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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,127

    September rides, bringing in the fall.

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    Guess it's my turn to start the monthly ride thing, so here goes.

    Took time from my packing to do a little riding, today. Did 14 miles of pavement on the Log Lady - again, between showers in very sticky, warm air - then followed it up with 3 miles of trail work with the Krampus. Yeah, single speed riding, as usual. As much as I ride single speed, now, you can pretty much assume my riding is single speed unless I indicate, otherwise.

    Not crazy about leaving home for a week and putting up with the hassles of all the crowds in Florida, but these conferences are very important to my husband, so I support him and do so without any complaint. For sure, he supports me in all my interests without any hesitation, so we've got a good thing going.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,467
    You'd never know it was September here; today it's 91 with a dew point of 74. We had 2 typical, beautiful late summer days on Friday and Saturday and I did not ride on either. My granddaughter was here on Friday, and since DH had to work from home for about half the day, we ended up just taking a 2 mile walk with her, and then later going to the playground. Both DH and I have been fighting allergy related stuff, mine is just not going away, very frustrating. Anyway, on Saturday we had to leave at about 3:45 to go to our friends' who bought a music store and moved to Worcester, about 30 miles west of here. So, after lying around watching the McCain funeral all morning, we decided to do a quick 4 mile walk/hike, partially on the road, dirt roads, and an out and back on a trail. Yesterday, I felt terrible, but headed out alone at around 1. It was hot and I ended up doing one of my short rides I usually do at 5 AM. That was a mistake! Around 4, our friends from western MA arrived and we had a lovely evening. Got up today, knowing we would be riding, despite both of us feeling meh. The forecast looked frightful, too. We didn't leave until 10, but were ok with shady roads until right at the end. We did a slightly shorter version of our club rally ride, from our house. Despite my sinuses not feeling well, I felt pretty strong. There's a significant climb in this ride, and it seems it is always hotter than hell when we do it! We ended up doing 27 miles and I was very glad to be done, as I was definitely feeling heat exhaustion setting in in the last 3 miles. Eating Shot Blocks and drinking Scratch helped a lot, but I do not think I could have ridden more.
    Feeling revived after showering and going out for a sandwich. Debating if I will ride to work tomorrow.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,840
    We debated going out today as it was predicted to be quite stormy, but from the radar, we thought we'd be okay and could cut our usual loop short if it started looking bad. Ended up turning around a little early and getting in 27.5 vs the usual 35 miles. No biggie. It actually didn't rain until we'd been home long enough that we could have done our full ride, but better safe than sorry, especially since DH had just lubed his chain and didn't want to get it wet. Very hot and humid still, and with a stiff east breeze, which gave us an excellent tailwind on the way back. Tropical Storm Gordon is well south of us but is bringing in some very unsettled weather even up here in the Orlando area.
    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
    Posts
    1,127
    Well, here I am in the Clearwater Beach area in Florida, which is actually a narrow key island. The tropical storm missed us, but the weather is the usual rain after 2pm every day. I rented the usual comfort/hybrid, this morning and managed only 6 miles before I could fell the heat and humidity and the heavy, dense tropical air getting the best of me. Will try to do more, tommorow and ride, earlier, but this isn't my first Florida visit, so no surprise about needing to go slow and acclimate to this very different climate.

    All paved riding and pretty featureless and bland. Everything is in a nice straight line and the only hills are the big steep bridges over the waterways. Nice to have the ocean on both sides, though. That's pretty cool.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,840
    NWG, enjoy your time in Florida. As you know, where I am, we have more lovely large trees and actual hills to boot, so the cycling is a little more interesting, though I wouldn't mind an ocean view! We have lakes, but no oceans. Same heat and humidity, though. I'm acclimated to it, but it takes awhile to get your body used to it, so take it easy and don't overdo.

    Really glad TS Gordon didn't prove to be a problem on the west coast of Florida and hope all other storms will stay away from our state. This is my least favorite time of year here, as you have to be on your toes, always watching for that next approaching storm.
    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
    Posts
    1,127
    Thanks, Emily. I managed 12 miles, today, in the 87 degree heat and crazy humidity, but was extra careful to drink as much water as I could stand. I think that helped. I was goings nuts, though to climb a hill, so I rode over the nearest tall bridge and back. We have no hills so long or steep in our area, so a really nice workout. The old clunker 21 speed hybrid I'm renting was bottomed out, but we made it. Had to be extra careful going downhill, though. That old bike started to shimmy at about 28 mph and those old rim brakes didn't inspire confidence, so backed off the speed and worked the brakes, carefully. Beautiful view from the top of the bridge, though.

    All kinds of bikes and bikers, here. Not happy to see so many without helmets, though. The good news is that all the main roads have nice and wide marked bike lanes.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,467
    Personally, I have found that the further south you go, the less you see helmets, especially in areas with a large "retirement" population.
    I rode 21.5 miles this morning. It is just slightly less humid and hot than yesterday, probably about 80-83 while I rode. I was delayed a bit by having to deal with one of my young adult clients who has fallen apart. Oy, always on my day off.
    I rode 5 miles, up a street that's a series of hills, which are not steep, but keep coming, with some nice breaks, across the highway, and down a hill to the bike trail. It is really shady and was a good choice for today. It was quiet, too. Probably rode about 9 miles on the trail; I didn't go as far as I usually do, as I didn't want to do an out and back, as I am a little sick of riding home on the road I climbed to get to the trail. I stopped at the point where the new part of the trail ends and turned onto a lovely super shady road in the town of Carlisle. From there, I accessed the main road into Concord Center, which is pretty flat. Made it through the center, despite some ugly road construction and then scooted around West Concord center, by doing the reroute I do when I commute. The last 4 miles were not so shady, but it didn't feel half as bad as Monday's ride.
    Tomorrow is the peak of our heatwave, with a real feel of 105 predicted. Although I may ride early AM (like 5), I will be safely inside my office. After that, looks like beautiful, typical New England, crisp, cooler (50's-70's) for a long stretch. And, my horrible allergy thing is finally gone, after 2 weeks.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,840
    Yeah, re. helmets, we see a lot of folks without them (even younger guys wearing fancy kits and riding road bikes much higher-end than mine) here, and of course lots of casual cyclists on hybrids and various other comfort bikes with unprotected heads, even occasionally a kid without one, which I hate and always feel like calling the parents out on (but don't). Riding on the paved trail, I guess they feel invincible, but I'd still rather be protected, as there are plenty of road crossings, and occasional close calls with other cyclists coming around curves.

    Did our usual 35-miler today and felt better than I have in awhile. Favorable wind direction, so I actually averaged 14, rare for me, given the number of stops and starts and in-town riding at the beginning an end of each ride. Even though it was in the 80s with humidity, the sunshine was a bit hazier, and the sun angle is noticeably more acute than even a month ago, so it doesn't feel quite as bad. Not that I'm not completely drenched during the ride, as I am, but I just don't feel so horrible!
    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
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,127
    I'm with you, Emily, on not pushing others to do the smart thing and wear a helmet, though when it's with people I know, I do stop and try to convince them. Have even offered to give a helmet, free of charge, to a couple of neighbors, but to no avail. Go figure.

    Did better in the 90 degree heat and humidity, today, with 17 miles. I really could have done more with a better fitting bike. The junker I rented has a horrible, skinny guy saddle with only room for one cheek at a time for full support. Yuk! The handlebars are high rise bars that make me feel like I'm riding a Harley chopper. The old 21 speed gearing and twist shift are fine, though. After all, I ride single speeds a lot. Oh, well. That's par for the course renting a bike in a tourist area.

    While taking a water break on a local park bench, I met a wonderful senior. He asked if he could join me on the bench, because it was his regular rest stop on his daily 3 mile walk. The guy looked in great shape. He then told me had just celebrated his 89th birthday. Couldn't believe it. Wow! Made my day.

    I really think I could adapt to this and climate, given enough time. Lovely area, for sure, though I'm sure living here would be way out of our budget.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,467
    You might get sick of endless summer, NWG!

    I did not ride this morning. Woke with the sinuses pounding again, but I don't feel sick, like achy and all the other stuff I've had. The front finally came through around 5, pouring rain and thunder. It's still lightly raining. Thank God. This weather is so depressing to me. We broke a record for heat today.
    Just went and put the GPS and "big" light on the Ariel, put air in the tires, to ride to the gym at 5:15 am. It will be my first attempt with the flat side of the campus pedals. It's only 1.3 miles, so I probably won't have to put my foot down!
    If I feel OK, I will then ride to work at 8:15. I am working all day tomorrow, because of Labor Day this week. Won't be able to use the dirt path, though, after this rain.
    I've had so many client crises this week I am fried. People mouthing off to the medical prescribers, one on the way to the hospital now, another had to leave college before classes even started.
    I need to ride.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,717
    Keeping an eye on Hurricaine Florence. Hopefully this won't be the third year in a row.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,127
    Yeah, I'm definitely a four seasons type of gal, but, as always, I can adapt when need be, Florida, included. Today was my best day, yet, on my Florida visit. Made it a point to get out, earlier, and that did help with the heat. Did 21 miles on the rental clunker and, once again, could have done more with a better fitting bike. That, and I had to be back in time for one of the conference meetings at the motel.

    Tomorrow, the bike goes back and on Sunday, so do we, back to our north woods home and 70 degree high temps. Can't wait.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,467
    Sheila, hope the hurricane stays far away from both of us!

    I rode to the gym with the flat pedal side of my campus pedals. Ugh. The left one flipped over and I was riding on top of the cleat. I felt like if I kicked it, my other foot would fly off, so I just pedaled like that for 1.3 miles. Going home it was better, as it was light out, but at one point it did the same thing, but I was almost home. My legs felt fried from the class and riding.
    Then, of course, I rode to work. I didn't have too much in the Topeak bag, as I wore the clothes I rode in all day and I bought lunch. So, just shoes, my mini flat iron and snacks. I still felt like the gears were either too hard or easy, in a way I don't when the bag is not on. But, it was nice and cloudy and cool. On the way home, I took the dirt road, where I did fine avoiding the mud from yesterday's rain. However, the next little path, a combo of dirt, gravel and grass has lots of roots. I got off of my bike right before my street, but taking these 2 paths really eliminates all traffic headaches.
    I hope to ride both days this weekend, but we have an early dinner with friends tomorrow and preparing for Rosh Hashanah Sunday night. I suspect they won't be as long as I would like. Getting ready to go to the grocery store, now, so I won't have to do it tomorrow.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,717
    What brand pedals, Crankin?
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,127
    I've never had good performance with 50/50 style pedals. Really a pain in the butt. You always end up wasting time trying to get the correct side up when you want it and the clip in side tends to be awkward to use when you use cleats. They're also heavier than need be. I use flats, exclusively, now, and have been for three years. I wouldn't go back to SPD if you held a gun to my head. Do yourself a favor with flats and get a good set with replaceable metal pins. They can be had for a reasonable price and are the only fair test to see if flats are right for you. A good set of flats can be used with any type of shoe - don'get conned into thinking you need special shoes. This time of year, I use Wal-mart sneakers and have never had a foot slip on a good flat with pins and I'm talking aggressive trail riding, here, not just road biking.

    Lastly, keep an open mind when testing flat pedals and give them a fair test, using a good set. Yes, they may feel different at first, but you may actually find, the way I did, after a summer of careful testing, that there was NO difference, NADA, as far as your average speed. As far as SPD being more "efficient"' that has been repeated so often as to be a gospel with many, but the fact is that it has NOT been strongly supported with scientific testing. Not trying to convert anyone, here. Just saying that your choice of pedal type should be based on what you, yourself, have tested and not what someone else tells you is best for you, same as with any other part of your bike and biking.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 09-07-2018 at 04:48 PM.

 

 

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