Sunday, January 08, 2012

Is this January?

This winter has been nothing like a normal Nashville winter. I think we've had more days above 55 degrees than days under 40 degrees. Last weekend it was 65 degrees and sunny and a group met out at Montgomery Bell for a very nice mountain bike ride, in January! No shoe covers, no wool Walz flappy caps, no winter gloves needed. Long sleeves and knee warmers and I felt perfect for the entire 10 mile ride. We are so fortunate to have a trail like Monty Bell that handles water so well, but frankly, almost all of our local trails are rideable right now, even Hamilton Creek! (in January!)

It was so nice on Friday of last week, I packed up the bike, trailer and Raleigh and we drove down to Murfreesboro and got a great ride in on the Greenway with Thad and his dog JD. Life's been so busy that I'm out of the loop these days with the old riding crew. It was fun to catch up with Thad and hear about what's new with him and his family. Raleigh had a great time in the trailer, as usual. (thanks Dan!) I have to say the Murphreesboro Greenway is arguable more scenic than the Nashville Greenway. We rode next to the Stones River for much of the ride and there was a lot of new stuff to look at for me and Raleigh. Sadly JD had a run-in with some rough road somewhere along the way and tore on of his pads. He's generally pushing the pace on all the rides we've done together but this time he had to keep his speed in check. Poor guy also had to miss out on Thad's trip to Sewanee today. Hope he heals up soon!

Scheduling and home duties kept me off the bike yesterday but my buddy Miles came over today after church and we set out for Percy Warner Park on bike from my house. It was overcast and just a bit chilly with temps hovering around 50 degrees. It felt much colder with the wind but I was very comfy in a normal jersey, a wind jacket and knickers. In hindsight it might of been a good day to try out my new shoe covers though as my toes did get quite cold halfway into the ride. We rode the 9 miles through Nashville to Percy and went into the park at the arches off Bellemeade Blvd. There surprisingly weren't many cars parked at that entrance, but when we passed the Deep Well entrance it seemed everyone chose park there as it was packed. Our loop was uneventful with no flats or mechanicals and very little foot traffic. It was great to have company for the ride and it seemed we were both in similar shape and riding the same pace. I felt good for almost the entire 30 miles ride but started to get some cramps right on the last climp up Melrose Rd. I didn't want to stop as I figured I'd barely be able to properly dismount. I didn't think I could stand and pedal with the quad cramps so I just kept spinning the pedals through the cramps and surprisingly they went away in a couple minutes of riding. It's a strange sensation to feel your muscles cramp, then feel the cramps move through the muscle and then out. I was happy to not have any instance of pirate leg for sure!

We ended up with a great 30 mile ride with 1900 feet of climbing and 2hr saddle time with no stops, other than stop signs/stop lights.

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