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Thread: November Rides

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Hi everyone.... been riding almost every day in November but just haven't been posting. I've been commuting 4-5 days a week and was riding some long rides to prep for El Tour de Tucson last weekend. I rode the whole 106 miles, raised money for JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). There was a pretty steep minimum commitment ($750 for a "day rider"). But boy did they take care of us. Three dinners at a posh hotel/resort. My husband and I paid for a one night stay. They transported the bikes and set them up near the start, then drove us to and from the start/finish. Great aid stations which were only for JDRF riders. And really, we got a much better understanding of how tough it is to live with Type 1 diabetes, and how the money raised by the JDRF rides has helped bring new advances that are helping people right now. We were glad to be part of it- I joined the ride in support of a co-worker's son who was diagnosed 2 years at age 5. Tough stuff- he's a little hero though!
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
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  2. #62
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    1,973
    I've done a couple short rides this week, chasing a Couch's Kingbird which was way out of range in Arizona, and then today did a 40 mile ride to look for a Least Grebe, also way out of range. I saw the kingbird on Thursday on the third try- the grebe was easy- just a longer ride and a half mile walk to the pond.
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  3. #63
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,108
    Nice to see posting, again, AZ. Way cool on the Couch's. That would be a life bird for me.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Traveling Nomad
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    Very cool about the birds, az!

    Finally got out for a ride today after too many days off due to weather, Thanksgiving, other chores. We normally don't ride on the weekends as the bike paths are full of other people, but it was too pretty not to go today. Sure enough, lots of cyclists plus a few runners and walkers, but very few kids on tiny bikes, which was a good thing.

    34.2 miles
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
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  5. #65
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    13,394
    Got back from my trip later last night, but woke up at 6:30. It was certainly warm enough to ride (48), but with winds gusting to 30 mph, I had no desire. We did a 4.6 mile hike locally, in a place that is pretty flat, but truly the rockiest, most full of roots place we've hiked. You have to pay attention. It really helps with balance and flexibility, but although the rocks didn't get me, a root that was extended up like an upside down U did! My foot went right in and when I went to step forward, down I went. Not a face plant and all I could think was, oh no, I just recovered from 2 bike crashes on each knee. But, it mostly hit my left shin and the side of my right knee, almost past the knee. We continued on, more slowly and then sped up again. I've iced twice and while it's sore, no terrible bruising, just swelling a bit, which Arnica is working on. I will be able to go to my class tomorrow.
    Hoping to ride early am on Tuesday and do the club ride on Wednesday.
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  6. #66
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    Sorry to hear about the spill, Crankin. That sure sounds like fat bike territory to me. Those big tires do take the sting out of roots. Lots of them in our area.

    Interesting to hear about the soreness, Sheila. I was experiencing all manner of soreness earlier in the year when I was still running drop bar bikes along with and my flat bar bikes, mostly because I got out of drop bar bike riding shape. Does take me awhile to get back in shape to handle the drop bar bike position if I lay off too long. In the end, though, figured it wasn't worth the hassle of running two different bike styles, so sold off the drop bar bikes and now run flat bar bikes for all my riding, which is mostly trail riding, anyway. For road work, found that the Jones bars allow a multitude of hand positions, so makes flat bar road riding very doable.

    Speaking of the Jones bar, took my Krampus with the Jones bar for my trail work, yesterday. My other 29+ bike, the aluminum Stashe, being a lighter bike with lighter rims and wheels, is a bit faster and more nimble, but it's nowhere near as smooth as the steel Krampus. The Krampus is a limousine on the trails, by comparison. Preaching to the choir with you, of course.

  7. #67
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    Jul 2003
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    Ouch Crankin! Hope the pain is brief. Falling is no fun (ask me how I know...oops, you know how I know!)
    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
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Northwoods, I was *hiking*, not mountain biking when I fell. Even at my best, I would not have mountain biked at this location. One of the few people we saw on the hike was mountain biking, or should I say walking. He was walking when we first saw him, he got on his bike, rode over a bridge, and then dismounted to go down a set of steps. I was nervous, as he did not look like an expert and was relieved he got off before the steps.
    My legs are fine, no more sore than yesterday. Any pain I felt in my bootcamp class today was not from the fall! I think I will keep to my regular schedule and take a rest day tomorrow. The club ride Wednesday is a nice 29 mile very local ride. But... it goes up a very hard 3 part climb of 2.8 miles in my old town. I have not done the whole thing in that direction in 5-6 years. Was just thinking that DH had me go up this climb on my 3d or 4th ride, all those years ago. Of course, I was on a mountain bike, with very low gears, but it was pretty cruel of him, in retrospect. I did it, though.
    It will be fine, the faster guys are going off separately, from a different location, at a faster pace, with more miles. I will be one of the faster people in the group because of this. It gives me a temporary feeling of being tough. Until I look at the competition.
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  9. #69
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    1,108
    Understood on the hiking part, Crankin, not to worry. Some of my worst "spills" have been when walking, too. Icy roads and me walking do not get along, though it's much better now that I wear ice crampons.

    Oh, yeah, crazy as I am about my mountain biking, I do know when I'm over my head ... sort of. Always have to try, at least. Have some sections of trails in our area where I still walk the bike. My backyard trails are all doable, though when icy or snowy, only marginally so, even with studded tires.

    My skill level is much better, now, than it was just two years, ago. Get a chuckle, now, at the spots that gave me shivers when I first started. The biggest challenge for me switching over to mostly trail riding, though, was developing the leg strength to handle the sudden bursts of speed needed to navigate the really steep stuff, not to mention navigating the twists, turns, rocks and such on the way up. All my road biking did not prepare me for that. The two types of riding are quite different in their physical demands, though no less challenging in their own ways. I still have to work my way up to do long road rides, for instance. No way could I handle a 50 mile ride, right now, without a bit of road time, prior, even though I ride trails, every day.

    Okay, I'm rambling, now. Back to our program.

  10. #70
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    1,108
    Whoa! Took two spills in one day with the fat bikes. That's a first. Both times I got nailed dropping down steep sections and trying to make a turn while doing it. Today's mud condition was the killer. The upper couple of inches of mud has thawed, but it's still frozen, underneath. Even my most aggressive fat tires couldn't hold. Kept trail riding, but stayed off the steep stuff. No problems, after that.

    I suppose it was out of frustration or maybe I needed a change of pace, so added some air to the tires on the Krampus to make it more road worthy, then hit the pavement/gravel for a delightful, though short, 15 miles on the road. Wind was pretty gnarly, gusting at 30 mph plus, but it felt so good to be out in the open and out of the woods, taking in the sunshine (yeah, we had sun) and sights, relaxing and allowing my thoughts to wander a bit (big no no on the trails), that I didn't mind at all. Have to say, I do misss that zen like state that I get while riding on the road, just letting those miles roll ob by. Love technical trail work, but it can sometimes be a bit too intense.

    Could have easily doubled that distance but the sun was already low in the sky and didn't want to risk being out too late. The Krampus was bought to be my do it all bike and it's delivered for me, big time. Rescued me from an otherwise rough day, today. Okay, it's no speed demon on the road (though it's no dog, either), but it sure is smooth and sweet and it shifts and pedals so easy. Just eats up those miles and laughs at what few hills we have on our roads. Love it.




    Combination of road and trail miles made for a 22 plus mile day.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 11-28-2017 at 05:23 PM.

  11. #71
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    Jul 2003
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    Good job, NWG! Glad a road ride took your mind off the falls and technical trails for a bit. I totally understand how on trails you have to keep your mind focused on what you are doing at all times. That can be good, as it helps keep your mind off worries and problems, but it can also be very tiring. Road riding, I do some of my best thinking, but sometimes I can get into my head a bit too much (worries), depending on what is going on in my life at the moment.

    We rode Sunday/Monday, took yesterday off to do chores and errands, and will hit the road again today. Getting some warmer weather again now, so no layers required as they were a few days ago and last week. Nice to be able to wear shorts and short-sleeves in almost December!
    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. #72
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    Thanks, folks. I'm fine, just bump and bruise sort of falls, nothing serious. Fortunately, both spills took place at the very top of the descents before I had gathered any speed. On a good day, have clocked myself up to 18 mph on both by the time I hit the bottom. With all the trees, brush, rocks and debris along the trails, a crash at that speed could be fatal.

    Yeah, I really did enjoy the road work. It included a mile of tricky gravel/sand, but even that wasn't as intense as trail riding, and, of course, the Krampus is completely at home on the gravel. As you say, Sheila, nice to be able to go anywhere you want with such a bike. As a matter of fact, when I got home with the Krampus, just added another mile of trail work to make it a combination pavement, gravel/sand road and trail ride. The only time the Krampus or other plus bikes can't keep up with fat bikes is on the roughest trails or when conditions go really extreme - deep mud, snow, sand or when things get really icy. I dream about a cross continent adventure trip and doubt it'll ever happen for me, now, but if I did attempt such a ride, the Krampus or ECR would be my bike of choice.

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    13,394
    Your ride sounded perfect and glad you are not hurt, north woods!
    So, I woke up around 6:45, which is late for me. Sometimes, when I sleep later, I wake up feeling horrible. Not sure why, or if it's that when this happens, my body is telling me to rest. We've had crazy temperature fluctuations, and of course I was away in a place that was fairly cold at night (35) and in the AM, but warming up to 60-ish during the day. Perfect, in my mind, but it plays with my allergies. I waited to have my coffee, to see how I felt, downloaded the group ride on my GPS, but I kind of knew I wouldn't be going. DH is working from home today, and since it is unbelievably warm (57 right now) for this time of year, he planned to ride. So, we set out to do a pretty flat route, I always enjoy. Planning what to wear was tough. It was breezy, with a couple of good gusts, too. I had to stop at mile 8 or 9, to take my head cover off, and, I unzipped a lot more. Shoud have worn knickers instead of light tights and a vest instead of my jacket. After we stopped, we were heading into a stiff cross breeze and I felt like crap. Up to this point, my average was over 15, but I couldn't maintain it, and I asked DH to slow. I did fine going up the one small hill, but every other little false flat felt like torture to me. DH and I got separated near home, as we had a series of traffic things, a huge wide load truck pulling a boat, a truck stopped, a guy who almost right hooked me (I was on guard at this point though and stopped to let the jerk turn, with no signal. I knew he was going to do it). I let him get ahead on the last 2 miles as I crawled home at 12 mph. We did about 19 miles and my average was still ok.
    Even though I suffered through some of it, I am really glad I went, since it's almost December and it was above 55 when we were out there. The temperature is already starting to go down and it is really windy out there. I don't think I am going to get to ride this weekend. Our friends are coming to stay over for our theatre weekend, and though it's going to be in the 40s, which we are fine with, they don't really ride in the cold, below 50. So, I guess we will hike.
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  14. #74
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    1,108
    Glad you got out, Crankin. Yeah, in-betweener kind of weather can be tough to guess as to what to wear. Our weather, up here, seems less prone to radical changes than in other places I've lived.

    Almost forgot about sharing the road with jerks in vehicles. Don't see much of that, up here, and that's just fine with me. I'm very fortunate in that regard. Chicago was really nasty that way. Could never let down my guard for a second.

    Hard overnight freezes have solidified the mud on the trails, so no spills, yesterday. Plus, being frozen hard, the trail was very fast. Yes, trails can vary in how "fast" they are, one day to the next. On my long downhill runs, I have trees at the bottom which I use as markers to see how far I can get without having to pedal. Super hard trails are tooth rattlers, though. That's the other side of the coin. All part of the fun, though.

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    You were brave for riding in Chicago. This is just a small congested area in the little village center of west Concord. It is busy at rush hours, lunchtime (which it was), or when the commuter rail stops. We can avoid it, but it is the most direct way home. A mile or so, you are in rural suburbia!
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