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  1. #76
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    631

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    Emily, yes, it is reassuring to tackle hills knowing you have a lot of bottom gears available. I don't consider myself to be the strongest rider, but I don't avoid hills, either. It's all in the gearing and matching it up with what you can handle as far as strength. I can get by with doubles in this country, rather than having to go with triple road bikes. Even on my double road bikes, though, there are differences as to their gearing.

    My Domane is a 700x25 wheeled bike with standard 50/34 compact on the front and 12/30 on the back. On a good day, it is just low enough for me on our worst hills, but if I'm tired or have to deal with a strong headwind, it's a bit iffy.

    My Salsa Warbird is a 700x35 bike with more of a cyclocross double. It has a 46/34 front and in the back, I changed the cassette to a 12-32. I still bottom out on our worst hills, but it's a little better. The 700x35 tires, though, make it a much more versatile bike. It's a very good gravel bike when the gravel isn't too deep or soft.

    My Salsa Fargo is my go to bike for exploring. It's still a drop bar bike that runs well on pavement, but it's actually a 29er in wheel size with its big 2.2" tires. It has the lowest gearing of the three with a 42/28 up front and an 11-36 on the back. I suspect it will handle any road in our state, though if I was headed to the rockies I might try something even lower geared.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 06-28-2016 at 07:41 AM.

  2. #77
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,045
    I just read through about 3 pages of ride posts. Sounds like some fun and interesting rides have been happening while I was away.

    My husband and I just got back from our three week driving vacation, which took us from SE Arizona through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and Utah. We took the bikes, but didn't ride everyday. During the three weeks we had rides in Silver City NM, Albuquerque NM, outside of Colorado Springs on the road to Cripple Creek, above Boulder Colorado (near Jamestown / Ward / Raymond), Billings Montana, Grand Teton NP and Bryce NP. A little over 200 miles on the bikes, plus about 40 miles of walking and hiking. I will post a few pictures after I upload them to Flickr.

    We're glad to be back but today all I could manage after returning to the heat and higher humidity (now that the summer monsoon season is here) was about 13 miles, mostly on the bike path. Of course, if I was a little less lazy and got out the door at 6 am instead of 7:30, I might have gotten more miles in.
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  3. #78
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,636
    azfiddle, that sounds like a great trip. We have ridden in Albuquerque (twice) and Billings and hiked in Bryce NP, of the places you visited. The other places you went are still on our bucket lists!

    Had a good ride today. We took the Bike Fridays and rode from the campground to the closest town. It was rolling hills but not as steep as those we suffered through in our last spot (Weston, MO). I love my Bike Friday because of the smaller tires, all the gears are easier than they would be on a larger-wheeled bike. So I was able to stay in my middle chainring for the entire ride. On this bike with 20" wheels, my 42-tooth middle chainring, coupled with 11-32 (or 34, I can never remember) in the back, gives me a tons of range. I did shift into the large front ring (52t) on occasion but mostly I was in the middle and did not have to utilize the super low 30t granny. The worst hills were actually in the campground!

    Wow, though, there aren't a lot of paved roads in this part of Iowa! DH had drawn a great map of all the backroads we might try to get to the closest town, Harlan. Every single one of them ended up being gravel, and since we'd just cleaned and detailed the Fridays, we were NOT gonna take them! So, we ended up on the highway (not an interstate, of course), and the rumble strips were just awful. There was a wide unpaved shoulder, then a skinny paved one with just enough room for the rumble strips and about 6" for us to ride in. I guess the good thing was it does help your handling skills to try to stick to a 6" width of pavement!

    I will say, drivers are so incredibly courteous here, same in Missouri. Whenever they could, they would give us the entire lane, or as much of it as they could. If someone was coming the other way, they'd often hold up until after the other driver passed to let us through. Very unexpected and nice! You don't get that down south much.

    Ended up with 25 miles and a few nice groceries to bring home from town. We got sprinkled on a few times, but the temp in the 70s was most unexpected and appreciated!

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    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  4. #79
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    631
    Emily, I should have mentioned the gravel roads. Yes, the farm states from Iowa on west - Nebraska, the Dakotas, Kansas and so on tend to have mostly gravel rural roads. You typically have to go to roads labeled as highways to find paved.

    Our state of Wisconsin has mostly paved rural roads, though. Did 63 miles of gorgeous north woods lake country on those paved rural roads, today. Not unusual to go half an hour or more without seeing a car. Just you, your bike, forests and lakes and wildlife. Super day for biking, too. High of 73, all sunshine and no wind. Doesn't get any better for road biking. Come on up for a visit.

  5. #80
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,636
    We actually lived in Wisconsin for a time, NWG! But not nearly as far north, down near Richland Center. Lovely roads indeed. We also lived in Kansas but in the KC metro, so plenty of roads (and bike paths) there.

    We've visited most of the states you mention but did more paved and unpaved bike paths there, not so much on the roads. This includes our trip to Iowa, Nebraska, and the Dakotas in 2014. We're heading that way again so good thing we have our mountain bikes with us.

    Wisconsin is not on the agenda this year but definitely in the future. My DH has cousins there, and we love the state.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  6. #81
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    631
    Yes, that SW corner along the Mississippi is truly lovely country, though quite different from our north woods. Nice folks just about anywhere in Wisconsin, though. Come for a visit.

  7. #82
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    631
    I broke 900 miles for the month of June, today. That's on a par with my best years and I'm pleased, of course, that I can still manage it at my age of 66. Wasn't sure I had it in me. Now I know. That's the good news.

    The bad news is that it's taken its toll. I can feel that it's past the point of what I can maintain and still be healthy. Have been here, before, and know the feeling. Does take longer, now, for my body to catch up to a lot of strenuous miles and I do worry about bringing on an injury that would keep me from biking. That would kill me. Will probably cut back to a more moderate 600 or 700 miles for next month and see how that goes. I also plan more mountain bike miles for the remainder of the summer riding season, too. I do like MTB biking, even though that is not my strong suit. Doing more gravel roads and trails might be a good compromise, rather than attempting a lot of gnarly, strenuous single track.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 06-29-2016 at 04:48 PM.

  8. #83
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,200
    Nwg…..yeah even though mileage goals can be motivating sometimes it should just be keeping it interesting and doing what your body is comfortable with.

    I only really keep track of miles when it’s part of a training plan to peak on a particular ride. The rest of my rides are just personal challenges, commutes or just wanting to ride….just keeping it interesting

    eta...for me a slow moving cool down spin of 15 or so minutes at the end of a hard ride helps my muscles and my tiredness.......and a good recovery massage ftw
    Last edited by rebeccaC; 06-30-2016 at 06:39 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

  9. #84
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100
    NW, I hit 1,000 miles about 2 weeks ago, almost a month earlier than I usually do. Mostly because of riding through the mild winter, not riding more, per se. But, since then, I have been exhausted, and gave myself a self imposed rest week. Not total rest, of course, just doing stuff at the gym more, instead of riding, a 3 day vacation that included a 25 mile "tour," and more days of just doing nothing. The tiredness started after I had a +125 mile week. I know for most people here, that's nothing, but if I do the miles over a short time frame, like 3 days, I know what will happen.
    I do take recovery seriously and at our age, it is necessary. I always feel stronger when I get good rest.

    ETA:
    So, I was going to ride to work today, first ride to new office site. Unless I do a go-around, it's shorter, but in rush hour traffic on main roads, coming out of the village center. I ride through here all of the time, but not usually at rush hour. I decided not to ride and do a group ride tonight. I got here when the door was still locked, and I don't have my key yet. So, I went back to the village to get some coffee. There were tons of cyclists, both recreational and commuter, including large numbers of teens riding to a summer program. As I was waiting to pull out of the coffee place, 2 cyclists went by. As I was then waiting at a light, I saw police lights and had a bad feeling. This is all in a short distance, but with lots of cars. It's in front of a Dunkin Donuts (extremely popular here with a certain set of old timers) and a fire station. As I got by, sure enough, there was a road bike lying on the ground. It really shook me up. The bike was not mangled, but I was almost hit here once, by someone trying to turn into the DD, when I was on a ride with another TEer. I definitely would have been in the lane here, as I have to turn at the next light, but I now know I will do the go-around. It's a half mile longer and at least I won't be sitting in traffic.
    Oy. The counselor needs counseling.
    Last edited by Crankin; 06-30-2016 at 05:23 AM.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  10. #85
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,636
    That is a lot of miles in a month at any age, NWG, congratulations! I didn't ride half that, and I am "only" 55. But yes, riding that many miles will take its toll, especially as we get older, so be kind to yourself. As Crankin says, recovery is important. You actually get stronger during recovery time.

    That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  11. #86
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    631
    Thanks, all.

    Has always been my personality to go whole hog when it's something I love and, of course, that has its downside, too. Yup, will give myself a bit of a rest.

  12. #87
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    My riding the last 10 days has been pathetic. High 90's and into the triple digit heat always kills my riding - Ha. The DH is leaving tonight (well tomorrow actually as it will be 3am) to start his two week tour. I will meet him and our DD in Dillon, Mt on Tuesday and the 3 of us are riding the Pioneer Mountains scenic byway. We will take 3 days for that. Then it's off to Bozeman via car to celebrate some 60th birthdays. I have graciously volunteered (HA) to return to Boise to work while he continues on to Missoula for the Adventure Cycling 40th anniversary of Bike Centennial. Once again, I will get behind the wheel and drive to meet him. So I expect I will have record driving miles, not riding miles in July!
    Sky King
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  13. #88
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,825
    Catching up... I had record driving miles in the last half of June. From northern VA up to NY, overnight at my parents' house, then through CT and RI to the vacation house in Plymouth MA. Nine days of back and forth between Plymouth and various towns on Cape Cod, with some detours south to Wareham and finally up to the historic section of Plymouth on our way back to NY. Spent a couple of nights there, then returned to NoVa by way of JFK airport to pick up a friend and take her to her home in central NJ. After 9 years and 113,000 miles I remain pleased with my Prius.

    As for cycling... there was no room in the car for my bike and not enough time to get in all the sightseeing we wanted to do, so never a thought to renting a bike while I was there. We did see a few cyclists battling headwinds on the paths on either side of the Cape Code canal from our tour boat. Also we saw a handful of cyclists on the roads riding flat-bar bikes, way more when we visited Martha's Vineyard for an afternoon, and I saw one lone roadie in the neighborhood where we stayed. I did think that was a good area for cycling, with low speed limits and roads winding around small ponds. But not many others seemed to agree. On the other hand I was not impressed with the conditions I saw on Martha's Vineyard, with buses passing wobbly tourists on bikes with little room to spare.

    Now that I'm back home, I went out for a ride after work two days ago, my first since June 11. I didn't leave the office until after 7, started riding around 8 and finished around 10. I'm glad the sun is setting late these days because I do prefer to ride when it's still light out, even if darkness falls before I finish. I did a version of my usual ride with fewer of the steep hills because my legs felt like spaghetti. Otherwise it was uneventful. The weather was near perfect, in the 70s with low humidity.

    For most of the ride I was listening to a baseball game on my phone. My nephew is studying broadcast journalism and is spending his summer calling games for a college league. I had my phone in my pocket with the volume turned up rather than using earbuds. I wouldn't do that while riding with others because it would no doubt be annoying, but since I was alone it was a nice diversion, one that I hope to enjoy for the rest of the summer on my post-work rides.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

 

 

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