Friday, May 30, 2008

Why I ride

I got the idea for this from a post on Kent Peterson's blog discussing tire choices for Brevets. Sorry, but now I can't seem to find the article.

He talked about what is important to you in a ride determining tire choice. That got me thinking about what is important to me in a ride.

I have also thought about this topic after riding the Lewis County Historical Ride. I carried a lot of stuff and rode a touring bike which made for a heavier bike than most of the other riders. Also, most of the riders were in groups and rode in pace lines. I finished the ride last.

Did I choose the wrong bike? Should I have gone with a lighter one?

Upon reflection, I decided that I did not. I could ride a lighter bike and finish faster but that was not my goal. I could have rode in a pace line and gone faster but again, that is not what I want from a ride.

What I want from a ride is the following:

* I want to explore and see new things on a ride

* I want to be able to ride all day and be comfortable

* I want to get lost in thought

* I don't want to deal with mechanical details on a ride

* I don't need to be first, I am only competing with the clock and myself

* I want to see birds and animals and flowers

* I don't want to have to stop at a store on my ride (restrooms excepted)

With this in mind, I choose my bike well. I am comfortable and it absorbs the road vibration well.

I sit more upright and can see things easy. I can carry what I need to complete a ride.

My bike is reliable. Solo rides are fun for me. Looking at the back of someones tire is not my idea of an enjoyable ride, I would rather spend the extra energy to not have to pace line.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Road Kill Money

That is what I call all of the change that is laying in the road.
I have made a game of picking this stuff up as I come across it. My year to date total is $10.98.

I pick it up for several reasons:
  • I am helping put it back in circulation
  • It adds another layer of interest to every ride
  • Self-challenges like this are fun
  • It increases attentiveness to objects in your path. To avoid crashes and flats
  • Spending it is fun, some of the money is so battered that it makes the cashier look at it closely.
  • The most interesting though is the internal conflicts that arise. Do I want people to see me stoop for a penny? I am riding in a good rhythm, do I want to break it for a nickel? Was that gum or a quarter, is it worth turning around to see?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Chehalis to Oly and back

On Sunday we were invited to a BBQ at Alx's sisters house. I immediately jumped on the idea of riding there and, hopefully, back as well. I set out at 10 AM and made it there at 1:00PM.

My route goes up SR 507 to catch the bike trail in Tenino. I can follow the trail 21 miles into Olympia. It is only 1.5 miles to their house from the trail.

Everything was ideal. The temperature was 58 and overcast and only a slight breeze.

The ride up was a new record for me of 15.33 mph average.

The return ride was almost as fast at 14.83 mph average. On my return ride, evening was setting in and on the bike path I got to see some quail and a vulture close up. My bike was quiet enough that I got close to them before they noticed me.

Total miles for the day: 77.6

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Loop out to Salkum

On Saturday, I wanted to do a route that was over 50 miles. I decided on a ride out to Salkum. The LCHR went out there and I really liked some of the roads. I decided to enjoy them again.

To start out, I headed south on Jackson Highway at 6 AM. The temperature was 46 so I wore tights and a long sleeve shirt with a vest. I stuck with half-finger gloves and no ear cover since it was forecast to warm up when the sun crested the trees. I brought along shorts.

I was feeling weak and slow and the cycle computer confirmed it, though I felt like I was going faster than the readout showed.

Only a couple miles down the road, my hamstrings started to get tight so I stopped and stretched and checked my seat height. For some reason, my seatpost has been sinking down into the tube. My check confirmed that the seat was low again so I adjusted it, this improved my hamstring problem.

By mile 6 I entered into a fog bank. My glasses got foggy and my shirt got damp but it was nice otherwise. I turned left on North Fork Road and headed to Tauscher Rd. I had not been on this section on Tauscher and wanted to see it. The road was wonderful and the fog lifted, I crosses some real nice forested area and had to take some pics.

One of the pics is of this weeks flower: the Toughleaf Iris. This variety is only found in Washington and Oregon.

After the pictures, I climbed up to Middle Fork Rd and turned left. Shortly after, the sun rose over the trees to shine upon me. I opened my handlebar bag to switch to sunglasses when I found that one of the screws had fallen out of an arm and they would not stay on my face. I stopped and attempted a fix with a tiny stick, which ended up working for about 20 miles. The sunglasses problem got me thinking. It isn't only the bike that I need to focus on for reliability on a Randoneur ride but ALL of my equipment. If this had been a super bright day and I was on a 300K riding east, things would have been bad. While I was dealing with the sunglass situation, I also noticed that the bike computer was set on 'bike 1' which is my MTB. No wonder I was going so slow! I switched the setting to 'bike 2' and continued on.

At about the 16 mile mark, I turned off of Middle Fork onto Deggler and descended into Onalaska (ONY). The town was as quite as the roads had been. Deggler Rd turns into Leonard Rd and heads up a big hill. I felt fortunate that I was turning left part way up the hill onto Burchett Rd. After turning though, I quickly came to rethink my happiness for this road. The surface was in bad shape and I soon was riding though an area where the residents were the type that are not so enjoyable to see.

The type where they fill their property with broken things and put up threatening 'No Trespassing' signs. I saw a couple that were real gems, the signs had large Confederate Flags and lots of writing . I wanted to take a pic of one, but the resident was sitting in his yard, so I thought otherwise. But I found one that was close here.

This road continues as Lacamas and then Shanklin. I stopped on the Shanklin portion to eat a gel packet and some dried apples. Then I turned left on Stowell and headed towards Salkum which is about at the halfway point on the ride. I needed to use a restroom by this time and was hoping to find one to use in Salkum. Finding a restroom seems to be one of the problems that I run into with riding in a lot of rural areas. I reached town at 8:30 and none of the places with one were open. I also ran into problems with Bikely maps here. It showed Wilcox Rd as going though but it did not. But I got a chance to stop at the cemetery since it was Memorial weekend. I backtracked to Fuller Rd and headed west. A mile or 2 down the road I came across a store with a porta-potty and took care of my need. I also changed into shorts since it was warming up.

At the end of Fuller, I turned right on Spencer Rd. This is the road from LCHR that I really wanted to ride again. It follows along the Cowlitz River and good for seeing wildlife. This time a spotted several Mouring Doves and a bird that was brilliant yellow and red with black wings. I tried to take a picture but it flew away. Further along the road, I spotted a patch of watercress in a stream, yum!

This road ends at the Cowlitz Mission and I took some time here to wander the cemetery and take pictures. Then I turned onto Jackson Highway and headed home.

Total distance: 55.82

Avg MPH: 12.11

Friday, May 23, 2008

Weekly ride recap

This week had very diverse weather. On Sunday and Monday temperatures were in the mid-80s.
Tuesday through Thursday was rainy with temperatures in the low 50's.

When the temperatures are hot, riding is harder to me. I don't handle being hot well.
Although, I whine about it raining this time of year when I start to expect dry, it makes the ride easier, since I don't have to worry about overheating.

Sunday coming back from Amtrak was uneventful.

On Monday, I came up with a route to bike class that would add distance and make for some exploration. I headed out the opposite direction (East and South) to connect up with the Springwater Trail, I could follow this 15 miles into Portland and connect with the Eastbank Esplande. The Springwater is nice for several reasons. It allows for riding with less car interaction, this means quieter and mostly safer. This trail has some problems though, the paving is poor through most of it, wavy and bumpy. Along the riverfront it can get very crowded when the weather is nice like the day I rode it. There were lots of mini-Lances straining to beat each other like there was some race going on. There are also LOTS of joggers. I joked to myself that they must be evacuating the city by foot. The combination of the racer wannabes and the joggers makes for an uneasy mix and takes away any enjoyment of the scenery.
The Esplanade is more casual but just by a bit. I noted a couple places on this stretch that will make for good hot weather escapes.
After the Esplanade I climbed up Lloyd to 15th and to class. NE Portland has a strange wind blowing. It was a swirling 25 mph wind, with a lot of dust in the air. I half expected there to be some funnel cloud forming.

Class was about servicing headsets. I cleaned and greased mine. There was enough leftover time to also replace my bottom bracket on this bike. It was very work out.
The ride home was quite an improvement to not have a creaking headset and sloppy play in the BB.
Total miles: 44

Tuesday was one of my rest days.

Wednesday I decided to ride up the gorge to Crown Point State Park. The ride is a steady climb to a vista with 800 foot cliffs down to the Columbia River. It is a great view and a very beautiful ride. It started raining at Corbett and kept it up all the way home.
Total miles: 36

Thursday was a rainy and cold ride downtown. I made my usual stop at one of the food carts for dinner then locked my bike and headed for the station. Train was on time and I got to Chehalis a few minutes early.

About My Commute

I have a somewhat unusual commute. I live in Chehalis, WA but work in Gresham, OR, a distance of over 90 miles. I do it car free this way:
I rent an apartment only 1.2 miles from where I work. I travel from my house to my apartment by Amtrak most of the way and the rest by bicycle.
The Amtrak station is 12 miles from my apartment. After work on Thursday, I load up the panniers and pedal to a bike locker I rent from the City of Portland. There I transfer a pannier to a rolling cart that i picked up at Goodwill.
On Sunday afternoon I do the reverse.

The cycling implications are that I have Portland bikes and a Chehalis bike.

When I ride into the office and back the the apartment M-Thur, I can do it in 5 minutes. This means I can show up in my work clothes not sweaty, no showering or changing at work. Though, fortunately, I do have that option. Work has bike lockers and showers.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Chehalis to Tacoma

As I mentioned in the previous post, today I rode up to Tacoma. I wanted to arrive as early as I could so I set off from my house at 5:30 AM. The pre-dawn light was sufficient at that point and with the temporary warm weather, it was 56 degrees. I was able to begin the ride in a tee, vest and shorts.
The route mapped to about 67 miles so I expected to arrive by 10:30 at my brother-in-laws house.
The first hour was very pleasant and uneventful heading north on SR 507. Then my work pager went off (I am oncall this week). Frustrated, I looked at the page and called in to acknowledge the incident. It took 40 minutes trying to get a hold of someone to work the problem.
With the done, I continued on, a little bit later I came upon some blue Camas in bloom. This area is known as violet prairie. Before it became populated, the whole prairie was covered in blue Camas and was an important food source for the native poeples. Now it can be found along fence lines and in occasional patches.
With the first real warm weather, I was in for several first of the season pleasures. One was the sound of a Swainson's Thrush here is a link to it's song.
Another treat was the smell of Scotch Broom in bloom and warmed by the sun. The plant is listed as a noxious weed that was brought here by a homesick Scotsman. I grew up around it and love it.

In Tenino, I connected with the bike path that connects Lacey, Yelm and Tenino. I stopped at the park first and ate one of the PowerGel packets and topped off my water bottles. I followed this path up to Military Rd.
Right before the turn off, the path passes an equestrian center and there was a Dressage show. I have a co-worker that manages shows like these and, in fact, she was doing so this weekend. I thought the voice over the loudspeaker sounded like her. I will have to check at work and see if this was where her show was.

After turning off of Military road and turning onto Rainier Rd, I passed through an area that I spent most of my youth in and around. Part of this road passes though prairie and forest in the Fort Lewis Military Reservation. I have not traveled this road in probably 15 years, but as I was riding along, I hit a spot and immediately it triggered memories. This spot forms the scenery for many of of my dreams, it must have become some archetype of an outdoor location.

I was now about 29 miles into the ride and the temperature was perfect, I felt excellent except for one problem. I needed to pee and there were no restrooms for miles. Worse, this was an empty roadway with forest on both sides. Unfortunately, being a military reservation, trespassing is bad news so I had to ride along fighting a mental battle whether to risk it or wait for the gas station at the turn onto Yelm Highway. I chose to wait.

When I finally made it there, I bought a chocolate bar, used the restroom and ate a banana and the chocolate. I set out down the Yelm Highway enjoying wide shoulders and smooth riding.
The next couple roads, Meridian and Mullen have very little shoulder and have a fair amount of traffic, but early on a Saturday is not bad.

Now the route traveled West on SR 510 and Old Pacific Highway. There are some real nice spots along this section. At one point it crosses the Nisqually River and the smell of the sun warmed river area was wonderful, one of the best smells of summer.
Then there is a climb up to the first view of Puget Sound with the Olympic Mtns in the background.
At this spot I ate another gel packet and reapplied some sun screen. The road enters Ft Lewis again and back into forest and cool air.
I reached I-5 in good time. and crossed on the overpass. It was at this point that things started to go wrong. My plan was to cross through the golf course on the road that showed on Google maps. I went the wrong way and had to turn back. While getting back to the golf course, I found a robins egg that the chick had hatched from, the shell was mostly intact. I put it in my handlebar bag to show the kids.
Once I got back to the golf course I wandered around on some roads and paths trying to find the way through. At one point, an employee in a golf cart came along and I asked him how to get through. He told me to head on a cart path and I would come to a gravel road. If I continued on that I would end up in Dupont he said. I thanked him and headed out.
About a half mile down the gravel road it branched. I tried all of the different ways and always either ended up on a green or along a high barbed wire fence with me on the inside with 'No Trespassing' signs on the other.
This golf course is on Ft. Lewis property and is open to the public but the military base is connected to it. I went along the fence line, with the knowledge if I was seen, I would be detained. I was desperate to get out of here and back out of the golf course. I eneded up pushing my bike through the greens and out. My hope was that this part of I-5 would allow cyclist on the shoulder. If it did not, i was in for a 30 mile detour which was mind punishing.
Total time wasted on this attempt: 1:15 hours plus an additional 4 miles.

Fortunately, the freeway did allow bikes and I only needed to make it to the next exit. There was a weigh station between the 2 exits and I thought it might be safer to pass through the weigh station. It turns out, this created another problem. The ramp back on the freeway passed under the onramp for the exit I wanted. I ended up bushing my bike up a bush covered slope and onto the right one. I was now more tired both physically and emotionally than I should be here and 2 hours behind schedule. This also put me 2 hours into the hotter part of the day. The temperature had now risen to 84. The distance was 52 miles.
Once one Center Drive though Dupont I picked up bike lanes and made good time to the Dupont Steilacoom Hwy. This road enters Ft Lewis once again and passed though training facilities, shooting ranges and vehicle storage. It is very hot and dusty. Then I entered a cool forest section before Steilacoom. The route follows along Puget Sound for 4 miles with outstanding scenery.

After following the water, there is an extended climb up to the Tacoma plateau. I was feeling ragged from the heat and emotional drain of being lost in the golf course.

Shortly after getting into Tacoma, I issed my turn onto Cirque Dr and got fairly off course. I looked at Google maps and picked a route to avoid backtracking. This was not a great choice as it turns out. I chose to go on Grandview to S 6th and follow 6th until Pearl. These roads were very ugly, busy and had not accommodation for bikes. This section of my ride was dreadful.
Once back on my route, I zoomed to finish the ride. Total Distance 72.44.
This ride left me in good shape. I was not saddle sore, my legs were tired but not sore.
I was well hydrated and did not get a sunburn. The main problem area for this ride was my shoulders and neck. I need to find a way to improve this area.

Observations from ride:
  • Needing a restroom is a reoccurring theme at about mile 30. Need to take better care of this.
  • Bullfrog sunblock is great for swimming but bad for cycling. It is tacky and bugs and road grime stick to your skin
  • Google maps can lead you into places that don't really go though like it looks. Be more careful of these traps.
  • PowerGel is not near as tasty as Gu Gel but getting it cheap will keep me using it.
  • I need to improve my arm, shoulder and neck comfort for long rides. Either strengthen this part of my body or get a bike fit.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Gel score!

My SO was shopping at our favorite grocery liquidator, a fine purveyor of dented cans, unwanted items and some expired stuff. While she was there they got some cases of Power Gel.
Each case was $2.50. They retail for $21.99! That is .10 per packet.

Day After ride report

The Day after the LCHR I expected to be real sore and exhausted.
It turns out that I was not. I was a little sore around the knee area in my quads and my hip flexors were tight.
An hour yoga session did the trick to loosen me up.
My back was the main victim, being stiff and sore.

Biking Weekly Recap

Bike: Trek 970
I rode to work, which is 1.2 miles from my apt.
After work, the temperature was right around 58 degrees which I consider ideal.
I was heading to my bike maintainence class. To get there I take a multi-use path along the Columbia River. The route is about 15 miles. The air was dead calm which was exciting. It usually is quite windy and the prevailing wind there is a headwind. As it turns out, the lack of wind was worse. There were millions of gnats swarming over the bike path and made the ride a slog through the bugs.

On one section I chose to ride along the should of Marine Drive, the city has just repaved it and it was a chance to escape the gnats. As I approached Marine Drive, I heard a low whirring sound that was unusual for a vehicle to make and thought that it must be an electric vehicle. What I found out was that it was an 18 wheeler running a diesel engine and the new pavement was so smooth that the truck made very little noise.
The pavement had another surprise for me as well. Just as I reached the end of the newly paved section, a car passed by me. I panicked momentarily and braced for impact. Then I realized what had happened. As the car went from the extra smooth pavement to the older paved section the sound changed from virtually no tire noise to quite a bit. This change in sound right next to me, is what startled me. The abruptness was like a car suddenly locking up its wheels and skidding, which is what my brain registered. The rest of the ride was quite uneventful.

In bike class we learned about bottom brackets and how to service/replace depending upon the type you have. I had also brought in a new chain and rear cassette to put on my bike. I was working on my Portland Heavy Hauler which is a Trek 970 I have owned since I bought it new in '91. The bottom bracket was original and when I took it out, I noticed the seal was gone on one side and there was a lot of crud packed into the bearing area. Also, the bearings were dry and dusty on the non-drive side. I opted to replace this old BB with a cartridge kind.
Due to the extra stuff I was doing, I started to run short on time and kinda rushed the chain replacement part.

When I set out after class, there was a weird sound, feeling to pedaling. I stopped on the sidewalk under a street lamp to check it out. It was 10 P.M. but I had a 10 mile ride and the noise would drive me nuts if I did not deal with it. I leaned the bike against a power pole over a grassy section and saw that the chain was routed wrong in the rear derailer. It went around a metal tab between the jockey wheels that it should not have. I broke the chain at the quick link and routed it properly. But when I tried to reconnect the quick link, I noticed it was not on the chain on one side. GREAT! It was down in the dark grass somewhere. Time to start feeling around for it. After about 3 minutes, I located it and reconnected the chain.

Trek 970
On the ride to work the rain began, and kept up all day. I had my last Thai language lesson downtown after work. A 27 mile round trip. I was not feeling too excited about getting soaked and sitting through the lesson wet, then getting back on the bike and riding home. The desire to skip out on the lesson nagged all afternoon. I planned to set out and ride towards class then, it things were looking down, I could bail.
As it turned out. The rain let up after 5 minutes and never started again. The ride was ideal after that, temperature was about 56 degrees and having just rained, smells were enhanced. I rode under many horse chestnut trees in full bloom and the air was like perfume. When I crossed the Willamette on the Steel Bridge path, there happened to be cycling time trials on the Naito Parkway. The whole street was roped off and there were lots of police and spectators. I asked a cop how I was supposed to get across and he said to just cross when it would not interfere with the cyclists.

I only rode to and from work, it is a cycling rest day. I have 180 miles ridden in the last 5 days and need to rest my muscles and joints.
I did some upper body weights and an hour of yoga.

Bike: Trek 970
Today after work I head back home to Chehalis. More on my weekly commute cycle in a later post. The ride downtown is 12 miles, temperature is 86 degrees today. The first 'hot one' of the year. Smells that I have not experienced for at least 8 months tickled my nose: hot pavement and heated bark dust. I took it real slow, to keep from arriving at the train station all sweaty.

I work from home and so a complete cycling rest day. Did route planning for my ride tomorrow. My SO is watching her nephew in Tacoma and I am going to ride up there.
The route is 67.7 miles and lots of nice route.


Morning started out at 7:15 AM, 48 degrees and overcast, threatening rain. I had the bike all loaded up (carrying more than was needed but was part of the 'test'). I rode down to the starting point at Stan Hedwall park. I got my number and set out. Was about 7:40 when I began the ride.

I crossed over the freeway and turned on Interstate/Bishop Rd. About 10 minutes into the ride I remembered to set the stopwatch on my phone to record elapsed time. I also began to think about the 8 Gu gels in my handlebar bag. I decided that I would wait until 8:20 to consume the first one. I had eaten an egg on an English muffin, a banana and a yogurt for breakfast.

I also knew that I had some climbing to do soon.

I turned off onto Rush Rd and followed it to Middle fork. Ate the first gel packet (Espresso flavor), it tasted quite good.

Then came the big hill. I got tired on the climb but kept going. At the top was the turn onto Taushcer Rd which is a fast descent to SR 508. I turned right onto 508 and was pleased with the amount of shoulder the road had. I had never tried riding this section and wondered what kind of shoulder it would have.

Then was the turn onto SR 12 and up another extended climb. I reached the top grateful it was not bad and that I had the climbing done for quite some time. On the flats at the top I was passed by a couple with matching bikes and the man commented on how tired he was and hoped that were were not going to be climbing for a while. I figured they were doing the 46 mile route. I continued up 12 to the first food stop.

I used the restroom, added some hydrocortizone cream to saddle area. Then I topped off my water bottles, grabbed 2 boiled potatoes and a banana for my handlebar bag and set out.

Total stop time less than 5 minutes. I was feeling good now and ate the banana as I descended to Oyler Rd. Upon turning left, I munched a potato and drank some water and Gatorade. I wanted to make sure that I had plenty of electrolytes, water and food to complete this ride.

On this section of road I startled 2 bunnies and had a deer cross the road in front of me.

After a couple turns It was a long flat stretch into some slight headwind and my hamstrings were getting tight so I found a good stop and did some stretches. This helped a bunch.

I got passed again by that couple and since we were on a 100 mile only part of the route I knew that they were in for the whole thing. This suprised me based upon his previous comments.

After getting out of the wind, I made a turn south and headed downhill to be greeted by a climb. I took this real easy as I was getting a little tired and was only 27 miles into the ride. Then I got a rest on a long fast downhill and the road headed back west. On this part things started to seem easy again and I poured the speed on, doing about 16.5 mph. Upon passing a roadside memorial, I decided to stop and take a picture. This is when I noticed a rider approaching from behind. I was determined to hold him off for as long as possible.

The route began a series of slight descents and fast descents and after about 5 miles he passed me. I kept with him for another 5 miles.

The route sheet commented on more climbing so I cooled it off since I was feeling a bit spent. Additionally, my bladder was full and making riding not so fun. I was also getting a bit tired and so I gulped another gel packet. At this point I was riding along the Cowlitz river and this section was very beautiful.

After a lot of up and down, I even pushed my bike a little on one, I made it out to open plains again.

I met up with a strong wind that was blowing North. Since I was heading west this was a cross wind for me. I knew that in a dozen miles or less we would be heading North and if the wind held, this would be nice to have pushing me along.

As I was thinking about this and hoping for a restroom soon, I had about 4 more miles to go, I saw an antique glass insulator sitting in the ditch. I decided to take it home. The thing was heavy, about 4 lbs. I chuckled as I put it in my pack. Now the bike weighed more than ever.

Upon finally arriving at the 47 mile food stop at the Cowlitz mission, I was surprised at the grandeur of the church, but first thing was to find a restroom. I asked where and after a bit of difficulty, used it and changed my padded shorts, added some more hydrocortizone and took off my sleeved shirt.

Then I got a couple more taters, half a banana and topped off my water bottles again.

I felt a bit stronger as I set out and was heading West towards Vader.

Once I got to Vader my bottom was feeling the seat quite a bit and my wrists/arms were a bit. My back felt stiff as well. It was nice to now have a tailwind and flat smooth roads with the addition of nice scenery. I picked up the pace again, at a GU packet and worked to put more miles behind me. The next food stop was at mile 73 and I still had 20 miles to make it there.

I kept changing seat position and hand position trying to get comfortable.

Just before Winlock I was passed by a group of about 6 riders and followed them into Winlock. They stopped at a mini-mart so I decided to use them to time a break for me.

I stopped too and stretched and set out just after them.

My legs were feeling tired and my seat was feeling a bit chafed. When I was almost to the 3rd food stop, I saw the riding couple again, but this time they were heading off in the wrong direction. They must have had enough and were bailing.

When I made it to the 3rd food stop at Evaline School, I was grateful to have some watermelon and a cookie. Then I changed shorts one more time and added a bit more hydrocortizone cream, I left the fool leg tights off. I also was getting a spot on my toe that was going to develop a blister if I did not attend to it. The temperate was at 60 degrees now so I took off my Stormsox and my under socks and changed to a dry wool pair. This made a nice change in comfort.

I knew that I had less than 30 miles to go and had a long downhill and flat section just ahead.

I called Alx to tell her I was feeling/doing good and set out.

The ride on Pleasant Valley was fast and I was feeling good. By the time I got to Adna, I was weary but only had 5 mile to the next food stop and 18 to finish. This section was hilly so I ate a GU packet and stopped half way up the big hills to rest. I rolled into the 4 stop at Claquato Church and found I was the last rider and they were closing up shop. I took some pics, had a banana and a potato and put on some Chamois Butt'r. This really made a difference in my saddle area. My arms were sore especially right behind my elbows and my legs were sore and tired. I knew the rest of the route and it was mostly easy going. The question was if the wind would be there when I got to Airport Way, then I would have to ride some headwind and I did not want to lower my average speed which was at 13.3 now.

When I got to Airport Way the air was calm and I was thinking how the weather was doing my bidding when it started to rain and the wind kicked up in my face. So much for getting cocky.

I tried to pour it on for the last 5 miles and did pretty good. I was thinking how mentally I felt great and if my elbows and legs were not sore I could have gone for a double metric century no problem.

I rode to the finish with a smile. The ride organizers told me I was done so I picked up my bike, turned it around and started to ride home. The supporters thought that was very funny. The ride to the house turned into a downpour and I arrived home soaked and happy.

  • I felt that I was well prepared for this ride.
  • I carried too much weight
  • My equipment worked well
  • I enjoy casual rides much better than organized rides.
  • I look forward to my next century and beyond

Friday, May 9, 2008

The day before my 1st Century

I am excited and eager to begin. The ride I am doing is the Lewis County Historical Ride.
I have read many blogs and sites about how to do a long ride and what to bring. I also have a co-worker who has ridden several.
My preparation has been about 7 months.
I have been cycling all winter and doing longer and longer rides. During the week I usually do 2 27 mile days and on the weekend I am now riding 40 mile+ rides.
Two weeks ago, I rode a 100k (63 miles) to Yelm and back and completed the ride in 4:45 clock time and rode it in 4:21. My goal for the ride tomorrow is 8 hours or less of riding and 10 hours or less of clock time.
I feel strong and my bike is ready.
I called the ride organizer and I can go down at 7:00 AM and after completing registration, I can start the ride. One really cool thing is the ride begins at Stan Hedwall Park which is less than 2 miles from my house. I can ride to the ride.

Why another bike blog? Background

OMG! Another blog about cycling!
Well yeah, there are already tons out there but every one has it's own angle.
I chose to start this one because tomorrow is my first 100 mile+ ride (hopefully of many).
As I learn and grow with how to do longer rides, the obvious choice is to journal about them.
Since other people before and after me have and will travel this journey, blogging it will allow for sharing.
So here goes...