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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Illinois
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    3,135

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    Here's a solution: ride at night! We did a "Moonlight Ride West" this month, and about a dozen people (we'll see if we get the >50 tomorrow for the Standard Eastern version, but we're not on a weekend so who knows? and I'll be at a bike meeting and can't go unless it gets canceled for lack of quorum).
    We had some wild storms this a.m. but in the afternoon but a single cell formed... happily a little further north and east than our destination (Mahomet DQ). It gave us an *awesome* color-cloud show that I've got a snap of but I don't think did the colors right, and the blue under the moon sky had a linear color pattern I've honestly never ever seen before with almost stripes of three shads of blue. I'm sure it was a mathematical function of the light reflecting off that thunderstorm cell.
    There was neat cloud-to-cloud lightning here and there, too... little sparklies... which were over and done with by the time darkness really fell.
    I'm going to put in a bid to find a local vendor who wants to feed us... DQ is so cold and processed and "fast food" as opposed to the Sidney Dairy Barn...
    Ride back was Under THe Moon and since we were goin' east we could see it! Where there were cool microclimates there was spoooooky mist on the ground... and I'm glad the big honkin' bug that whanged down my shirt wasn't a biter, but it was a burrower so my attempts to find it and get it outta there ended with an exoskeleton crunch. THankfully I remembered it and tossed the bra in the shower and rinsed... it looked like a common beetle (and 3/4 inch... not really honkin' big...) -- but obvioulsy one of the flying sort.
    My left shoulder is all stiff, though, which started two weeks ago Friday with a badly hung camelbak 30 mile ride. Hot shower but... I don't know if a massage (which I don't generally partake of) or a muscle relaxer (same there... I'm a chill dude) ... or maybe ice? would unlock things.
    But dude! Yesterday I had ZERO miles!!! (the only day in many months for that to be true) because I was driving Baltimore to Urbana and Traffic Happened... but today was 52. I'll add pics soon...

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,135
    GOod call When we did 106 I didn't have to go to work and I just stayed inside as if it were a blizzard. Swimming's a great idea!

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,135
    Per Crankin's hopefully non-hive-generating ride... Hey, sometimes when you see somebody whose Day is Going To Suckville Hard and Fast... and you can be the one to make it Not Suck... that's a good day, even if it takes the day. He was prob'ly feeling like a black burnt biscuit on a hot summer day, as they say in Culpeper Virginia when you're so low you gotta step on a nickel to see over a dime...

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,636
    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    Anyway, I still think that for us gals, the old reliable 26er is still a practical choice for our strength levels, compared to bikes with the bigger, fatter and heavier wheels and tires as far as control, at least when it comes to hitting the steep stuff as well as the very precise twisty stuff (though I have yet to try the new 27.5 bikes). The old 26er is still a very useful bike for me. Just an observation.
    Glad to hear you think that since you have a lot of experience with different types of MTB/gravel bikes, and since a 26"-er is the only one I have, I'm really glad to hear it. I'm only 5'1.5" tall and a lightweight besides, so I've always felt like bikes with larger wheelsizes would just be too much bike, too much weight, and possibly too tall for me as well. My 700c road bike feels HUGE after riding my 20" wheeled Bike Friday and my 26" MTB.

    We've been lucky so far and have not had the intense heat yet. Yesterday was still very nice in the 80s and not too humid, then this morning we had a lot of rain, so this was my day to take off the bike. Tomorrow and Thurs. are supposed to be our hot days, with highs in the 90s. Not looking forward to that, but being used to summers in NC, only two days of 90+ in a long while are nothing to complain about!
    Emily

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  5. #65
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,101
    I commuted today, the big 5.3 mile round trip. We are having 2 days of normal 70-80 degree summer weather, and then of course starting Thursday 4 days of temperatures reaching pretty close to 95+. The same 4 days we are doing our annual cycling trip to the Berkshires. It will be just 1-3 degrees cooler there. Other than asking the owner of the B and B if she can give us breakfast earlier, so we can start earlier, there's not much we can do. I may actually take my Camelbak, to use in addition to my bottles filled with lots of Skratch.
    Today was beautiful and tomorrow I am doing a 35 mile group ride, that is local and ends in a party at one of the member's home.
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  6. #66
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    631
    Be careful with that heat, girls, though I'm sure all of your are. Our forecasted few days of 90 degree weather has been backed off to the upper 80s, so still very doable for me, though, of course, I will also be careful.

    Been getting beat up with the mountain biking. It's either spilling from hitting a turn too late or side swiping a rock or stump or getting smacked by vegetation as I pass and so on. Have the bruises to show for it. Whew! I'm anything but a daredevil, too.

    In my defense, though, the area I bike has no "easy" loops, just one section labeled as "easier" on the map. Meanest single track I've tried and I have ridden singletrack in a lot of areas. In 8 miles, there is only about a mile that is fairly level with only mild corners. All the rest is constant and severe up and down, no rests in between, quick turns, one after another, roots and rocks galore. You can't relax for a second. Love the challenge, but the best I'll ever be on this stuff is somewhere around an intermediate skill level, if even that. I do worry, too, about taking a really bad spill and injuring myself being back there, all by myself. I'm no spring chicken, either. Not smart.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
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    NWG, when I started MTBing and went with friends to a park rated "easy to intermediate" single track, I couldn't believe what they considered "easy". It was hard to me and still had roots, rocks, climbs/descents, and switchbacks. Sheesh. Then of course the "easy" trails hooked into intermediate ones, so you could easily end up on a more difficult trail without realizing it unless you turned around and went back the way you came in. I fell quite a few times, had bruises and scrapes, and I also bailed out frequently and walked as I got so terrified. I always said that there was a fine line between exiliaration and terror while MTBing!

    My worst fall was when the end of my handlebar clipped a tree (just not paying good enough attention as it was on an easy, straight section of the trail). The handlebar whipped around so fast, and I fell hard on my side and hit my head HARD. Had bad whiplash on the side of my neck that lasted a long time. After that was when I stopped going to that park and moved over to a different trail that was double-track and not technical, just challenging aerobically with a lot of climbing. Felt a lot more comfortable there!

    Be super careful out there -- it would indeed be terrible to take a bad fall when by yourself, especially if there's no cell signal. In fact, I wouldn't do it alone if there were no cell signal.
    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

  8. #68
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    631
    Yeah, Emily, I do know what you are saying. Fortunately, I can get a cell signal out there since it isn't too far from town, but it is very hilly, so maybe I better check to make sure how much coverage I get, next time out.

    One of my weirdest MTB injuries actually occurred on a single track down in Illinois, while I was living in Chicago. Back then, I loved all kinds of hoop earrings and, well, you guessed it, I was heading downhill and snagged the loop in one ear on a low hanging branch. Ripped open my ear lobe into two halves. Hardly fatal and I had a surgeon repair it, but ouch!

    My injury, this week, was with the fat bike. Now, a fat bike is as stable as it gets, but they are just too slow to turn on really technical single track. Great where you don't need to twist and turn, but not so great when the trail looks like a can of worms. Anyway, went just a tiny bit wide on a sharp turn and my pedal snagged on a stump. Pulled the bike right out from under me. Went down, but just a few scratches.

    The problem is when I do this easiest trail, the whole trail, perfectly, I get such a sense of accomplishment that I want to go back for more. Really is my own fault for getting bruises.

  9. #69
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    631
    Speaking of mountain bikes, went online, last night, just to see what was out there in 26" wheel mountain bikes, thinking it might be nice to get a full suspension model for the trails I have been riding. Yikes! Looks like the bike people are dropping the 26ers from their lines and going to the next wheel size up in the 650B/27.5. Not sure how this would work for me. I can do all my technical climbing on the trail with my current 26er, but even though I am supposedly tall enough for a 29er to be a proper fit, I just can't climb as well with it. And to think I almost sold off my 26er for a new bike. I'm keeping it, now. Thought I would share this if anyone is shopping for an MTB.

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,101
    OK, I did a group ride today, that I have done a few times. It's not hot (79 now) out and it was a congenial group. DH and I went out with the longer ride group (37 miles) as opposed to 22 miles and people who ride slower than me. This ride was advertised as "regular Wednesday Wheeler pace," which means cruising at 14-18, but slowing on hills, etc, so on really hilly rides, your average might be 13. A lot of times, the longer ride has been co-opted by a group of mostly guys who are lovely, but fast. I've written about this before, and although they invited me to join their invitation only rides on other days, I went once, and it almost killed me. Off we went. I stayed in the front, mostly due to the fact it's often squirrelly in the back. After about 7 miles we started up some hillier roads in my old neighborhood. I slowed, and DH, who had been in the back, caught up with the front. I was trying to pace myself up Strawberry Hill, but I wasn't even going my slowest, and I was falling back. OK, after that, we were treated to new pavement in the town of Carlisle, which is notorious for awful roads. That was fun, until we went off the route, into a development in Westford. I have been on this road twice, and we actually almost bought a house there, 20 years ago. It's a climb similar to my old street, but longer and unshaded. I kept slowing, and repeating positive thoughts to myself. The sun got to me... we soon stopped at a ball field for a break. DH said,"You must have been flying," as I came in just a couple of minutes behind the front group. I seriously wanted to bail, but I wasn't last by any means, so on we went. There weren't any hard climbs after that, just rollers with a viscious pace for me, but by this time I was starving, had eaten my Lara Bar and one Shot Block, and then we stopped at Great Brook Farm for another break, only about 6 miles from the end. I told DH I needed to just get back, so we went off alone, taking a shorter way, which actually ended up being the advertised distance. Got cleaned up and changed in the car, and enjoyed a beer and food.
    I don't know why this stresses me out so much. I *can* ride this fast, but it makes me feel crappy and brings me to tears at times. I am trying to be tougher, though. I've had some faster rides with DH, which I find easier.
    Off to the Berkshires for 4 days of riding, which will be slow! It's really hilly and it's going to be hot.
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  11. #71
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    631
    Cranking, my heart goes out to you. Might the stress be from the fact that when you do go on a group ride like this that you feel you must ride at your best? In other words, maybe you feel that you no longer have a choice in the matter, the decision has been taken out of your hands? I know there are days when I just want to cruise and enjoy the ride and then maybe push myself when and if the spirit moves me. Being something of an introvert, trying to make a good showing with all those other people around might be very stressful for me.

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,101
    Yes, I do feel the need to keep up, and since the ride was listed to be a certain way, and it wasn't, I can get quite negative in an instant. But, I think doing this once in awhile is good for me. A few things I notice are, that I am better at group rides in the early spring/winter or even fall, when this group is smaller, and even the fast guys slow down. I start feeling burned out with riding by this time of year, but it has to do with the hotter weather. I have a chronic issue (I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia a few years ago, but I don't have a lot of the common symptoms) that rears its head in heat, that is more than heat exhaustion. I push through it, because it's the same every year. I was way ahead in my mileage by the end of June, but I have not ridden that much in July, so it will end up the same. I really want to get to 3K miles this year, and the the years I've done this were years I did this Wednesday ride quite a bit. These people are nice, not typical azzhole riders, so I deal. They are not my best friends, but after 11 years, they know me. And, a lot of them overlap with the group I lead for.
    I really wish I had started riding much earlier in my life, like when I started doing aerobics at the gym, in my late 20s/early 30s.
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  13. #73
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,135
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    Yes, I do feel the need to keep up, and since the ride was listed to be a certain way, and it wasn't, I can get quite negative in an instant. But, I think doing this once in awhile is good for me. A few things I notice are, that I am better at group rides in the early spring/winter or even fall, when this group is smaller, and even the fast guys slow down. I start feeling burned out with riding by this time of year, but it has to do with the hotter weather. I have a chronic issue (I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia a few years ago, but I don't have a lot of the common symptoms) that rears its head in heat, that is more than heat exhaustion. I push through it, because it's the same every year. I was way ahead in my mileage by the end of June, but I have not ridden that much in July, so it will end up the same. I really want to get to 3K miles this year, and the the years I've done this were years I did this Wednesday ride quite a bit. These people are nice, not typical azzhole riders, so I deal. They are not my best friends, but after 11 years, they know me. And, a lot of them overlap with the group I lead for.
    I really wish I had started riding much earlier in my life, like when I started doing aerobics at the gym, in my late 20s/early 30s.
    If wishes were fishes... yea, the one thing that will make me all kinds of cranky and negative is a co-opted supposed-to-be-cruising ride, and I *don't* get negative fast.
    So... last year "caught up" with you... welp, you're still pretty even though, right? ... I'm reminding myself NOT to be a slave to numbers this weekend because if I ride long I could make up for this week's low mileage but... I wilt in the heat and it's supposed to get to 96 Friday (which since we're on four-day weeks is my "day off - ride long" day). Happily, I *can* tell myself that I am at least a small chunk ahead of last year.
    Unhappily, my shoulder is still all tight adn hurting ... I guess I should dig out the heating pad, as absurd as that seems in the heat.
    I promised to ride around in a gorilla suit Saturday... I think I'll find my shoulder bags and load them up with ice packs for air conditioning...

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,101
    Ha, ha, Sue. I am generally not a slave to numbers. I stopped weaing my HR monitor years ago, and while I do look at my stats after a ride, I don't upload them anywhere, except for writing in an old fashioned training log. Since I don't focus on average speed like I used to, most of my "numbers" focus goes to miles ridden in a year. But, any time I start doing more of another sport, it takes away from this. This year it's hiking. A few times, it was running. In the end, I always go back to cycling more. I can handle the gym 2X a week with the amount of riding I do, but not much more. I just am in awe of those who can do the 2x a day workouts on a regular basis. Yeah, I can go to the gym and commute to work, or take a shorter, slower ride, but not much else.
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  15. #75
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    631
    Being the largely internally motivated best I am, yeah, I can also get too hung up on the numbers. I still keep a log of miles ridden, every day and an ongoing monthly tally, but my miles are down quite a bit, this month, because of my mountain bike riding. Miles accumulated in that kind of riding, especially working technical single track, have little in common with miles accumulated via pavement riding on the road bike, so not sure why I bother. I suppose it might be more meaningful to use hours biked when comparing the two types of riding, but even that is iffy. I can promise you this: one hour of work on some of my local single track leaves me huffing and puffing and shaking like no hour of road biking ever has.

    On the plus side, though, much to be said for mountain biking back in the deep woods on these hot days. Always shaded and cool, but once back out in the open on the pavement to get back home, the sun can be murder.

 

 

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