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Thread: April Rides

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    April Rides

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    I'll start.
    As always, I have good intentions, but sometimes, life does get in the way (and cold wind). About an hour before I was going to go on a group ride, I realized that 1) today was the only day I had to do some advanced cooking prep for Passover 2), buy my son a present for his 30th birthday in time to get it to CA, and 3) although it was the same temperature as when I commuted yesterday, there were 20 mph wind gusts, with a steady breeze of about 10, so the real feel would be about 27 at 10:00. I was very industrious, doing laundry and various other work related tasks, as well as cooking, so at 2:00 DH and i set out for a ride. The wind is out of the north, which is a very cold wind at this time of year. We decided to head up Strawberry Hill first, to get warm, but fighting the wind going up a hill was demoralizing. Good thing was on the middle part of the loop, we had a tailwind, and I was cruising at 19-20. I slowed down a lot, going up my hill, as my knee was a bit angry when I got up this morning, after my commute yesterday. I think it's getting used to the new gearing combos.
    Anyway, a very short ride, 11 miles, but I feel like worked really hard. It looks like there will be no riding until Sunday, though, as while tomorrow will be nice (and warmer), I have to work all day instead of half a day. Friday is going to be 70% chance of rain, and I have an appointment after work. Saturday, looks like rain, too.
    We've subbed the rain for the snow.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    northern Virginia
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    Really the weather is against us. I realize it's nowhere near as bad down here as it is for those of you who are farther north, but it's bad enough for someone who hates the cold more with each passing year. I have cancelled four rides that I had planned over the past couple of weeks, partially because I've been busy and tired, but in large part because I'm just sick of being outside in the cold north wind.

    Tonight I had planned to go out for a ride after work. It's been in the 50s here today and the sun has been warm, but the breeze is from the NW and there's a chill to it and the sun will be gone by the time I get out to ride so it will be chilly. I'm thinking of postponing the ride until tomorrow when it will be warmer. Of course I've been eating all day as if I was going for a ride tonight rather than having a light lunch as I would on a non-workout day, but dammit I'm tired of wearing AmFib tights and Windstopper gloves and booties. It's just making me cranky.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    Well, if it makes you feel any better, I've been wearing my battery heated gloves! Yes, they are a new toy, but I needed them yesterday morning on the way to work, when it was 36. Today, I just wore regular mid weight fleece lined cycling gloves. My hands just can't tolerate the Amphibs, even when I got a bigger size, I just feel like my fingers are being strangled.
    I know this too, will pass, in terms of the weather, but I won't ride in pouring rain. Cold, I am OK with at this time of year, but the wind today really added a dimension I didn't need. Trying to stay positive. I may be able to get a commute in on Friday, but it will require a mad dash home from the gym at 6:30 AM, shower, eat, and get on my bike, see 3 clients, and book out of there quickly to get home, change, and head off to an important hair appointment. I'd be willing to do this in a light rain, but we'll see. It's only 5.2 miles each way.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    northern Virginia
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    I totally agree about riding in heavy rain, especially cold rain. It can actually be dangerous, if you're not able to keep warm enough.


    I decided to delay my ride until tomorrow night, and instead I went shopping for a dress for my cousin's upcoming wedding. I found something nice. It cost a bit more than I wanted to spend but I already have shoes, a slip, everything else I need to go with it and it looks good on me so I felt like I'd had a successful evening. Then as I was driving through the mall parking lot toward the highway, someone drove up next to me and told me that both of my tail lights were out.

    The car is due for an oil change and inspection, but I had planned to wait until next week for that. But nonworking tail lights are a safety hazard so I would have to bring the car in for service first thing tomorrow. Since both lights were out, I hoped it was just a blown fuse, but it could be something more serious. My car (a Prius) is full of computers that control everything including the lights, and I've had problems with them in the past. Since it's no longer under warranty it would be expensive to deal with that again. And if I have to take the car in for service tomorrow, it could easily mess up my whole day and prevent me from riding my bike after work. This is what I was thinking as I drove home.

    Then when I got home I asked the internet was what going on, and it told me that I probably just needed to replace some light bulbs. And there were even videos to show me how to do it. So I will attempt this first thing tomorrow morning, and hopefully after that my day will be routine enough to allow some cycling. It will be breezy but the will winds from the SOUTH. So it should be sunny and warm and pleasant. No more AmFibs!!

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    I commuted again today. The rain stayed south, or at least it didn't rain while I was riding! I got home from boot camp and DH was still home, so we rode out together, at 8 AM. There was a major back up of traffic on one of the more main roads, as they were street cleaning along the curb. DH went ahead and I guess he went to the left of the cars to see what the heck was going on (a bad move I would never do.) But, then, all of the cars stopped, and I could see the street cleaning stuff. There was no room in the small area where I usually ride, as that's where they were cleaning. But, I got in the lane, and it was just a minute of stopping, as they were letting vehicles go through on a one way basis. I caught up to DH quickly, as we were in a wide bike/parking lane over the Concord River and then we parted ways. All in all, a bit faster today and I wore a new tunic from Terry (made by a French brand) and my commuting capris that have a tri chamois, with my bolero, so I did not have to change, except for my shoes. Nice.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
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    I did go out for a ride last night after work. (I also successfully changed the tail light bulbs in the car. It was easy -- sometimes car manufacturers make it difficult to access the light housings, but in this case I was able to get at them with plenty of room to work even though the bike was in the back of the car.)

    It was windy yesterday, but it was warm. I was overdressed! It was 70 degrees and right around sunset when I started. I didn't know how much it would cool down while I was out, but I thought there was a good chance it would get chilly. So I wore wool capris, a long sleeved lightweight wool shirt under a short sleeved jersey, and toe covers. But it was still in the high 60s when I finished with strong breezes from the south, so I didn't really need the capris or the toe covers. It was a pleasant change from all the "I wish I had an extra layer" rides I did this winter.

    In all I rode 16 miles, a short version of my usual hilly route. My legs were pretty tired, but I averaged slightly faster than the last time I did the same ride, not bad considering I've been off the bike for several weeks.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  7. #7
    Jolt is offline Dodging the potholes...
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Southern Maine
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    It got up into the 60s here today (!) so I made sure to get a ride in. However, it wasn't one of the best rides I've had...first I was bombing down a steep hill, and when I was going pretty fast I came around a curve to find that at the bottom of the hill there was a logging truck turning right onto the road I was on and taking up both lanes. Had to come to almost a complete stop (fairly quickly) to avoid either running into it or having to ditch at high speed, neither of which would have been good. Later, I had decided to explore a road I hadn't ridden before only to find out that it turned from pavement to dirt which would have been fine except it was wet, mushy and my tires were sinking into the surface making it hard to keep moving forward without falling over. So, I turned around and went back to the main road home, making the ride shorter than I had originally wanted it to be (13 miles instead of about 20). It appears that for D2R2 this summer I will want to use different tires, and I really hope it isn't wet that weekend!! And, my average speed was a craptastic 11 mph (but then again there was a LOT of climbing in the first half of the ride, with a slight headwind to boot).
    2011 Surly LHT
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    1,973
    We get Friday before Easter off.. and unlike Crankin, I didn't have to do any Passover cooking because we're going to a friend's house and I'm bringing the matzah and a bottle of wine.

    Getting warm here in Tucson- up to the 90's for a few days, but today was cooler (85?) and I did a ride this morning with one of the local bike clubs. Adding 10 miles of travel to the ride start and end, I rode 42. One of the usual destinations: Saguaro National Park east, with lots of brittlebush still in bloom and the earliest cacti blooming: Hedgehog Cactus with a brilliant magenta flower. I also saw my first live rattlesnake of the year (Western Diamondback), but it was on the side of the road, not even on the pavement, as I rode up the steep hill on the back of the loop through the park. I averaged a respectable (for me) 15.4 mph. Added a few miles with a bike trip to the doctor and will be riding my bike to the Passover dinner as my husband needed the car.

    Tomorrow I'm riding Mt. Lemmon again but I will not get to the summit as we are starting at 7 am and I have to be home by 11. I would say that a reasonable expectation might be to get to about mile post 10 at Seven Cataracts view point. That should take about 2 1/2 hours up at my snail's pace, with a couple of stops to rest, and includes the 5 miles from the start to "mile 0", and about an hour ride or more down. I'm not one of those fearless descenders- glad I have good brakes).
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    OK, today we decided to "test ride" our new route for our club New Members Ride. Good thing we did..
    We rode to the start, 6.2 miles, where our friends (3 of them) and other leaders met us. It was 48, but partly cloudy and extremely windy. Right away none of our GPSs were working right, and my friend went off another way. Her DH stopped to find her, but eventually, he caught up. The route is nice, and in the beginning felt like a lot of climbing, but on quiet roads, nothing horrible. As we were heading back, we turned off a main road into a neighborhood, where DH had added enough miles to get to 21. I had told him not to, as there are hills. Well, it had been many years since I had driven up these streets, and they were not just hills, but two with grades between 10-15%. I had to turn off onto a side street to get momentum to finish my way up the second hill! In fact, this is the first time I have heard my friend Brant yell a swear word at DH! We are usually yelling at him about planning routes with these kinds of climbs. Who knew that these hills existed in Acton? Then we missed a few turns,Brant got separated from us and my friend was gone, too. Our other co-leader stuck with us, as he lives in a different area. Got back to the start, and then my friend pulled up! We all agreed we will cut out the hills, even though it makes the ride just under 20 miles. We rode back to our friend's house, about 2 miles, to revive ourselves with tea and chocolate matzah and cheese. By this time, I was frozen, but, after socializing for an hour or so, we made it the last 4 miles home, where the real feel of the temperature is 34. Brrr, but a total of 35.5 miles.
    Last edited by Crankin; 04-05-2015 at 02:32 PM.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    I got in a 39 mile ride today. First ride of the season other than commuting to work (6 miles each way) which I've been doing most days now for about 3 weeks. Joined a ride with the Harvard University Gay and Lesbian group, which turned out to be only 2 of us. We met up in Arlington Center and took the bike path to Bedford, then Rt. 62 to Concord and West Concord where we had a picnic behind the Nashoba Valley Bakery by the Assabet River. Luckily this spot was out of the wind. Then we rode back to Concord, Old Bedford Rd. and Virginia Rd. to 2A, from which I headed down Rt 4/225 to Waltham. I'll probably be sore tomorrow. I start back wrenching at the bike shop this week.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
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    I did a club ride yesterday, 38 miles. I did not want to do the ride. It was windy, sustained winds 15-20 mph with gusts of 35+. I consider this borderline dangerous and completely not fun in any way. If it was up to me, I would have canceled the ride the night before and not bothered to set my alarm for the morning. Saturday morning rides are usually hard for me, because I don't get home from work on Friday until around 7 pm and I have plenty that needs to get done after that so by the time I'm finished getting ready for the next day's bike ride and get to bed it's usually after 1 am. On hot summer days it's worth getting up early for rides despite the lack of sleep, but in early April it's really not worth the exhaustion to ride early in the morning when the most comfortable temperatures are in the afternoon.

    But I was not in charge of these decisions. It was an all-class club ride -- routes of different lengths for different ride categories that all start at the same location, to give people a chance to get to know folks they don't typically ride with. The coordinator asked me to lead one of the rides, and I agreed. So I was committed to ride a specific route at a time that was not chosen by me. On Friday night I contacted the coordinator and told him I was worried about the high winds. He agreed that it was a concern but decided not to cancel.

    So I had to get up early to do a ride that I really really really did not want to do. And I did not have the option of choosing a shorter route, because I was the leader so I was obligated to ride sweep. I was extremely tired and cranky at the ride start. Oh I forgot to mention that I've been dealing with a nasty yeast infection all week long and though the medication had mostly gotten things under control by yesterday morning, it was causing some burning and irritation, and I was worried about it getting worse over the course of the ride.

    The whole thing ended up pretty disorganized for some reason. Usually for these all-class rides someone says a few words of welcome to everyone at the start, then each group leaves a few minutes apart, from fastest to slowest, with the slower groups watching the faster ones leave. This did not happen yesterday. People were milling about, saying hello and getting ready for the ride, then someone announced that the nearby restrooms had just opened so I and a bunch of others went for a pre-ride pit stop. When I got back to my car a few minutes later, the fastest group had already left, the next group was on it's way out, and people who signed up with my group were riding past me telling me that they were going to start with a faster group and then maybe join me later. Then the remainder of my group and the next slower group all left at once. We had 13 miles of headwinds to start the ride, so we were slower than usual and I really had no idea who was in my group and who was in the other group. Since my average speed was well below the expected pace of my group, I decided that anyone who was behind me was with the slower group. After a few miles, it was me and two others riding together, with a few people out of sight ahead of us and everyone else way behind us.

    For the most part, the ride was a long struggle against the wind. We had a few miles here and there with a tailwind or enough trees along the road to shelter us, but mostly it was fighting headwinds and trying to stay upright in crosswinds. The only good thing was that the sun was warm, which kept the wind from being too cold.

    I think I need to do some solo rides over the next few weeks. I led a fair number of rides over the winter, and I think it's getting to me. Sometimes you just need to be on your own without having to worry about being ready to start at a specific time or being committed to a pre-planned route.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    129
    It's been a fun week--Thursday I ran a bunch of errands by bike all over town, and only found out when I got home that there had been some major traffic snarl-ups all over the city. I had no idea, never sat fuming in traffic, and got to spend quite a bit of time outside on a nice spring day. Yay!

    Then yesterday, my husband and I rode the Oregon Randonneurs Birkie 200k. It started out miserably cold and foggy, and we shivered our way to the first stop, 36 miles in, at Vernonia. Normally we try to keep stops quick, but we opted to sit down and eat at the cafe. It was a good choice, as a hearty breakfast of eggs, hashbrowns, and coffee later, the sun was starting to burn off the fog. The ride did a very scenic and enjoyable out-and-back from there, and after stopping at the same place in Vernonia for lunch, the last 30 miles were a delight. 20 of them were on a gorgeous rails-to-trails path that went through the woods--you'd have no idea that the highway was a short distance away. And the sun was shining (though still bundled up in all my stuff, I was at least finally warm!), the roads that we did ride on had little traffic, and it was an altogether lovely day with great company.

    I'm getting close enough to my husband's riding ability that he occasionally is the one to complain about me riding too fast... His complaining aside, we're starting to have really complementary paces, which is making riding together a lot easier and more fun. He can still drop me on a prolonged hill, and I can still drop him on a prolonged downhill (especially if it has corners) but for the most part, we don't have to do much adjustment any more to ride together. As the weather improved after the chilly start, we had a great time. He's done this ride before, and raved about it, and now I see why--it was a great route that I would gladly do again. Part of the fun was that the ride started and ended at the McMenamin's in Forest Grove, where we stayed--it's a quirky fun place with good beer and cheap rooms. What more can a person ask for!?!

    Alas, spring break at my Saturday teaching job is over, so the fun weekend getaways are at an end for a bit, but we tried to make the most of it while we could!
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
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    azfiddle is still climbing, khg is still challengeing herself and more people are getting miles in ....sounds good to me!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by khg View Post
    Then yesterday, my husband and I rode the Oregon Randonneurs Birkie 200k.
    looked at a map of that route..that looks like a good ride!! i went south last weekend to just past independence or. on the willamette valley bikeway with friends from portland...keep riding like you are and you'll end up having to wait for your husband on your rides

    rode to the farmers market first thing this morning and then rode into downtown LA’s industrial area to do some photography. beautiful day weather wise….low 70’s and no wind. 52 miles with no climbing so just a relaxing day of riding and creativity. on my way home i met a young latina girl when i stopped at a small corner market for some water. she wanted to know all about my bike and what color the celeste was so we talked about bicycling for a few minutes. she gave me a smile as i left that stayed with me the rest of the day. i talked to her mother for a few minutes, it’s just her and Gabriela and she rides to work each day on an old mountain bike. I got their address and told the mother i'm going to buy a bike and give it and a helmet to Gabriela next weekend when i’m home again. they live just two blocks from one of the bike paths i use to get downtown so that makes for a safe place for them to ride together....now thinking that was a good way of finishing a good days ride


    now some here may not like two way bike lanes or any bicycle infrastructure but it sure makes for a safe and relaxing way for me to get downtown
    Last edited by rebeccaC; 04-06-2015 at 10:31 AM.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Seattle
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    That's a beautiful bike path!
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    Maybe people in other places have better cycling manners? While part of me would love to have the kind of commuting paths I see posted here, my experience on 3 different paths here has been frightful. And that's just from the other riders. Let's not even talk about the runners, walkers, dogs, and kids. A few years ago, I occasionally would ditch my group ride and take the Minuteman into Arlington Center for coffee. It's an 8 mile ride to get to the start of the path for me, so doing that and riding to Arlington and back is 38 miles. Even at 10 AM on a Wednesday, I felt like I had to be hyper vigilant in a way that's different than when i am dealing with cars. Perhaps I am better at predicting what drivers will do.
    Deb, that sounds like a nice ride for those who live closer to the city. I like reading about rides in my own backyard!
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