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Thread: August Rides

  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    632

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    Hope you're feeling better, Crankin. I know what it's like to commute when you aren't feeling too great. Hey, 5.3 miles is still 5.3 miles. I only did 2, yesterday, but, okay, I put in 4 hours of heavy labor in making MTB trails on our 7 acres of woods. It's paying off, though. I can now put in an hour of biking, doing loops on the trails I already have, right out my door. Some of it is moderately challenging with tight turns and some steep humps. All fun, though.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,101
    I am better, just dealing with some typical autoimmune stuff that seems to occur every year at the height of the season. I went to bed very early last night, and I did wake up early enough to go for a "dark ride," but my heart wasn't in it. I went back to sleep for an hour and a half and then got up and went for a walk, which turned into a run, when I saw a guy running and I caught him, and then ran with him for a bit, until he went ahead, but I kept running until I got home. It was a lovely morning, but I just didn't feel like riding. Glad I did what I did; tomorrow the gym and then hopefully the weather will allow me to get some riding in over the weekend. Have a ride scheduled with a friend Friday, but i think it's going to rain, which we sorely need.
    We are leading a ride a week from tomorrow night, so I hope this heat wave has broken...
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  3. #18
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    632
    Speaking of allergies, August is usually my main allergy season, mostly a matter of ragweed. Fortunately, we have very little ragweed, up here in our north woods, but if the wind is right, the pollen can be carried into our area. Always an issue, though, when we visit farm country, as we did for our family reunion, last week. Oh, yeah, that old familiar monkey on my back had me tired and sluggish.

    22 miles, yesterday, about evenly split between single track on the MTB and pavement work on the Salsa Warbird. Actually tried the Warbird on some single track, too, and it surprised me. Guess it shouldn't have; it's a gravel road race bike and very nimble and fast. Did very well with the Warbird's 700x35 wheels as long as I stayed on the firm stuff, but even on soft sand, I could manage. Have now learned to deal with and control any fishtailing instead of fearing it. Real confidence booster for me.

    Have recently upgraded to all 105 components for the sake of confidence - have never had an issue with 105 in many, many thousands of miles with 105. To be honest, though, the stock Tiagra did very well.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 08-10-2016 at 05:31 PM.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,828
    Single track in your front yard -- sounds nice. I tend to get lost easily when I'm mountain biking but I imagine that's less of a problem when you're on your own property.

    I was going to get in one more ride with the old group set last night before taking the bike in to replace the cassette, rear derailleur and large chain ring. The weather was decent, not too hot and not too humid. But I was just too tired, and I knew if I went riding after work I'd get to sleep late and be even more tired today. So I just drove up to the LBS and dropped off the bike. I reiterated that I need it back by Friday night in order to lead a club ride on Saturday. It would be nice to be able to do a shake-down ride before Saturday, but I suspect I won't have time.

    Instead of going out for my usual Wednesday ride tonight, I will have to either go for a walk around the neighborhood or hit the gym for some stepmaster and treadmill work. We're back to hot and humid, so the gym would be more comfortable, but I'm not sure I'll get home early enough.

    Looking ahead, a friend wants to do an 80-mile ride at the end of the month. I told him that it will most likely be too much for me, given the way the autoimmune hives have been kicking up after every daytime bike ride that I've done for the past 6 weeks. He asked, have you been to a doctor? Well yes, and the recommended treatment is to avoid known triggers. I feel like sometimes people don't take you seriously when your reason for not doing something is a health problem that is more of an annoyance than a serious risk. But a short ride followed by a little itching is just preferable to long ride followed by lots of itching and possibly having to take a sick day from work.

    - 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

  5. #20
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    632
    Oh, having my own personal singletrack on our property is great for the sake of practice and working out, but an incredible amount of work to create. Rocks, roots, small trees to cut and all kinds of boggy humps to sooth out and/or fill. Very darn few level or smooth sections, but even so, probably one of the easier trails by the standards of some of the public MTB trails in the area. Putting two to three hours a day in of heavy physical labor, but worth it. Like most truly tech trails, you need to ride aggressively with some speed to do it right. Slow and cautious just stalls you out. My poor husband has NO real MTB riding experience and is a bit intimidated by it.

    A full suspension bike makes life much easier on all our area trails, even mine. A fat bike works, too, but just a bit too bouncy in sections and a wee bit slow to make some of those hairpin turns, not to mention being slow to accelerate with those big wheels and, believe, being able to scoot quick can make the difference between making it through some bottle necks and walking the bike. Oh, well, different MTBs for different terrain.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 08-10-2016 at 05:59 PM.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    773
    So far, 3 rides in the past week. We're on vacation in dream bike land (Eastern Townships in Quebec). I shorten them a bit (max 60km) due to hills and heat/humidity so high. But enjoying it so much.
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
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    6,636
    We've done two rides so far in beautiful Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. We'd been here on several day trips from Dickinson (closest pet-friendly hotel we could find) in 2013 to drive the scenic loop, and another day to do a long hike, so it's been fun getting to ride the roads this time. The first ride we did was the scenic park loop road, hilly and with gorgeous views. 26 miles or so from the campground and back. DH did it twice, the animal!

    Second ride, yesterday, was into town (Medora) from the campground, also some big hills on the way there and back, tho' flat in town. Got some ice cream, then rode back to the campground. Rode extra in the campground to get up to 20 miles.

    Today we took the day off to do RV chores, cleaning, etc., and I did a little yoga and light upper body weights in the motorhome for a change of pace. We walk every day but are not doing any official hikes this time since we're pretty far from any trailheads.

    Tomorrow we're going to ride the MTBs over to Medora and check out the new part of the Mah Daah Hey Trail, the "Deuce". Have heard it's nice and hope it's a bit easier than the MDH, which we rode a little of in 2013 and found quite rugged and challenging (though beautiful). Our singletrack skills are pretty elementary, so we'll walk when we feel uncomfortable. I am sure it will be gorgeous!

    Here are a couple of shots from our scenic loop ride.

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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

  8. #23
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    632
    Oh, Emily, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for the pics and the post. Making me very homesick for a western view, having spent most of my life out west. How was Dickinson? When I was getting set to retire, back in 2010, did detailed research on cities for a place to retire and Dickinson was one of them (lived in eastern ND as a kid, for a time). Pretty flat, there, of course, but having the park close was a big plus. At that time, though, the big oil boom hadn't happened, so Dickinson was a real sleeper as far as cost of living and such. Curious if you saw any signs of the boom affecting the town, being that it is south a ways from the main activity.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,101
    Rode 21 miles with my friend this morning, just locally. We started at 7:45 and when I was driving home from her house, it was already 87 degrees . Freaking humid, too, but at least that went down, as we rode. Feels like Florida. Glad I went, and glad I mostly stayed behind my friend, who is slower than me. I did pass her on some of the hills, but not all, as I usually do. A good way to keep myself from blowing up.
    Rain/thunder forecast for both afternoons this weekend, so more getting out early is in store.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
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    6,636
    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    Oh, Emily, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for the pics and the post. Making me very homesick for a western view, having spent most of my life out west. How was Dickinson? When I was getting set to retire, back in 2010, did detailed research on cities for a place to retire and Dickinson was one of them (lived in eastern ND as a kid, for a time). Pretty flat, there, of course, but having the park close was a big plus. At that time, though, the big oil boom hadn't happened, so Dickinson was a real sleeper as far as cost of living and such. Curious if you saw any signs of the boom affecting the town, being that it is south a ways from the main activity.
    Glad you enjoyed the photos. It is truly gorgeous here!

    Dickinson has "benefitted" (and I use that term loosely and sarcastically) greatly from the oil/fracking boom. It is just awful. Crowded, full of traffic, signs, construction, lots of new cheap extended-stay motels and ticky-tack apartment buildings have gone up along the interstate corridor. We came first in 2013 and used it as a base for visiting the park, and it was bad enough then with all the construction mess everywhere, but it looked even more built up this time (though we just saw it from the interstate). Hotels there are surprisingly expensive because of demand (we paid about $140/night for a La Quinta back in '13). Yes, it is a boom town, but I sure wouldn't want to live there. Good thing you did not move there right before the boom, though I guess if you'd bought a place you could probably sell at a profit now!
    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. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
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    Two more rides here in Teddy Roosevelt Nat'l Park in western North Dakota:

    1. Today we rode the Scenic Loop again, in the opposite direction from a couple of days ago. This direction seemed just a little easier, and is the opposite direction from the way most motor vehicles travel, so that was nice. Again I stopped half-way up all the big hills, rested for a bit to catch my breath, then started back up again. I think two more low gears in the back would enable me to get up these kinds of climbs without stopping. I could have ridden my Bike Friday, but my Trek is more comfortable for me, faster, and lighter, so I preferred to take it, despite the gearing issue. 28 gorgeous miles, one stop for a bison herd to cross, lots of prairie dogs.

    2. Yesterday we rode the MTBs from the campground into Medora, then south to Sully Creek State Park (a very hilly couple of miles) to pick up the new section of the Maah Daah Hey single-track trail, known as the "Deuce". That didn't last long. Within the first half mile we hit a steep, curving, narrow downhill section where the tall grasses on either side prevent all visibility ahead. I just can't deal with not knowing if I'm about to plunge into a creek at the bottom of a steep descent. This was followed immediately by a steep and narrow curving climb, so we bailed out. It was just past our skill and comfort level. I think if we'd been early in the season without the tall grasses, so we could see what was up ahead, we might have been braver.

    So, we headed back over the hills to Medora and rode down to the part of the original Maah Daah Hey we'd done in 2013. It started off fun and much easier than the section of the Deuce we attempted, with a couple of small creek crossings. We (and our bikes) got muddy! But then we got to creek crossing #3 and encountered a large herd of cattle blocking the creek and the trail. There was no way around them, and they weren't budging, so after attempting to wait them out for awhile, we grew tired of waiting and had to backtrack and give up on that idea!

    We had one final trick up our sleeve to try to ride some single track. We could get on the wide shoulder of the interstate (allowed here) briefly to get down to a Buffalo Gap trail access and try that for a bit. After pedaling up the long ramp to I-94 westbound, we realized there was construction taking the interstate from four to two lanes, and almost no shoulder on the part we'd have to ride (since it was really the left lane of the eastbound side, temporarily re-commissioned to take westbound traffic, including big semis, etc.) So, we had to turn around and give up on that idea too. There's no other way to access that trail that we're aware of, so we were stuck. The singletrack gods were just not on our side this time!

    With all our attempts and riding around town plus to/from the campground, we still managed to get in 25 miles, but only about 2 of those were on singletrack!
    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

  12. #27
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    632
    Thanks for the update on Dickinson, Emily. Yup, that's what I feared. One of my factors in choosing a place to live was a stable population and economy. In my research, I specifically eliminated areas that either had a lot of population growth or that were losing population. Dickinson would have been a mistake for me.

    Also, you did exactly what I would have done on those MTB trails. I can handle some of our local intermediate level trails, now, but only after riding and scouting them a bunch of times. Knowing the trail and what to expect is a BIG plus on being able to ride the trail. Just don't have enough of the daredevil in me to plunge into the unknown and probably a good thing, too, since I ride solo, so much.

    Weather had been muggy, muggy and muggy and rainy, to boot. Mostly I've been clearing and making MTB trails on our property and some of the neighbor's (with permission). Plan to do lot's more, but already have enough for a good workout by doing laps. My goal is to have enough trail and variety to continue my learning, right at home, instead of trudging the MTBs over 4 miles of pavement to get to my local MTB trails. Hate pushing big heavy treaded MTB tires at low pressure over pavement, all the more so when I have excellent drop bar road bikes for pavement work.

    Overall, then, not a lot of riding this week, but clearing and making trails is HEAVY physical labor, believe me. I'm exhausted at the end of the day.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 08-13-2016 at 08:00 AM.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,101
    Today we did most of a ride we had abandoned with a group, when the participants were acting squirelly and we seemed to be stopping every 5 minutes! It started right down the street, so off we went. I knew it was going to be cooler today, and still humid, but it was probably not a good idea to wear sleeveless, for the beginning of this ride, with no shrug, as it was 67 and cloudy. But, I warmed up. This ride was really pretty and never more than 10 miles from home, in either direction, whih mattered as pop up thunderstorms are predicted. We rode through one area that I had never been in, along the shores of Lake Boon, in Hudson and Stow. We found out why, when we saw a sign saying it was a private right of way for people who lived there... quite nice, though, but of course, once out of the private road, followed by a short climb. We both kept feeling big drops of rain every once in awhile, so eventually, we stopped to look at the radar, but saw nothing, so we did not take the short way home. However, shortly after that, when we were in our old town, we looked at the route and saw that it went up the aptly named Hill Rd. DH had done this earlier in the week, and I was starting to lose it, with 10-13 miles to go, as we were going faster than is usual for me. So, we shut the route down and made our way home, the usual way. At one point, a small group of riders almost collided with us, so we passed them and when we got to an intersection, there was lots of traffic and 3 police cars. It was weird. A giant truck stopped to let us turn left and the other riders caught us, but then peeled off. I suspected they would end up back on the street we were on, which they did, just as we were doing the final climb of the ride. It's easy, but I was tired. All of a sudden, lots of riders passed me, so it may have been some sort of charity ride, and that would explain 3 Acton police cars at that intersection.
    33 miles, and a good workout, despite some mild complaining from me! And, I saw another woman wearing a Cycling Country jersey from the Spain trip we did. It's such a small cycling tour company, I was surprised.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,101
    Did an 11 mile ride this morning, at 7:30, with DH. 70 degrees and 100% humidity. Another heat emergency later on. I told DH I did not want to hammer, but he thought I needed a "workout." This is his go-to short route, I've done a slightly different version of it, as what we did today has a left turn onto Main St, from a street with poor sight lines... I don't even do it in my car, as the house on the left hand corner of a T intersection, sticks out into both streets. It is very weird! But, Sunday morning, it's fine. I was pissed the whole ride, and I kept up, but I keep wondering why I get so angry when I have to ride fast. I feel fine now, and my average was very respectable for me, including one annoying climb.
    Hoping for normal New England weather next weekend.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  15. #30
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,828
    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    Thanks for the update on Dickinson, Emily. Yup, that's what I feared. One of my factors in choosing a place to live was a stable population and economy. In my research, I specifically eliminated areas that either had a lot of population growth or that were losing population. Dickinson would have been a mistake for me.

    Also, you did exactly what I would have done on those MTB trails. I can handle some of our local intermediate level trails, now, but only after riding and scouting them a bunch of times. Knowing the trail and what to expect is a BIG plus on being able to ride the trail. Just don't have enough of the daredevil in me to plunge into the unknown and probably a good thing, too, since I ride solo, so much.

    Weather had been muggy, muggy and muggy and rainy, to boot. Mostly I've been clearing and making MTB trails on our property and some of the neighbor's (with permission). Plan to do lot's more, but already have enough for a good workout by doing laps. My goal is to have enough trail and variety to continue my learning, right at home, instead of trudging the MTBs over 4 miles of pavement to get to my local MTB trails. Hate pushing big heavy treaded MTB tires at low pressure over pavement, all the more so when I have excellent drop bar road bikes for pavement work.

    Overall, then, not a lot of riding this week, but clearing and making trails is HEAVY physical labor, believe me. I'm exhausted at the end of the day.
    Back when all I had was a mountain bike, I rode it more on pavement than on dirt, and I did pretty long rides, too. I switched to slicker tires for a while, then got the road bike. Some years later when the road bike was being repaired I rode the mountain bike on a paved rail trail a few times, and only felt like it was unusually difficult when I went up hill -- then the bike felt kinda heavy. There are a couple of charity rides in this area that are part paved, part gravel, about 30 miles total, and I'd like to try them on the mountain bike. I just have to address some fit issues first, if I'm going to be on it for that long.

    And I agree, I would have turned back on that difficult trail, too. I guess that's just the price of doing so much exploring, Emily -- sometimes what you find is not as rideable as you'd hoped. It's funny that you had to turn back due to a "cattle jam." We only see them behind fences around here, and in much smaller numbers.

    - 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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