Yes, yes I did ride today!.........out of condition from month of medical light duty caca. 27.5 miles of blissful early morning fall cool weather shenanigan filled riding limited out the thighs. Had to walk off cramps and down a bunch of water and air after too much fun on the way back home but managed to pull off a few more woohoos without further issue and make it back to the house. Pushed things but OK with how it went. AnthemX kicked @55 as usual and tried out a new helmet.
Yes I did! 42mi, 2,989ft of climbing. Today was the Tour of the Moon organized ride running from Grand Junction CO into the adjacent CO National Monument, through to the Town of Fruita, then back to GJ. I have ridden it twice in the past with my brother, but ended up doing it solo this year. The CO National monument simply has to be seen to be believed. The best part of the route is a 23mi section of road which connects two points which lie a mere 7mi from one another by air. The road also gains nearly 2k ft in altitude, then loses it again, in the course of the 23mi. Steep grades and hairpin curves are the order of the day. That, and dramatic desert rock formations including an abundance of cliffs. Big cliffs, medium cliffs, little cliffs. Cliffs with cliffs, sometimes starting right off the edge of the road. Guard rails? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Majestic views everywhere.
Mrs. Newleaf, a cowbell, and canine companion Chip met me mid-ride just outside the Monument. While waiting she spoke to a SAG driver who had just run a cyclist down the descent by car. Apparently the cyclist was here from Ohio and had zero experience with the kind of roads offered by the Monument. She made the climb, but lost her nerve and caught a ride for the descent before finishing the ride normally. It could be easy to laugh, but I still remember my first time riding steep grades with sharp curves. They're intimidating even without the Monument's cliffs and set of on again off again guard rails. I'm sorry she missed the descent, but I'm not inclined to laugh. Not sure where you'd even go in OH to get experience. Not talking sh!t, it's unusual terrain for the locale.
After being canceled in 2020, the ride was back for 2021. Sadly, it was lightly attended: the Park Service limits the number of participants to just over 2k riders. Most years, the event sells out months in advance and on event day a river of cyclists fills the road. Yesterday at packet pickup, they were still signing people up. I'd guess the ridership was at best half of normal. Maybe even less. That said, it was a great day for the event: light breeze with morning temps in the mid 50's on the way to a high in the mid 80's. Bright and sunny with clear-ish air. That latter may not sound great, but it's way better than par for the smoke-filled summer we've had here in CO. The views were amazing and the company (cyclists) superlative. I'm grateful I made it.
It was great to Mrs. Newleaf and Chip drop me off this morning and meet me at the finish line. Chip was deeply unhappy at not getting to go with me, but it wasn't to be. I'll do a lot of terrain with him in his trailer, but we're still working up to this kind of descent. That extra 40lbs of dog and trailer would have made the ascent quite a lot more painful.
Newleaf, the highest elevation in Ohio is a mere 1551 feet. The area of California I live in has much higher elevation than Ohio. And I live in the flatlands. There are some very steep hills in northern Ohio, but if they are a quarter mile long they are very long.
What a beautiful day for a ride!! Maybe a tad too windy, but i like wind (not headwind).
Blue skies. Puffball clouds. Upper 60’s. Low traffic.
The only problem i encountered, and i did in both directions on this out’n-back ride, was a large, loose black dog with a poor attitude toward cyclists.
Fortunately, a neighborhood resident was around, knew the dog and eventually (both times) called it to him and he held the dog so i could pass.
Tailwind on the way back was swwweeeat!!
I wish i had more miles in this year and had better fitness. I’d still be out there riding.
As it was, I rode 31 miles.
Rode 7.6 miles today. They have been working on my road and everything they do to it makes it worse. They had deep potholes in the road so this weekend they filled the holes with sand or rock dust. It probably helped for the first car maybe. By today all the pot holes are empty of sand and the rain washed all on the sand to the low spots on the road. Several inches deep. I need a beach cruiser.
Too a ride around the neighborhood today to try out my new cassette. Oh yea, I can climb now. I went from a 34 to a 40 on my granny gear. Just what the doctor ordered. I had three other cyclists on my road today. The first time in the thirty years I’ve lived here that I saw other bikes when I was on a bike. They were all spread out. I stopped to check out my neighbor’s pond he just had dug deeper. Saw the first girl and thought she was by herself. About the time she got to me I saw the second one. They stopped when they got to the Amish school and kept looking back behind them. Then I saw the third rider, just as he was getting up to the girls they took off again. I rode up along side him and asked him where he was from. He said Wisconsin. I said wow, that’s a long ride. He said they were visiting relatives . I asked him how he liked our Pennsylvania hills. He said he’s not used to hills and they are wearing him out. Turns out he is seventy years old, no wonder he couldn’t keep up with the girls.
Did ten miles of gravel today. I had about one mile that was what gravel roads are supposed to be. The rest had everything wrong with it that you could imagine. Potholes, ruts, loose gravel, too deep loose gravel, buggy ruts. I rode past a semi unloading lime at a farm, ten minutes later I hear him coming. I should have stopped and got my bike off the road but I figured he had room. I stayed on the far right in the deep gravel and he passed within two feet of me. As he passed I looked to see how much room he had on the left of his truck. Nothing, he was on the edge. I didn’t realize that road was so narrow (or that truck was that big). Usually I’m the only one on that road except maybe an Amish buggy, they are not very wide.
I was able to get in a short ride today. Just enough to remind my legs how to spin.
It was a beautiful afternoon for it.
A few sprinkles, just warm enough not to be chilled and the start of pretty autumn colors.
I rode 15.9 miles today. I doubled my speed on that gravel road that was a segment on Strava. The only person I passed up was myself. I got to checking out the leaderboard and the top four riders did it all on the same day and were only two seconds difference in their time. They all averaged over 20 mph. I don’t think I’m going to be able to steal that KOM. Lol. They were all younger than me. I could become the local legend, that segment is only two miles from my house. I had never been on that road before yesterday. I thought it was a dead end.
12.6 miles around the lake today. Never saw so many bikes on the trail then remembered this is that new fake federal Holliday *****- us or something like that. A couple big trees across the trail but nobody to remove them, everyone is on holiday.
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