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  1. #16
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    Sep 2009
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Roadside Turkey Vulture

    Untitled by Sharon Goldwasser, on Flickr
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    2,045
    One of the rest stops. They've really improved the options. The best was the watermelon slices (not in the picture).

    Untitled by Sharon Goldwasser, on Flickr
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,129
    Wasn't the Wilcox Flyer the name of the train that went from Wilcox to near the Grand Canyon?
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  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,201
    Quote Originally Posted by azfiddle View Post
    The best was the watermelon slices (not in the picture).
    ragbrai....very hot day....we bought whole cold watermelons and ate the hearts....perfect

    luv those first three photos, especially the yucca, sharon. makes me want to go riding in the desert
    ‘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

  5. #20
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    659
    Having spent most of my life out west, would love to see some yucca and cactus plants, again. Thanks for the beautiful pics, as always. I'm about a thousand miles away from that country, though. Growing up in those wide open spaces does shape a person. Love our deep and dark forests, but my heart still yearns for those open spaces. My hubby, on the other hand, never lived there and is much more comfortable back in the woods. He can't wrap is head around wanting to live in places where there are so few trees that people give them names.

    Have spent much of my summer working on my trails, then following up with a good ride. Mostly been making connecting sections to the various loops. I can now ride every day for probably two years without riding exactly the same way twice. I have a set regimen of laps, though, and every lap includes a section of leg burner climbs. Once I've completed the laps, I work on my log hopping and rock climbs. Finally, my favorite part, is what I call noodling - just riding around with nothing specific in mind.

    My logs show that I'm doing 40 to 50 miles a week on the trail riding and another 20-30 miles on the road. Wish I could translate that into all road miles for the sake of sharing with everyone, here, but I don't think there's a good formula for that. In terms of hours, though, I'm riding the same number of hours, now, as I was when doing 450 to 600 mile months when most of my riding was on the pavement. My backyard trail system, though, keeps me close to home and my hubby with his disabilities. We're both getting old enough that we need to keep an eye out for each other's health needs.

    Yipeee! The sun is out for the first time, this week. Gotta go ride.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,845
    Great pictures, AZ. And I agree with your husband re: trees, NWG. It seems strange to me just to see photos of a bike ride on a road in the middle of nothing except mountains in the distance.

    Our club has started to serve pickles at rest stops, as in the photo. We usually cut up spears and put them out in small paper cups. We've learned not to put too many out at a time, otherwise the early riders take them all and there's nothing left for the slower riders who are out in a hotter part of the day.

    So, I did go out for a ride last night. I was feeling cranky and my mood was not improved by the three(!!!) drivers who almost hit me because I stopped at stop signs in front of them. From the sounds of their engines I could tell they were not slowing down. This was all within the first few miles. Later in the ride I started to encounter drivers who stopped to let me cross at intersections where I had a stop sign but they did not. Some neighborhoods just have more hostile and impatient people, others have nice people.

    I rode 18 miles in all. Had to wear lightweight tights, a vest and arm warmers on top of long sleeves. I was not cranky anymore at the end but feeling generally not happy -- there are too many things going on in the world right now, massive storms and wildfires and data breaches etc etc. and I really think I am going to need surgery for the torn ankle tendon.

    Tomorrow is a big century ride in northern Maryland, always one of my favorites. I usually do the metric but this year due to the ankle I am doing 50 miles. It's more than a bike ride, though. The food is excellent, fresh local fruit and giant tomatoes on the tomato sandwiches and ice cream from a local dairy and a chance to visit with friends at the picnic. Last year it was dangerously hot, this year it will be about 40 degrees cooler. Too cold for my taste but the skies should be a great shade of blue so I will bring my good camera.

    - 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:
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  7. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,129
    That sounds fabulous, NY. I'll take the 40 degrees colder over horrible heat any day.
    So, today I went to my first bootcamp class at my former gym. Same instructor as before. The thought crossed my mind that climbing El Fitu on my trip to Spain was easier... Most of it was because the class starts at 5:30 am. Before, the guy who opened up, did so at 5:20 or so, and I warmed up on the treadmill for 3 minutes. Today, I got there way too early, 5:20, as I live much closer now. The opening person came exactly at 5:30, then I had to go set up my step and weights. Some days I can ride there, until the snow comes, and that will be a perfect flat 1.7 mile warm up. But, mostly I think I'll jump on my treeadmill at home for 3 minutes before I leave. Now I know why I got lazy at the ritzy club where the classes catered more to older people...
    Then, as if that was not enough, I went on my club ride. Just me and the other leader. It was so gorgeous out, I couldn't stay home. Quintessential New England bright blue skies, low humidity, 65-70 degrees. Thirty miles, pretty hilly. Although my back was hurting in the class, it felt better when I got home and on the ride. My calves, on the other hand, were killing me, from the step class I took Wednesday. I didn't get home until 12:50 and I actually ate lunch in the shower, as I had a client at 2 and 3. There is an advanage to living 2.3 miles from work. And, I brought in clothes and my lunch for Monday, when I will ride there and also do another boot camp class. I found out, in an offhand way, that the cafeteria at Welch's corporate headquarters, across the street from my office is closed due to renovations. I usually walk over there for food, when I ride to work, so I am glad I found out ahead of time.
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  8. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    Thanks for the compliments on the photos.
    We have a guest room here and great riding almost all year long...
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  9. #24
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    659
    We have riding all year long, too, but better bring a fat bike (we have some area trails groomed just for fat bikes) and some warm clothes.

    Other than some storms that bring heavy snow, but rarely much wind, we are fairly safe from those catastrophic weather events that other parts of the country see. Summer heat is not a problem, nor is smoke which many of my friends out west are dealing with. (Our forests tend to be wet and most, so fires are rare.) Just our long winters which drag on well into May with some years next to nothing for spring. Anyway, the door is always open to anyone seeking refuge from storms.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,129
    Did a 45.5 mile ride today; a ride we *thought* we had done before, but apparently, not! More about that, later. At least it was a ride that DH had adapted to start from our house, but I suspect, it was a ride we wanted to do and we wimped out later. Anyway, the original ride was 50 miles, but I am fine with doing just under that. We ate half a nut butter and jelly sandwich and headed west, through familiar streets in our old town, with the distinct sense that apple picking season has begun. Almost got taken out by a pick up backing out of his driveway, surounded by cars parked on a narrow country road, near a small organic farm having special activities today. From there, we headed up the opposite way we usually do, a good climb into the town of Bolton. We ended up on a main road, which is not a particularly bad road to ride on, but had to get over to make a left, where cars were backed up to go go the Nashoba Valley Winery/orchard. Geez, I have never seen the amount of cars I saw there, in the overflow parking, as we rode by. Both of these places were written up in an article on stuff to do this weekend and people from the city were out in droves. We quickly got onto some quieter roads, after this. Until we got to Rt 62 in the town I used to teach in. This is the same road my street is off of, but in Concord, it's a 2 lane road, with a speed limit of 30-35. Busy, but not crazy. We ended up having to cross this road in Hudson, at a crossing with no lights or stop signs, with people coming out of a newer shopping center with Lowe's and tons of other big box stores. It is also right near the exit/entrance ramp of I-495, which helped a bit, as there's a light there, a bit up from where had to cross. We got to the center of the road, and someone stopped, thankfully. The road we were on was really lovely as we continued on, farms, and homes, but it was clear people now use it as a short cut to that shopping center. We stopped by a horse farm and ate the second half of our sandwich. There some familiar street names of streets some of my former students lived on, but I really am not familiar with this part of the town. As we turned, we realized this was not the ride we thought it was... I saw parts of Hudson I didn't know existed, with some rolling hills, crappy roads, and lots of sparsely spaced industry, with a few houses. I surmised we were behind the Solomon Pond Mall, but I have to look on a map. Finally, we entered the town of Berlin, not the town of Clinton, which we thought we'd be in. We entered a round a bout and then we were turning onto Sawyer Hill Rd; a climb that was on the ride we thought we were doing, but not what was in front of us at that moment. The beginning of it was tough, about 8%, but it had flat sections, where you could rest. We finally got to what appeared to be the top, with huge homes and views to the west, where we could see Mt. Wachusett. Just gorgeous. Then we went down a steep descent, ending up at a main street, we had to zig zag across, to continue on Sawyer Hill. Passed another orchard, tons of cars, hayrides, etc., and city ladies dressed for a day out in the country in high heels! This is where we thought we'd end up at at a little store where we ate at last year, but no, we were not even in the right town. But, the road looked familiar, so we must have been on it on that ride, too. The next turn would bring us back to a road we passed when we had gone by the winery, earlier, so we knew we were getting back into familiar territory, when there was a road closed/detour sign. We decided to go ahead to see if we could circumvent it, as the alternatives were long and hard climbs, and it was getting suspiciously dark/cloudy, looking like rain. We went through one barrier, walked on a bit of dusty road/bridge over a stream, and then there was a netted barrier, where DH lifted the bikes over and we pushed it down to get over. And, there was a port-potty there, too! One more barrier, with cones, and we were out and our turn came up. It got very dark out, started sprinkling mildly, so we started deciding alternatives to the end. We decided to take the route up a lovely rural road that actually is the road my old school is on, past where we would be turning. It's very hilly. As we decided to keep going, down a very steep descent we had to make another choice. If we followed the route, we'd go up a very steep road with a crossing/stop on another main road, and then down a hill by a very large and popular orchard, where we knew it would be mobbed. We usually go by this area the opposite way. I was going to just do it, when I noticed I couldn't shift into my big ring... apparently the LBS did not charge my Di2 after they put it on my bike. So, the decision was made. I could stay in the small ring though, but DH nicely switched our batteries, as he doesn't mind riding in the small ring as much on flat roads. There were several bail out points, to make the ride shorter, but we took our longer option. We ate our snack and I got a second wind. We finished very speedily.
    I am exhausted, but it was an interesting day. Now we have to figure out how to find the route we *thought* we were doing. My battery is all charged and should be good until the end of the year.
    Last edited by Crankin; 09-10-2017 at 05:05 PM.
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  11. #26
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,845
    Sounds like an adventure, Crankin.

    I had a great ride yesterday, the 50 mile version of my favorite annual century. I was going to meet up with bike club friends who were doing the metric -- the additional miles on their route were all at the start, so it would have been easy to meet them by starting about an hour after they did. But I got too a late start; my ankle was hurting when I woke up so before leaving home I took the time to ice it and plot a bailout route if it continued to hurt. So I rode by myself, which was great because I had the freedom to take detours and stop to take photos. After the first few miles I saw two women who were confused about where to turn, so I rode with them until our route joined the metric and there were more cyclists on the road. Then I stopped at an old bridge for photos, then stopped again to photograph a nice house with an interesting arrangement of gourds on a bench in front, then went off course a bit to photograph a nice barn and church, then rode for a while, went off course again to go around a steep hill, rode up the next hill which was unavoidable and stopped at the top where I always like to photograph the apple trees in an orchard, then finally reached the first rest stop. Had a tomato sandwich and a bunch of peach slices, giant peach slices from giant locally-grown peaches. So good. Finally got back on the road, my ankle felt okay so I opted not to take the shortcut I had planned. Instead I stayed on course for a while, stopped to take pictures at a covered bridge, then went off course again in Gettysburg to take some quieter roads than the ones used for the official route, which took me to the next rest stop where I ate more giant peach slices.

    After that I stayed on course and only took a few more photos. Along the way I was texting my friends who had finished long before me; the husband of one was driving SAG and they were waiting at the picnic for him to finish. As it turned out his shift ended just before I got there, but they waited for me to get back and had a bite to eat with me before they hit the road for home. Some other bike club friends stopped to chat after doing the full century, and one hung around while I got some ice cream. By the time we left the picnic was winding down. Before heading home I drove to a nearby park where we sometimes start rides so I could check out a different parking area than the one we usually use, then stopped at a grocery store to look for something for dinner, didn't find anything interesting there so stopped at a restaurant instead. It was pretty late by the time I got home, with the upside of having to deal with less traffic on the highway.

    Since I do this ride every year, and the route usually does not change much, I had reached a point a few years ago where it was starting to feel a bit dull. Since then I've done club rides in the area, borrowed from those cue sheets and made up some of my own routes to explore different roads. As a result I was able to see some of the roads on yesterday's ride with fresh eyes and really appreciate how nice they are.

    We really got lucky with the weather. It was in the 50s overnight, up into the 60s by the time I started and in the 70s when I finished. It was warm in the sun but cool in the shade, which made it somewhat hard to dress for. I started wearing a long sleeved base layer, short sleeved jersey, vest and arm coolers on top of the long sleeves. After a while I took off the vest and arm coolers, and at the last rest stop took off the base layer and put the vest and arm coolers back on. A month from now the same conditions would feel cooler but for now the sun is still pretty strong and warm.
    Last edited by ny biker; 09-10-2017 at 06:07 PM.

    - 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

  12. #27
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,201
    NY..pickles and pickle juice ftw and for a good electrolyte boost!!!!

    We rode north on the pacific coast highway to point muga beach. The long gradual climbs on the route were good for me. Feeling more confident about climbing again. The desire to go into the santa monica mountains was there as we passed a number of the roads I’ve used for riding into them on…..but I’m not quite back to my voluntary suffering ways yet and I’m still a little reluctant to do those climbs until I’ve done some more mileage and gradual climbs like todays.

    We had a little bit of a head wind going north. Storm clouds and winds came as we were coming back south but since it gave us a good tailwind we were happy to have it. In the 70’s the whole ride and 68 miles with some beautiful ocean views…..and of course a great french macaroon ice cream sandwich (pistachio macaroons and strawberry ice cream) and a chocolate croissant at malibu’s le café de la plage on the way back as the ride reward.

    We walked to the beach after dinner for the end of the sunset
    ‘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

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,129
    NY, your ride sounds lovely. I would love to ride in that area someday.
    We found the ride we *wanted* to do yesterday. I knew it was on a cooler day, probably right after e moved to the condo. Well, it was 3 months after, but a cool day for June. DH keeps a log of his rides in Ride With GPS, so it was easy to look for. It did have some of the same roads as yesterday, but without the horrible crossing and part of Sawyer Hill Rd (which was not that bad). It was 40 miles, and I definitely want to do it again, but it does go through that road closure place, which I would rather not repeat. It didin't look like it will be done anytime soon.
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  14. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,651
    Sound like some great rides, ladies! NY, is that the Seagull Century? If so, DH and I did it (the full century) many years ago on a tandem. Unfortunately, we had a cold rain for most of the ride, just miserable. We were freezing! Don't remember any good food like what you describe, but it's been awhile. I do remember hot chocolate and coffee at the last rest stop because it was so cold. DH's lips were turning blue, and for the first and possibly only time ever, I had to coach him through the last 20 miles or so as he was really having difficulty in the cold (not enough body fat!)

    Anywho, we are in our evacuation spot in Mississippi and have been enjoying some excellent rides on the Longleaf Trace. I took today off, but before that had ridden three days straight: 32, 20, and 35 miles. The Trace itself is flat to gently climbing and descending, since it's a rail trail, but the connector trail from our campground to get onto the Trace is very hilly, with marked grades up to 15%. That's only 2 miles at the beginning and end of each ride but does get your attention!

    We've had the Trace almost to ourselves, even on the weekend; a real surprise. We're here until at least Thursday morning before we attempt to head back to Florida, so I hope to get a couple more rides in. It might rain tomorrow (remnants of Irma), so we'll see.
    Emily

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  15. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,129
    You think you'll be back that soon? It looks like power will be out for weeks!
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