and distance. So does Brian who is starting to consider a road bike. It's always great to see beginners develop and move on to find the place they are comfortable riding at, regardless of what it is. Gary is back out on a bike after a long (non cycling) accident induced lay off. We hope that Phil (cycling accident) fully heals up fast and gets back in with us.

Sunday, we did our normal relaxer ride and again had a nice turn out, include 4 new riders. Rain looked likely, so we held it to just a 16 mile out and back on quiet roads. It was still fine. Walter provided the blog material for the day. As have so many others before him, he tried unsuccessfully with two CO2 bottles to get a flat re inflated. I offered my Zefal frame pump and although it was sweaty to use it, the tire aired up just fine. Walter did a creditable job getting the bad tube out and changed, but Mike Munk's all time tube change record (30 seconds) was never in jeopardy  Here's Walter leading the pack out on Sandtown Road.

Again, a good time was had by all.  My legs are itching for some hills though, and I packed a bike for this week up in Northwest GA. No excuse to complain when they kick my butt, right?  Next Saturday looks to be another rollers ride, but longer than the C excursion, although in the same part of the world.

So, Two C rides in a row.  Still felt like a good weekend and with all the recent rain, it was a pleasure to get OUTSIDE.

Hope you're enjoying whatever miles you are riding!


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