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Spin Spin Spin
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sounds like me mowing the back yard Monday morning in mid 80s and 1000% humidity. definitely felt like pushing limits of hydration and conditioning....downed a quick half gallon of water and a 28oz powerade afterwards in my heat stupor recovery.....?......the rest of the day was in AC on couch, lol.......then bbq'd
 
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Old, fat, and slow
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Finally, yes ... after two weeks travelling and a few days recovering ....A quick and easy 15.8 miles ... I deliberately chose a flat route so I could feel like I hadn't lost too much while travelling.

Here in Flatahoma, the trick is to get out as soon as morning rush hour tapers off, or wait until late evening .... and I find it hard to keep focused all day and early evening to get out for a late ride, so I am trying to get those pre-breakfast miles. Hopefully I adapt to the heat, because pretty soon it will be solar-surface warm at 9 a.m. ......
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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At long last, today found me back in the saddle of my touring bike for my first post-flu ride. Canine companion Chip seemed thrilled to get some running miles in, with a total of 3.6mi. I can't say my lungs appreciated the trip, but I spun out a solid 28mi and it didn't hurt all that much. I'll take it.

It felt great to be back in the saddle, and what a pretty day for it! Temps were in the upper 60's, with a light breeze and sunny skies. The rains have been especially odd of late, but the local landscapes are greening nicely. All the new leaves make for a nice change from the winter months.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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Yesterday brought an 18mi jaunt on the folding MTB. Canine companion Chip had a date with the vet for his yearly checkup, so I tried to get him out early to run off some energy. Naturally, he wasn't interested in running, churning out a mere 1.5mi. Still, it was a beautiful day and I was glad to be out on my bike. Chip's subsequent time with the vet was unhappy but productive and returned him a clean bill of health. I was especially happy that his rear knee joints appear to be working more smoothly than they did before he took up running alongside me.

Today I will probably take a 'rest day' from the prior two days' efforts: tomorrow I ride a metric century in the final running of the Elephant Rock cycling event. In theory. In truth, between illness and a really terrible Spring training season, I don't expect to finish the ride at all.

Still going back and forth on whether or not to just bail altogether. I deeply hate the idea of catching a SAG because I'm too fat and pathetic to complete the mileage on my own. That view applies only to me: I truly applaud others for trying and coming up short. All those platitudes about beating the guy who never left the couch apply, and I buy into it. For others. It seems that whether I like it or not, different standards apply when I'm the one modeling failure.

It shouldn't be a big deal, as I'll be shedding some ~45lbs immediately prior to the ride :D. That's the combined weight of canine companion Chip, his trailer, and associated gear. Since trailers are not allowed on the metric century course, Chip can't go. That is less annoying than it could have been, given that I doubt my ability to complete the course even riding unencumbered. [email protected] Maybe I should just go fishing.
 
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Old, fat, and slow
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Speaking as an aging person, I have had to adjust quite a bit as my body (as I have allowed my body) has lost capacity. In your case it was not through bad management, as it was with me .... but I know the feelings. When I participated in the LA to DC Ride to Freedom (Ride To Freedom – A Cross Country Ride to Rescue Orphans) in 2015 I almost killed myself to avoid getting picked up by the support bus .... my pride really drove me. Not the greatest thing to have to admit, but .... everyone is different, and some people use it in a healthy manner. I preferred pain to (self-) shame but after a few years .... I hope I would take the ride and not feel bad. It is possible to do much worse harm physically--harm which is harder to heal--than the harm to my pride, and that would hurt my pride anyway .... no good way out ...

Probably, being who you are, you will grind out some miles in double-compound-low gear just o do it .... but please, for Chip if not for the rest of us, don't hurt yourself. Without Chip's regular run reports this thread would get empty in a hurry.

On a vaguely related note, I went to the store for my wife and got caught in some drizzle. I always think of you when I get rained on, because I know you would enjoy it. I did a little better than just enduring it,. but the wind wasn't that bad so the rain didn't bruise my eyeballs. It actually is refreshing on a hot day, but it is still hard for me to convince myself to go out on days when it is already raining. My brain is not always my friend.

Anyway ... you get a t-shirt and a meal, and maybe a massage, .... 3800 feet of climbing is a lot to me, but you have low gears and good legs ..... you might finish the route, and no matter what, I am sure you will still succeed by the only important metric---you will be able to take Chip out for a run after a couple days ....
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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Thank you, Mr. Maelochs. I appreciate your support and understanding. I now have my packet and am 'taking a break' before hopefully washing the bike. Or loading it up dirty. We'll see.

I can't say I'm happy to know I'm not the only one who will hurt himself out of sheer, stubborn pride, but I guess that is what it is and I'll manage as best I can. I've never felt less ready for an event.
 

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The word of the day is 'pigheaded'. That is the word. Headed out way too early this morning to ultimately line up with several thousand others for the start of the final Elephant Rock ride. It was a beautiful morning which turned into a magnificent day. I'm glad this wasn't my first event: the local roads are largely narrow enough to make things interesting for automotive traffic and cyclists alike. That said, I used to live nearby and put in a lot of road miles when I did. It made for a nice blast from the past in places.

I was also reminded just how hilly it can be out that way, and boy was I out of proper form for playing in hills. My spring training season managed little more than sputtering death, then I developed a saddle sore followed by the flu. Indeed, today represented only my 3rd ride since recovering enough to consider any ride without coughing my lungs out. To say I was woefully ill prepared is to give credit where it is not due.

Hence, the word of the day. I enjoyed parts of the ride, and I'm really glad to have it done. The country out there is really pretty, and the best way to see it is naturally from the saddle. That said, I should probably have flagged a SAG wagon down. I knew it too, but kept thinking I'd give it another couple of miles. Then another and another, and before the discomfort became too extreme, I hit the finish line. I also focused on stuffing my face with every calorie I could find at the aid stations. Jerky, Pop Tarts, peanut butter crackers, and Clif bars were all hoovered up.

Finally, I have Five Finger Death Punch to thank. If you are not familiar with the band, think of an exceptionally angry riot set to music. I queued it up this morning and about halfway through the ride, it was time. The fury and insanely fast double-bass driven beat gave me just the boost I needed. My helmet speakers made sure mine were the only ears to have the tunes inflicted on them. It's the kind of music you either love or hate. Most I know do not love it :LOL:.

I was never fast getting up the hills, but I made it to the top every time. That's not usually something I treat as notable, but today it was. I was awfully happy to have my ultra-low 46-tooth cog out back, but several times I still tried to shift past it, looking for that 48-tooth surcease from pain.

I hit 42mph on an early descent, which was nice. I usually travel with a dog who doesn't appreciate the effects of slipstream on his ears past about 35mph. It's been a minute since I broke 40. Several other descents could easily have done for similar speeds but I needed to save my energy for getting up the hills. Sad to waste such descents, but it was nice to catch my breath occasionally.

In the end, I did 63mi and some 3500ft of ascending. I've completed quite a few self-supported metric centuries in years past, but today marked my first metric of the year, and my first metric as part of an event. Hopefully it will also represent a low-water mark for future event preparation. I'm glad I was able to finish it, but I prefer to go into these things with something resembling a decent fitness level.

Finally, I came pretty close to failing to complete the event due to being witness to a crash. Fortunately, the driver in question was paying attention because the event cyclist was definitely not. Somewhere around the 50mi mark, I noticed a cyclist riding against the flow of event traffic, on the opposite side of the road. I observed several cyclists doing this at various points, usually appearing to look for party members. This guy was riding slow and watching the stream of event traffic. An SUV approached from behind. He glanced over his shoulder and appeared to see it.

The SUV accelerated and swung out to pass. Just as it did, the cyclist busted a full on U-turn, dead in front of the vehicle. No warning at all, just a hard left in front of the oncoming bumper. He lived to tell about it, but only because the driver was paying attention. I really thought the cyclist was going to end up as a hood ornament. Final clearance was inches, not feet. 100% on the cyclist, too. His maneuver was made at utter random relative to the overtaking traffic. The only reason I knew what he was doing was that I'd already seen it happen (minus the near miss) several times. Bravo to that driver, along with my thanks. I'd have welcomed a break right then, but not that way. Never that way.

Hopefully the pucker factor involved will teach the cyclist to pay better attention to his surroundings. It was the kind of lapse that could happen to anyone, but oh, the timing.

I'm sorry this year is the event's final, but I'm grateful I got to ride it before it fades away. More grateful yet that my day is ended.

Stay safe out there!
 

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Spin Spin Spin
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tomorrow tomorrow.......i'll start the day tomorrow with maybe a metric half century......with maybe 350 ft of climbing, no traffic, no other contestants, no break stations, no sag, no helmet speakers and no particular route. Random and unorganized FTW, fitness optional.
 

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Old, fat, and slow
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Glad you made it. Glad no one got hit.

I might do a quarter metric century this morning .... the only contestant will be my own excessive weight .... I was thinking of doing a climbing route but maybe I will do an I12ride-inspired relaxation route .... but I will dedicate the ride to Chip, Mr. Newleaf, and Mrs. Newleaf who has to tolerate such a stubborn spouse.

Congrats there, sir.
 

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Spin Spin Spin
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Relaxation? Naw man, not this morning. That's a different bike. Had new disc pads to bed in and test out and the AnthemX does not lend itself to relaxing ride. It beckons and dares and chides you into shenanigans. I thought it was just gonna be a "nice" little ride maybe just short of relaxing BUT the bike did not allow that.....Just shy of 30 miles of air, water crossings, bombing down the grassy knolls and greenbelts occurred in getting my groove back fashion. Felt great. Been too long since I've ridden this bike! Other than the endorphin buzz I don't feel like I just got off a bike at all. Between the new tires and new SILENT and strong disc pads it was much happy action. OK, I am relaxing as I type this and trying to not head back out the door for more.........

Bicycle Tire Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Wheel Bicycle wheel
Bicycle Tire Bicycle frame Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Bicycle tire
Tire Wheel Bicycle wheel Bicycle tire Automotive tire
 

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Only my second ride this month …. Not too hot (84 degrees) and about 80% sunny, but the hills just whipped me …… 17 miles, 539 feet …. I am so glad I didn’t try to challenge myself.

No air, no water crossings, no bombing down anything …. I hit 32 mph and the end of a roller, but that was by accident.

I climbed like a cripple—under 10 mph average on the first real hill, about 6 mph on the last one---and I couldn’t even do a steady effort---I had to stop pedaling and almost coast to a stop to breathe a couple times---but I didn’t fall over and I got back home.

If a couple weeks of being healthy and not riding left me this feeble, I cannot fathom what a couple weeks of illness would be like. I would need a wheelchair.

I need to stick to flat roads for a little while.

Glad I don’t have a possessed Giant which makes me ride hard---I’d die.
 

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tall old member
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Only my second ride this month …. Not too hot (84 degrees) and about 80% sunny, but the hills just whipped me …… 17 miles, 539 feet …. I am so glad I didn’t try to challenge myself.

No air, no water crossings, no bombing down anything …. I hit 32 mph and the end of a roller, but that was by accident.

I climbed like a cripple—under 10 mph average on the first real hill, about 6 mph on the last one---and I couldn’t even do a steady effort---I had to stop pedaling and almost coast to a stop to breathe a couple times---but I didn’t fall over and I got back home.

If a couple weeks of being healthy and not riding left me this feeble, I cannot fathom what a couple weeks of illness would be like. I would need a wheelchair.

I need to stick to flat roads for a little while.

Glad I don’t have a possessed Giant which makes me ride hard---I’d die.
10 mph and 6 mph hills, ha I wish. My speed on some of my hills is so slow that Strava thinks I stopped. My Strava girl keeps saying “stopping ride” and I talk back to her and say I’m not stopping I’m just climbing a steep hill. She told me that a couple times yesterday when my speed dropped to 6 mph. She should be able to tell I’m still moving at 6 mph. I think she just likes to mess with me. I do sometimes have a 2.5 mph climb. It’s a wonder I don’t fall over.

I need to remember to post my rides here. I have been riding pretty regular but forgetting to post. Sunday I’m riding my bike to church for the “Blessing of the Bikes” it started out for the Harley riders but the pastor reading about all the cyclists getting mowed down by cars and trucks invited me by name from the pulpit to ride my bike to church on Sunday to have my bike bless for safe riding. It is 17 miles to church with really nasty hills. They have showers at church, maybe I should go early enough to take a shower and change clothes if I need to.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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Today's ride was short but sweet. I took the MTB and canine companion Chip down the street to a neighbor's house where they sell heirloom tomato seedlings. He puts them out every year, and every year since we moved here, I've wanted to grab a few and see how they grow. After some 4 years of seasonal attempts, today was the day. Chip and I stopped in, read the descriptions, and picked out 7 seedlings. They went into Chip's trailer for the ride home, while Chip himself ran alongside the bike. All told we did 1.6mi. HUGE ride :p.

Tomorrow I'll have to visit the nursery for some more pots. Mrs. Newleaf was startled and excited to see me come home with tomato plants. I haven't done that in a few years, since I grew tomatoes in an outdoor, home built hydroponics rig.

Lot of work, that, especially getting the nutrient balance right so the fruit doesn't split from growing too fast. 50+lbs of tomatoes per bush is pretty sweet, though. I've never eaten tastier spaghetti sauce, either. Soil is less efficient but easier. This year, easier wins. Makes for more time in the saddle :).
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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Today I headed out late with the intent to ride my BikeE recumbent for the first time in quite a while. All that changed when I sat down to start pedaling and heard a loud 'crack' followed by the settling of the front of the seat. Turns out, the little plastic pieces which clamp to the seat rail have reached their end of life. Unless I can replace them, that's it for that bike. Since BikeE brand recumbents haven't been produced since the late 90's or early 2000's, I don't have high hopes.

In the end, that sucks but it's okay: I got better than 1k mi out of it, and in the process it taught me that I love to ride recumbent. Even if I am never able to enjoy another mile on that bike, it's served me well and I appreciate it.

That's all fine and good, but I was left with the desire to ride and a bike that proved terminal. Darnit. Back to the bike shed, where I grabbed the Montague X folding MTB and connected canine companion Chip's trailer. The fact that the BikeE cannot pull it is one reason it hasn't seen a lot of mileage of late.

Chip was happy to ride his trailer but seemed uninterested in running today. I rode fairly hard for me and ended the day with 17mi and a better attitude than when I set out. The early evening light was magnificent. I'm glad I made it out.
 

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Old, fat, and slow
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Well, well ... after weeks of adjusting, fiddling, failing, and agonizing .... i decided that maybe if my chains were too old, they wouldn't be able to wrap tightly around the smallest cogs, which might account for the grinding. I slapped a new chain on the rain/work bike, adjusted the indexing, and set out in a light drizzle for a test ride.

Absolute silence. The gear train was noiseless and smooth (except a slight hitch twice under load in one of the middle gears--I suspect an indexing issue?) but I did 16 damp miles with nary another issue.

I have been sitting on the new chain for weeks, afraid to put it on lest I hurt it with my old cogs. Cogs are fine, chain is fine ... the only issue is the ignorant rider and the moron mechanic who maintains the bike.

Whatever. The bike runs like it is supposed to and I am a wet but happy man.
 
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