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Thread: July rides

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    northern Virginia
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    July rides

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    How is it July already? I am refusing to turn over the calendar to a new page. It seems like it was just early April.

    Although the weather is definitely not April. I led a ride yesterday, 40 miles. If it had been just slightly longer it would have been miserable. There were four of us, two people who have been off the bike until last week due to medical issues, one person who just finished Bike Virginia so is in peak form, and me who is doing better than expected given how many weekends I have not been riding. We rode an easy, comfortable pace, which was important for the weather. Too often on hot days I end up "leading" riders who are faster than me and they finish strong while I am miserable from too much exertion in the hot sun. We also had a fair amount of shade, and at both rest stops we were able to go into an air conditioned building for a break. Overall it worked out well. Before the ride I had made cue sheets for various short cut options; the two people who just started riding again did opt to cut 10 miles off the ride, but it was due to their gradually easing back into cycling as much as the weather conditions.

    The ride start was a park with a covered picnic pavilion but no running water, so I also prepared for the heat by having a cooler in my car with cold drinks, ice packs and a spray bottle full of cold water. I also had a microfiber towel, Wet Ones and a hairbrush in addition to snacks and clean clothes. After finishing the ride I opened up the car doors and then went and sat in the pavilion, sprayed cold water all over my head, arms and back, cleaned the sunscreen and dirt off my legs, and had a drink and snack while cooling down and drying off. Cold water on the back of your head and rinsing the sweat out of your hair does really help when it's that hot. Eventually I changed into clean clothes, fired up the A/C in the car and headed for home.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    13,464
    Wow, you and I are twins, when it comes to heat. We are supposed to do a club ride Wednesday, with a high of 91. It won't get that hot by the ride's end, but with humidity, I am mildly concerned. However, the leader is my friend and he will stick to the moderate pace of an average of 13.5. It's pretty shady, but I am sure I will be pouring my water over my head.
    I rode to and from the gym at 5:10 am and back at 6:40. It was cool, 70 and 93% humidity when I went, and much drier and pleasant when I came home. It's only 1.3 miles each way, and that is about all I wanted to do outside today.
    Next weekend looks perfect for riding, but looking ahead, I am seeing heat again next week, when we do our annual Berkshires trip. It is hard and hilly riding; last year we cut a ride out and went out and did a 15 mile ride early in the AM, it was so hot one day. Not that there isn't a lot to do there, but I look forward to this trip every year.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    1,124
    Sounds like you both know how to deal with the heat. Our summer, so far, has been the hottest, ever, for us - way above normal for heat and heat index numbers. Not sure how I would have handled it all if I could bike, right, now. The heat has definitely been an issue for my walking, though. It's the pits for walking. Taking advantage of shade when I can find some is a big help, as you've mentioned. Going out, early, helps, too.

    Stopped in at my local shop, today, to have the Log Lady single speed set up for more road duty. I'm switching out the tires to a more road friendly, faster tread and will up the gearing just a bit. I plan to use both single speed bikes when I get cleared to ride, again, as mostly road/gravel bikes with maybe some easy trail work. Mostly road bikes, though. I'll use the single speeds to get in condition and to use on the road as errand/utility/fun bikes.

    Don't know if I can ever trust those skinny 2.2" wide tires again for serious trail work after this accident. Staying with fatter tires on the trails is definitely a move in a safer direction. I'm going nuts, though, not being able to get out and ride. The trainer is a good thing for conditioning, but it does nothing for my need to ride. Under two week to go, now, before my next doctor visit and X rays to see how much I've healed. I am so praying for good news.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
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    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    Under two week to go, now, before my next doctor visit and X rays to see how much I've healed. I am so praying for good news.
    My prayers for that too…..and I’ve continued lighting incense to keep that going for you!!!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    ....I also prepared for the heat by having a cooler in my car with cold drinks, ice packs and a spray bottle full of cold water. I also had a microfiber towel, Wet Ones and a hairbrush in addition to snacks....
    you organize like I do!!!!!



    Our usual June marine cloud layer with its perfect low 70s weather is just about gone and with that there will be a few days this month in the high 80’s to low 90’s but thankfully not many and the low humidity and ocean breezes help here too. I actually enjoy the challenge of riding in high heat as long as I’ve acclimated to the temps (hot yoga helps in my body experiencing heat as less severe), keep very well hydrated/fueled and dress accordingly.
    Still just commutes, rides for doing photography and the occasional bike path ride with Alex.

    Next week I’m doing impact assessment work at some utility-scale solar plants in the desert and I’m thinking of doing a whole day’s ride in the eastern slopes of the sierra’s where temps will be much better than the high desert. I want a good long hard ride cuz it’s been toooooooooooooo long since I’ve had one.
    ‘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. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Traveling Nomad
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    We did our usual ride (35-36 miles) in the heat and humidity yesterday morning. When I stopped to pee at a park one hour in, I was drenched in sweat and could feel my heart beating really fast. After a rest in the air conditioning and drinking a bunch of water, I felt much better, and the rest of the ride was actually not too bad since we gained a light tailwind on the way back. It really is the humidity more than the heat, as the temp at the end of our ride was "only" 87. I don't know what the humidity was, but high.

    After a nice cool down in the pool and lunch, we did a utilitarian ride on our cruiser bikes to the bank and vet to pick up meds for our dog. By the end of that one (~ 4 miles), I was sweating again, but stops in the air-conditioned bank and vet did help.

    This morning we'll be leaving our our usual ride soon. It's so tempting to skip it in this heat, but it's not going to get any cooler here in Florida for a long time, so I might as well get used to it. The fact that there are still other cyclists (and even runners, which is hard to fathom) on the trail this time of year helps with not feeling so alone in my suffering!
    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    Thank-you for the incense, rebecca. Very much appreciated and, yes, I do believe that such things have their effect. Again, thank-you.

    No break in our weather, though nothing hotter than the upper 80s. That, at least, is more the norm for July at its hottest, up here.

    On the day I get cleared to ride, hubby has promised I get to buy a new helmet, no matter how expensive. Then we'll celebrate at our favorite restaurant, that night. Next day, the new and safer me starts riding. I may do some mods on my trails by blocking off and/or destroying some of my trick object setups, just to avoid the temptation. Hubby has already helped remove one or two. As I walk along my trails, now, I shake my head when I see the worst of them and wonder how I ever managed them on a bicycle.

    My neck brace and still slightly battered face have started a lot of conversations with strangers. Interesting to discover that so many folks have reported either knowing someone who has had similar mountain biking accidents (or even someone who died) or who have had bad bike accidents, themselves. I've always known that mountain biking at the intermediate level and above is a dangerous sport, but this has been a very real confirmation of it. Also confirms my resolve to retire and stay on the easy trails from now on. No bicycling is without its danger, of course, but at least I can choose to make it less risky by the type of riding I do. I do see a LOT more low traffic road riding, especially gravel road riding in my future. Gravel riding has been a favorite of mine, all along, not to mention I have the bikes for that kind of riding, even for the roughest of roads.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 07-03-2018 at 08:19 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    I went out at 5:15 am and did a 12 mile ride. It was cooler, 72, but 93% humidity. Need I say more?
    I went to the other side of town and did a loop around Concord center and back, a longer route than last time. Forgot that Tuesday is when the Crack ‘o Dawn riders come to Concord. I used to see them when I lived by the center and rode on Tuesday.
    Seemed like hundreds, but maybe 50 riders at 5:45 am.
    Still on the fence about 35 miles tomorrow.
    Last edited by Crankin; 07-03-2018 at 10:45 AM.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    nwg, you are being smart. I too have changed some things about my riding since my accident last year. If I am approaching an area with no sight line, I go much slower than I was going the day I crashed. I no longer expect the road to be clear around that next bend -- I expect there to be a problem and ride with that in mind. Still, you can't foresee everything, no matter what you do. Some of it is just dumb luck.

    I did manage my ride today but left off one of my small loops, so ended up with 34 miles instead of my usual 36. It was a bit cloudier but even more humid than usual, and my speed was low for me, but I got it done. The pool sure felt great afterwards!

    Good for anyone who is managing to ride in this summer heat and humidity. And Happy Fourth of July to all those in the US! Tomorrow is our day off for laundry and errands, and I am looking forward to a break from the bike. I will work out in the air-conditioned gym instead.
    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,268
    and a happy fourth for you emily!!!!

    Stopped to ride Caryl road again on my way home today……the poplars are in full leaf and the geraniums are reaching 10 ft high into the trees in places…..perfect way to decompress after a day of work. Low 70’s with a slight cooling breeze from the ocean.
















    ‘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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
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    Nothing like your pics to bring a smile to my face, rebecca. Thank you, as always. We both live in beautiful, but very different, kinds of country. Love the flowers. Seldom see that kind of display along our roads.

    Emily, part of me thinks it's a shame we both had to have accidents to rethink how we bicycle, but a much bigger part of me is so grateful for a second chance. Now it's up to us to use what we have learned.

    Good workout on the indoor trainer, yesterday afternoon, after a brisk morning walk. I still prefer the walking for th sake of variety and being outdoors, but this darn neck brace is really, really uncomfortable in this heat. It's going to give me a mighty strange tan line.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    That made me laugh, NWG.
    Emily, I always have anticipated issues on rides, and while perhaps it slows me down in certain spots, I feel like it has helped me avoid crashing with other people on the road, or with road hazards. I know people who come on my rides when I lead, always tell me they appreciate me warning them in advance about stuff like this.
    So, on that note, we both decided to be a little more cautious today, because of the weather. Although it is slightly cooler (only 87 as I speak) and noticeably less humid, the real feel prediction for 12-1 pm, which would have been the end of the group ride was 99. What we ended up doing was riding to the new part of the bike trail around 8 AM, 5.6 miles, and then riding to the end of the new part, since DH had not been on the trail. Then we turned around and got off the trail a bit before the point we started at, so we could go out to breakfast. Had a fairly healthy breakfast and an almond milk latte, and headed home about 6 miles on the road. This ended up being 20.2 miles, mostly shady. We went really slowly until we got to breakfast, although we did pick it up a little on the way home from there. I always say how much more pleasant riding slowly is, but I am not ready to totally give it up at this point.
    Probably will go out in the early AM again. Friday I have boot camp and finally, the heat wave will break, with thunderstorms all day. My DIL is coming over with my granddaughter, but we won't be able to try out the trailer because of the storms. Weekend looks awesome, though.
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  12. #12
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    Man, those photos, rebecca! I just can't imagine riding in such a gorgeous area. You are one lucky woman.

    Today was crazy. After putting two loads of laundry in the dryers at our RV park laundry area this morning and hanging out a load of bike shorts, jerseys, and our fitted sheet, which gets tons of clothes stuck in the deep pockets if I attempt to put it into the dryer, I went to the gym. Did my workout (light weights, abs, and some yoga), and stepped out afterwards into POURING rain. Couldn't even hear it in the gym because of fans and TV. The laundry room is close by, so I ran over and was able to get stuff out of the dryers and folded. But then I was stuck there for another hour as the rain was coming down in sheets, accompanied by very close and loud lightning and thunder. It was actually kind of scary since the storm just didn't move. This was one of those times that being car-free was not fun, as I was stuck just a couple of blocks from our motorhome, but unless I wanted to get drenched, I couldn't get there from here! Normally I would have had a rain jacket, but it didn't look threatening when I started out; this storm blew up outta nowhere.

    Thank the gods, I had a book with me, so I sat in the laundry room and read for an hour, watching the lightning and thunder. I was starving, though, as it was past lunchtime at this point.

    Finally, it eased up, and I was able to wheel the two folded loads of laundry back to our site in our laundry cart. There I found that all the stuff I'd hung earlier had gotten thoroughly soaked. DH was there, but the storm came up so fast, and so much was hung out, he just couldn't get it in before it got wet, so let it hang. With more rain coming on the radar, I ended up having to take all the stuff off the lines back up to the laundry room after lunch and re-washing it just to get it wrung out so it could dry. Put it all in the dryer on very low heat, as there was more rain threatening, so I didn't dare risk hanging it up again. By the time I got it out, it was sprinkling again, so I threw a garbage bag over the laundry basket to get it back to our site, finally re-make our bed, and put everything away. I got the bed made at 4 pm!

    So, today's laundry took nearly all day. Ah, the glamorous RV life....NOT!

    I did get in a mile or two on my cruiser bike, as I was able to ride back and forth to the laundry room when I didn't have to schlep baskets along and when it wasn't pouring. Tomorrow we're hoping for less early-day rain and plan to get out for our usual ride!
    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
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Illinois
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    I rode to the beach and managed to catch a sunrise, it’s so quiet and peaceful at that time of day.

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  14. #14
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    May 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pax View Post
    I rode to the beach and managed to catch a sunrise, it’s so quiet and peaceful at that time of day.
    ....good to see your words again!!!!!

    thanks nwg and emily!!!!
    ‘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

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    We had our heavy rain, but it didn't last as long as predicted. Temperature and humidity should be down to normal in 2-3 hours. It's below 80, finally.
    Granddaughter is here; we fit her helmet to her and before we could test out how she fit in the trainer, she ran over to the strider bike we have sitting in the basement, and tried to get on. She's not big enough yet, but she knows hemet=bike. We are going to do our maiden voyage with her in the trailer, tomorrow, just 2.2 miles to the playground. After she goes home, we will do a small ride.
    Only 3 people in my boot camp today. It felt really hard, and I was kind of dizzy until I ate breakfast. Then, went I went out to the store, I started feeling off. It's kind of calmed down, though and I am looking forward to a low humidity weekend of riding.
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