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Thread: August Rides

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    13,102

    August Rides

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    My first ride in August was a cool one! I normally do a longer ride on Wednesdays, but I have to do a social anxiety desensitization at 9, at a local coffee shop, with one of my teen clients, and then DH and I are going up to Salem, MA to meet some friends from France, who are here. So, I was up at 4:30 and went out at about 5:10, with my big light, arm warmers, and a vest, as it was 58. I have a much bigger choice of shorter routes, which take me into old favorite riding areas, from the condo, but I usually end up doing the same boring route, just around West Concord. I could have a totally flat ride if I rode to Concord Center, around a bit, and back, but it's often hard to get the light to change with a bike, at 5 AM, to get across the highway. And it was cold enough that I wanted some climbing. Anyway, I went 12 and a half miles, most of it in Acton, a bit in Stow and Maynard. Part of it was the the road I often used to train/gauge my fitness on, when I first started riding, as well as part of my commute when I was teaching. It's a busier road and I did not see one car, and the fog was quite thick over the fields of the apple orchards. There were a lot of people going into the commuter train station at 5:30 AM, including one guy on a bike. I took a bit of a different way back, right at the end, as to avoid lights and traffic. This ended up to be a good route.
    I was appropriately dressed, but I feel a little chilled now.
    Here's to happy August riding, and I better get my rear in gear, as I am behind in my mileage.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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    2011 Guru Praemio
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    632
    I know what you mean about having the solitude of early morning rides. When I was commuting to work and had to be there, early, I often found that my usually busy streets were all quiet and serene. In the winter, it was in the dark, sometimes with snow falling, and I found the sound of the tires swishing through the light snow to be almost spiritual. Great memories for me.

    As for August, I'll be continuing my mix of road bike work and off pavement work, occasionally pushing myself on some of our challenging single track, of which we have plenty, just a short ride, away. Don't plan to hit a specific goal as to miles, but I will be pushing myself to become a better rider.

    Also, we own 7 acres of thick forested land around our house and I have already been building some single track and a bit wider MTB trails from what's left of some ATV tracks left by a previous owner. Can now do almost half a mile on the loops I've constructed and hope to get it up to one mile. That way I can ride out my back door and practice my MTB riding. Nice to just jump on one of the MTBs and do an instant ride when the mood hits.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 08-03-2016 at 06:58 AM.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2003
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    Ooops, I posted my first three rides of August in the July thread. In a nutshell, I rode 153 miles over three days on a couple different rail-trails here in Minnesota (Heartland and Paul Bunyan). Yesterday's was the longest at 68+ miles and my longest ride of the year. I'm spent!
    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. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    632
    Great ride, Emily. That's about my tops for the year, too, and I really have no wish to push for more. There was a day when I did purposely plan for a couple of century rides every summer, but that was time consuming because I was always careful to work up to those kinds of miles. I find that my usual 25 to 40 mile a day road work is MORE than enough to keep me in shape, now.

    I'm at 70 plus miles for August, so far, but about 15 of that has been some nasty single track that leaves me panting and wheezing in a way that I don't get with my road biking. Another 15 has been on spooky gravel and sand roads. Loving it, though. Not too worried about the miles when I'm having so much fun.

    Darn off the pavement biking is addictive. I now find myself going out of the way to ride gravel and sand roads, some really nasty ones, too. In fact, I've been practicing on how to work out of a bad fishtail and spin out in the deep soft stuff. The only way to do that is actually trying to ride through those spots, of course. Has boosted my confidence level, though, knowing I can handle it when it happens. Not a great way to add up a lot of miles, though.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 08-04-2016 at 06:31 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
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    5,828
    I enjoy the solitude of my post-work rides. Even though I ride in a well-populated area the roads are pretty quiet with most people at home eating dinner. I see dog walkers and a few cars but not much else, which is fine by me.

    I rode last night, 19 miles, first time on the bike in 10 days. I was listening on my phone to the college baseball game that my nephew was broadcasting. It was a little hard to hear for a few minutes, because I had the wind in my ears going down hill and also there was a brief stretch with some car traffic. When I could hear it again, his broadcast partner was saying "I just can't imagine any situation where you'd need to see Twitter at the refrigerator." I have no idea how that came up during a baseball game. Anyway it was the last regular game of the season so I stopped and took a break during the bottom of the 9th so I could be sure to hear the end clearly. Their team will now go to the playoffs, but there won't be many more games to listen to on my post-work rides. I have enjoyed listening to them.

    After the game ended I spent the last few miles thinking about the new gearing that I want for the bike.

    The weather was great, around 80 degrees and not too humid. I'm trying to enjoy the warm weather as much as possible.

    - 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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    13,102
    I rode with my friend who is moving to Amherst today. Her husband is already out there, and they are going back and forth for the next 2 weeks. But, we already have 2 weekends planned, one in Oct. and one in September, when they will be here, since we still have our theatre subscription with them. Hopefully, we will get out there in between.
    We rode to Bolton Farm today, a ride I did a lot in the beginning of the season. Woke up still sleepy, not usual for me, but I figured since my friend is a slower rider, I did not have to work too hard. Then, I forgot my GPS, so all pressure was off! I had no idea how fast I was going. I must say, everything feels easier since I came back from the Berkshires.
    It was between 70 and 83 during the ride, but it's humid. Thankfully, after our early lunch, some clouds appeared, just as we started a slog of a mild climb that is unshaded. Since this part always occurs after lunch, I dread it, but it wasn't bad.
    A weird thing happened after that. We were going up a short steep hill, just before entering Harvard Center and the General Store. This is a side street that no one drives on... at the top of the hill are like 10 skateboarders, rushing down, one at a time, falling off at times, and letting their boards fly. I yelled "heads up," but no one stopped, as they were being photographed. I was picturing one of them crashing into me. I was furious, and when I got to the general store to wait for my friend, there was a competition set up in the parking lot, with jumps and stuff. We told one of the policeman there, who went to investigate. It kind of felt like a bike race, but definitely, the people were not as nice!
    After that, we were getting close to being in home territory. I was feeling drained, hot, and generally yucky. I went ahead of my friend and tried to speed up through Boxborough, more hills, through my old neighborhood, and finally into the home stretch in back to her house. As I was waiting at the light in west Acton, to turn left, 3-4 buses with "Team Lick Cancer," were bringing riders out to Sturbridge for the PMC, tomorrow. They were honking the horn and waving at me, which helped revive me, but the last 3 miles had me just bearing down. I actually lay prone on my friend's cool basement floor for a minute when I got inside!
    39 miles, probably 2k ft. of climbing.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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    2011 Guru Praemio
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  7. #7
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    Jul 2003
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    NWG, I've been meaning to mention that DH and I were recently in a Trek bike shop in Park Rapids, MN to get some chammy butter, and I was looking at the fat bikes, just for fun. I commented to the guy working in the shop that I guessed they were super heavy, and he had me pick up a carbon one. Despite the humongus tires and rims, it was amazingly light! Wow. No, I didn't even ask how much it was!
    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. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    632
    Emily, I think the secret is the rims not being solid. Those vents help to keep weight down. Carbon helps, too, but I'm a bit leery about carbon on mountain bikes. With all the rocks and smashing up against objects, a beautiful carbon frame is going to take a beating. Love carbon on road bikes, but if you're afraid of banging up your frame, you are definitely not riding your MTB the way you need to ride it. At my MAYBE intermediate skill level, frame material isn't an issue. I have a very long way to go to justify the expense of a carbon frame on an MTB. Just not in that class.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    13,102
    I would not get a carbon mtb or fat bike, either.
    Today I planned to go to tabata class at the gym, as I was exhausted from riding in the heat yesterday. But, I rode there, a different way. It's only a mile the normal way, today was 1.5 miles, by leaving my street and riding through the neighborhood behind us and then taking a fire road that connects to the gym's parking lot. The neighborhood was nice and I am pretty good now with riding my road bike slowly over dirt and roots. But, there's gates at both ends and I am just not confident enough to ride through the small space where you can get through. I had to get off my bike to get on the trail and put my foot down on the other end.
    Wearing road shoes didn't help here, either.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    DH and I went out with no particular route in mind. It's hot, but not humid. I am so sore from tabata yesterday, despite stretching, etc. I haven't been to one of these classes since May, although I do go to other stuff at the gym. Anyway, we were thankful it got cloudy every few minutes and we were sticking to a shady route, when we saw some ominous looking clouds. Looked at the weather and there was a small storm heading in our direction. We thought we'd be fine for maybe a 20-30 mile ride, and we did feel a couple of raindrops, but we started heading back, so we only did 15 miles. I've had a few too many times of getting caught in thunderstorms. I feel much better now, and I think it was best to view this as a recovery ride.
    Think I am going to skip power lifting class tomorrow and just commute on Monday and Tuesday. Only a total of 10 miles for 2 days, but I kind of just feel like riding right now.
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    2011 Guru Praemio
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
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    10,952
    Sounds like a nice ride Crankin! I think you are wise to listen to your body and be willing to change things as you feel like doing.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    Emily, I think the secret is the rims not being solid. Those vents help to keep weight down. Carbon helps, too, but I'm a bit leery about carbon on mountain bikes. With all the rocks and smashing up against objects, a beautiful carbon frame is going to take a beating. Love carbon on road bikes, but if you're afraid of banging up your frame, you are definitely not riding your MTB the way you need to ride it. At my MAYBE intermediate skill level, frame material isn't an issue. I have a very long way to go to justify the expense of a carbon frame on an MTB. Just not in that class.
    Oh, I totally agree, I just thought it was interesting, since I expected to barely be able to lift the thing! And you are right about the rims not being solid; the bikeshop guy even pointed that out. A fat bike is not even in my future as it's just not needed for the type of riding I do 99% of the time (it would have been great in Belize, though!), and we don't have space to carry another bike, but I just think they are cool.
    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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,828
    I led a club ride today, 43 miles. A friend co-led at a different pace category, and there was a fair amount of intermingling. My goal was to average 14 mph, because that is the minimum speed of a ride I'm committed to leading next week, and lately with the super hot weather and periods of inactivity I've been averaging a bit slower than that. I had a couple of slow stretches, one where I slowed down to wait for someone who was off the back, and another when it got hilly. So my average dropped from almost 15 mph after 17 miles down to 13.6 after the hilly part, then in the last 10 miles I worked to get it back up to 14.1. My legs are tired now but the effort should pay off for next week and some harder rides that I hope to do over the next 6 weeks. Along the way I had a nice chance to chat with friends. The weather was darn near perfect.

    - 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

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    632
    NY, I admire your average speed. You've got me beat, for sure.

    We've been at my family reunion at a resort in Delavan, Wisconsin, just one town over from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. It's in southern Wisconsin, just across the border from Illinois. The area has always been a resort area for Chicago folks. The resort is on Lake Delavan, itself.

    Took my "any kind of road" road bike in my Salsa Fargo, but sure didn't need it. A standard road bike would have worked, but, even so, those big fat 29er 2.2" tires on the Fargo make for a very comfy ride and since you never know what you will encounter for roads in a new area, the Fargo is great insurance. Another plus for heavy traffic riding is how steady and straight the Fargo is when you have only a very narrow shoulder to ride. Much less twitchy than a 700x25 road bike AND if you ever have to take the bike off the pavement and hit the gravel on the shoulder in a hurry for safety's sake, no sweat. The Fargo rides in the gravel about as well as on pavement. About as safe a bike I've found, yet, to ride in traffic.


    Rode the 13 miles around the lake several times. Easy ride, but some traffic in parts. Multi, multi million dollar homes all around the lake. Quite a change from my north woods, but very interesting.

    On the last day, found a nice rail-to-trail called the White River Trail, which starts about 6.5 miles from the resort. It's 11 miles long, flat as a pancake and straight as an arrow. Fine crushed gravel surface. You could even use a road bike. Alternates between farm fields and wooded areas. Very pleasant to ride with lots of families out on their bikes. A one day trail pass costs $5, but it is worth it.

    About 6 miles in from the western entrance is a small coffee shop called Cup and Pedal, right on the trail, that rents bikes and serves a great latte'. Super folks.

    75 miles in 3 days. Not a lot, but about all I could spare between catching up with all my brothers and sisters and the extended family. All in all, brought back great memories of my younger days when all of my riding was in farm country. Love my north woods, but made me a little homesick, all the same. The open country and corn fields were nice.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 08-07-2016 at 05:53 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    Stomach issues kept me off of the bike yesterday. In fact, I barely made it to work. I did commute today; it was 64 at 8 in the morning and just under 90 when I came home at 3:30 (I had an early day). It feels like AZ out there, and windy, too. It looks like a crappy week for riding, heat, increasing hellish humidity, and scattered storms for the next 3 days, and more chances of rain on the weekend. I may try to go out tomorrow, early AM, but I am not going to force it. At the least, I'll do some kind of short ride. I've got a hair appt. at 3, which precludes a lot, then there's the weather, and I want to go see the granddaughter, too.
    Meh, I am just shy of 1,500 miles and usually I am hitting 2K by the end of August. I am going to be away a week in September and a long weekend in October, so I pray I get a burst of energy in between.
    A whopping 5.3 miles.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
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