Friday, September 02, 2011

updates updates updates

This will be a jumbled pile of somewhat related riding stories.

Been riding more lately and it's been awesome. Raleigh and I have gotten out to Nashville's Greenway at least once a week since we got her trailer. We've worked our way to riding all the way to the dam and back which equals about 23 miles. She does great in the trailer. Stays awake for 2/3-3/4 of the ride then passes out until we get back to the car. That's about an hour and 45 minutes of straight riding which is pretty impressive for a 15 month old to handle. She's got her snack cup, drink and maybe 1 toy and she's happy. Pulling that 50 pound trailer can be cumbersome on some of the climbs but I have to think it's making me a stronger rider.

I've been able to make it out to 2 gravel grinder rides in the past month or so. I bailed out of the first one at the 22 mile halfway point. (in the 40 mile route). I felt pretty good that day but we got a late start and I didn't want to be out for the full day. I also didn't trust myself to be able to safely make it to the 40 mile mark. I felt good at mile 22 and felt I could easily ride another 5-10 miles, but I wasn't sure about 20 miles. We had a good crew though, some regulars like Jeffy, Jim S, Parker and Monster McConnell and a few new guys (at least to my riding) like Jim's 12 year old son, Jims co-worker Stick, Jeffy's wife, and a few peeps from NMB. It was a fun route out near White Bluff TN.  You can view the details of my ride here:

The 2nd gravel ride was this past weekend. A similar crew but on the dirt roads of Hickman County this time. I finished this ride feeling great and we managed about 45 miles. I was treating this as a test of my fitness for the upcoming Crush n Rush 50 mile gravel race/ride/party. I felt good for most of the day. I did a great job of keeping food in me and we stopped at 2 different stores so I was able to keep my bottles filled as well. We lucked into a great respite from the heat and had temps in the mid 80s most of the day. We did Jim's normal Hickman route backwards which I thought was a lot of fun. We ended up with 3600 feet of climbing in 45 miles but it didn't feel like a lot of climbing. There were long stretches of rolling or even flat gravel road that were a lot of fun to ride. We hit a few of the old favorites from a couple years ago like Tyler Ridge and the hog farm. All in all if was one of THE best days on the bike I've had in over a year I'd say. Loads of fun.  Ride details can be seen here:

I was also able to participate in another Ride for Reading book delivery recently. I've missed quite a few but this was to be their biggest delivery yet with over 60 riders signed up. We ended up riding 6 miles to the school with the first lady of Tennessee and delivering books to an entire elementary school. The ride was fun and very low key but the real reward was at the school. Seeing how excited those kids were to receive free books and to see so many people having fun on bikes. It's indescribable really. What an awesome non-profit! Photos HERE. Video posted in previous blog entry.

Today I decided to ride my bike into the studio in Franklin. I've been working on jingle sessions there Tuesday-Friday and have been taking our dog with me each day. While driving home in traffic yesterday I got a huge itch to ride my bike in today. The ride down to Franklin was great in the morning. It wasn't too hot yet at 8am when I started. It's a hilly ride to get down there and I was feeling it in my legs by the time I arrived. Google maps told me it would take 1hr 30 mins to ride there. I know they are quite conservative but I didn't want to cut it close so I gave myself 2 hours before the clients came. I made the ride in 1:05 which worked well to give me ample time to cool down and change clothes.

By the time I was ready to ride back home it was 100 degrees outside. I figured I'd take it easy and just ride as slow as needed since I was not in a hurry to get back. I am terrible at riding a slow pace so I ended up just riding what felt comfortable. The heat wasn't that bad as long as I was moving. Stopping at a light was all the reminder I needed that it was 100ยบ. I ended up making it home in 57 minutes. There is less climbing on the way home so I figured I'd be quicker but with the heat and the traffic the ride didn't feel that much faster. When I drive it takes me a good 45 minutes to get home with all the traffic so it was only an extra 15 minutes to do the route on bike.

I ended up with 200 miles logged in the past 30 days which I know isn't a lot for most cyclists but it's more than double my usual August miles. With the new family addition it's a ton of riding for me! Hopefully I can keep it up into fall.

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