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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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Only 3mi today, but it was better than none. Quick utility trip to a local store for supplies. I chose the store which is more expensive but allows canine companion Chip inside. They even provide treats.
It was good to hit the saddle again, sad to fire up my cycling app and see the map jump from Jackson, WY back to the suburbs of Denver, CO. I love the home Mrs. Newleaf and I have built here in CO, and the trails I'm privileged to ride day in and day out. We are surrounded by natural beauty and love to enjoy it, but it's a little hard to leave Jackson every time. Magnificent scenery on steroids.

The day was hot, with temps just off the 100* high. I should have brought some water. As soon as my butt hit the saddle, I went from ambivalent about a very short ride to wanting a longer jaunt. Perhaps for the better: there are still plenty of post-trip chores awaiting completion.
 

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Old, fat, and slow
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It all started the evening before last on a MTB ride with my youngest son 19) at the park.
We ended the ride with descents on two new trails and had a great time. Man was that fun!!
Until it wasn't ....

Great story ... glad it was your overly fit and healthy son who could absorb a week out of the saddle (and a dislocation) with minimal lasting impact ..... Hard to feel sorry for a guy who can go to the gym five days a week, and on top of that gets a pretty doctor and good drugs. :D
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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That whole area, Jackson to all of CO is remarkable. I only wish I’d have had a bike the times I’ve visited.
Cycling dreamland.
Jackson really is a cycling dreamland. Few places are better suited to utility cycling. During the height of the summer tourist season, it's arguably faster to get around town by bike than it is by car, and it's definitely easier to find parking!

It is genuinely inspirational to me to see cargo (e)bikes everywhere, most with between 1-3 kids riding on the back. A few just carry an adult with a set of magnum sized panniers. If you happen to be in the area without your bike (oh, the horror!), it is possible to rent bikes from a number of establishments, or you can hop one of the city's 'Start Bikes', e-bikes scattered throughout town and apparently free to ride. I did not try as I'd brought my own bike and was happy in its saddle.

Were I there without a steed, I'd probably grab a Start Bike for cruising around town, but rent one if I had the time to do a 'real' ride, maybe a loop from Jackson to Moose to Wilson and back to Jackson. I've had my eye on that one for a while, but there are plenty of other options. If you have the chance, cycling in and around Jackson can be a profoundly rewarding experience. The people are great, the scenery is even better, and there are miles and miles to be explored.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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This morning I set out on the touring bike with canine companion Chip to renew my acquaintance with some of the local trails after a week vacationing in cycling dreamland. Chip ran a little, but his heart clearly wasn't in it. Didn't help that it was a warm morning transitioning into a hot, humid day. I spun out 23mi.
 

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tall old member
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Tuesday I rode out to the lake again. It was too hot for other cyclist because of the hills. You don’t get a lot of wind blowing on you while climbing. I did see two older couples having a break at a picnic table, they were all on eBikes. I stopped at what used to be my favorite place on the lake and went for a swim. For the last few years there has always been people down there fishing. I found a way to keep my heart rate down on the one really steep hill. I ride past the fairgrounds and go up that long grind, make a right turn and come at that steep hill from a different angle. I had been going through town and going up that winding 11% grade that turns into a 16% grade when you are almost to the top. That new road takes me right to the steep part without doing the long 11% part.
If I hadn’t had the heart attacks in 2020 and 2021 I would do the hill from downtown the way I always did but I don’t want to push my luck.
31 miles for the day with over 1,500 feet of climbing.

Wednesday I went kayaking/fishing. I decided to start from a creek that feeds into the lake. I got almost to where I was going to launch and came to a detour. I got lost on the detour and it took awhile to find the road I wanted. Launched my kayak, odd there was nobody back there when I got there. A half mile or so down the creek I found out why. Two trees had fallen in the creek blocking passage. I had to wade through swamp muck over my ankles dragging my kayak and repeat it on the way back to my vehicle. Once I got to the lake it was beautiful. I didn’t catch any fish but I didn’t try too hard. I always release them anyway. Four and a half miles of paddling/fishing.

Today I went exploring gravel/dirt roads in my area. One of the roads had a bridge out but I was able to ride down and through the creek to bypass the bridge. The Amish are having yard sales and bake sales today getting a head start on tomorrow when it was advertised they would have them. I stopped at one that was in the shade, I was too late to get donuts they were all gone but I bought some chocolate chip cookies, a small pie, and some zucchini bread. 17 miles on the gravel today.
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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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5,874 Posts
Tuesday I rode out to the lake again. It was too hot for other cyclist because of the hills. You don’t get a lot of wind blowing on you while climbing. I did see two older couples having a break at a picnic table, they were all on eBikes. I stopped at what used to be my favorite place on the lake and went for a swim. For the last few years there has always been people down there fishing. I found a way to keep my heart rate down on the one really steep hill. I ride past the fairgrounds and go up that long grind, make a right turn and come at that steep hill from a different angle. I had been going through town and going up that winding 11% grade that turns into a 16% grade when you are almost to the top. That new road takes me right to the steep part without doing the long 11% part.
If I hadn’t had the heart attacks in 2020 and 2021 I would do the hill from downtown the way I always did but I don’t want to push my luck.
31 miles for the day with over 1,500 feet of climbing.

Wednesday I went kayaking/fishing. I decided to start from a creek that feeds into the lake. I got almost to where I was going to launch and came to a detour. I got lost on the detour and it took awhile to find the road I wanted. Launched my kayak, odd there was nobody back there when I got there. A half mile or so down the creek I found out why. Two trees had fallen in the creek blocking passage. I had to wade through swamp muck over my ankles dragging my kayak and repeat it on the way back to my vehicle. Once I got to the lake it was beautiful. I didn’t catch any fish but I didn’t try too hard. I always release them anyway. Four and a half miles of paddling/fishing.

Today I went exploring gravel/dirt roads in my area. One of the roads had a bridge out but I was able to ride down and through the creek to bypass the bridge. The Amish are having yard sales and bake sales today getting a head start on tomorrow when it was advertised they would have them. I stopped at one that was in the shade, I was too late to get donuts they were all gone but I bought some chocolate chip cookies, a small pie, and some zucchini bread. 17 miles on the gravel today.
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I was also unable to see the pics, but enjoyed the story. I appreciate the way you find ways to deal with adversity and just keep doing what you love. Those grades sound rough, especially in gravel. I imagine the descents can be intense.

I am a fan of the occasional yard sale, but with baking?! That's next level cool.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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5,874 Posts
^^ Longjohn, I'm sorry you've had trouble getting your pics posted. I've had trouble with that in the past and it sucks. Nevertheless, thank you for persevering! I love the looks of that water crossing shot! Sweet, challenging gravel. I love the idea of bypassing closed bridges by bike. Way cool.
 

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Old, fat, and slow
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1,156 Posts
That looks like mountain-bike terrain for me .... if you can do that on a gravel bike, kudos. As for doing it uphill ....

I don't like to embarrass people by gushing over them, so I will just say this once---I cannot begin to express how amazed I am that you can go through cancer and heart attacks and still ride like you do. You must be superhuman.

Of course, you are still young ... we'll see how you fare in a couple decades. :D
 

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tall old member
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I’m surprised how much strength I have gained back in less than a year. This week I have alternated cycling with kayaking every other day. I was never a big believer in needing a rest day for muscles to grow stronger but it really seems to work. Yesterday I put my kayak in on the other end of the lake and brought a hand saw. I paddled up to where the creek was blocked with two trees that blew down. I cleared a path that a kayak can get through. 4.6 miles in the kayak alternating with 31 mile bike rides seems to work well.
Today I planned to ride 40 miles before the storm they were calling for at 5:00 o’clock.
At 16 miles in I stopped at a restroom decided to re-check the weather forecast. They had moved the thunderstorm up to 3:00 o’clock. Not wanting to get struck by lightning I headed for home. I could hear the thunder as I neared home. As I was bringing my bike in the house the rain started. 31 miles today.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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5,874 Posts
Today found me out on the touring bike with canine companion Chip. We did 35mi on a favorite route which I haven't had the chance to ride in some time. It was good to see familiar terrain and vegetation at its verdant height. Beautiful day, sweet ride. Chip got out to run for a happy and fast mile, but then he was done and wanted back into his trailer. Today's ride was just what I have been needing.

Better, I can now officially say I've ridden my touring bike over 20,000mi. Just turned it over on my last ride but didn't realize it until now. I've been looking toward that milestone for a bit; harder to hit it when the touring bike is no longer my only ride. Happy day.
 

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Once again, i find myself on a short trainer ride.
It just seems as if the weather, work, family and other obligations have lined up to conspire against me riding outdoors this year.
 

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Old, fat, and slow
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Listening to the rain fall for the second day in a row, all, my gear piled up to prep for a ride which I might have to miss again .... I hear you.

I am not yet so desperate that I will ride my trainer (it is in the garage with no A/C .... )
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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5,874 Posts
Today I tried to overdo it: I seem to have a mental block against remembering accurate mileage for a larger loop route I like to ride. I thought I'd put together a route that would give me a nice 40mi jaunt. In reality I spun out 58mi with canine companion Chip before returning home. Oof. That was a bit more than I was looking to do today, but I'll take the mileage.

On the less happy side, I got a little too comfortable with edge traps, and along about mile 35, one got me. I hit it just a few degrees too shallow, but that's all it takes. The front end went right out from under me and I met the pavement in a way I'd prefer to avoid. I don't think I sustained any personal damage save to my ego, but I broke both my under saddle bag and my Ortlieb handlebar bag. Really annoyed about that. The under saddle bag is a total loss, with its QR bracket smashed. The handlebar bag may be repairable, may not. Structural damage. I haven't done anything with it since rigging it to get me home. I can take a crash, but I sure hate losing gear as a result of it. Worse to injure myself or Chip, but ugh.

Chip did not enjoy the experience, but the trailer and my mods seemed to work exactly as I'd hoped: he came out uninjured and still attached.

He also did more running afterward than he has in a while, chalking up a total of 3.5mi by paw power. I'm not sure what changed, but he ran more than he was in a few weeks. Happily, and with water stops. He even got some sploot time on the grass in a shady spot. It's his favorite way to cool down after a warm run.

Later I'll do a detailed examination of my helmet to see if the sound I heard as I was eating sh!t was in fact its side striking concrete. Sounded that way. Kinda felt it, too, but I'm not sure. Other parts of my body certainly did find the concrete, and harder than I'd prefer. If my head was one of them, that would mark a high point for crash expense. I've lost handlebar bags to crashes before, but never an Ortlieb and I've never had reason to replace a helmet due to a crash. I'm usually very good at protecting my head when I go down. This time may exemplify why it is that I wear a helmet on every ride despite that.

Other than the crash, which was totally on me, it was a really nice if tiring ride. Temps rose toward the upper 80's through maybe the first ~40mi, after which point a little cloud cover brought the temps down nicely. I got to renew my acquaintance with a couple of really pretty sections of trail and enjoyed being out. Mural painters have been busy, and parts of the route sported some new murals to go along with the old favorites.

At mile ~17 I spotted some kids with a drink stand. I like to support such budding entrepreneurs and stopped to happily overpay for a Gatorade. They weren't selling lemonade, but did have a big cooler full of all kinds of drinks including some hipster sodas. I'm not a hipster. The Gatorade was ice cold and went down smoothly. Yum! Well worth the reasonable price and an exorbitant tip.

Along about mile 42, it 'just so happened' that my route carried me past one of my favorite local frozen custard places. Not sure how that happened :D. Since I was so nearby, it seemed only reasonable to stop. I ordered a malt and a kiddie cone for Chip. The Custard Gods were smiling today, and he got an adult sized single scoop of sweet wonderful goodness. Kiddie cones are much smaller and more reasonable as a treat, but the shop occasionally slips up and delivers a full sized one instead. I figured it was good compensation for scaring him by crashing ;). My malt was delicious as always. A few minutes' rest and some sugary energy and I was ready to hit the road again.

Should you ever be in the Denver area and see an establishment called "Andy's" which advertises frozen custard, it's worth stopping. Even in the depths of winter, when they are still open.

It's looking like tomorrow will be a rest day while I figure out what to do about my broken gear. Maybe it's time to break out the inflatable kayak or a paddle board for some float time. [email protected] I only stopped thinking for the barest instant, but it was enough. What a dumb crash. I'd even been eating appropriately to the mileage so it wasn't a matter of 'bonk dumb'.

I hope everyone is able to learn from my example and that you the reader will have more luck in remembering to look around and think about what you're seeing and how it might affect you. Had my angle been 3* sharper, I'd have crossed that edge trap just like I've crossed more others than I can count. Indeed, I've successfully negotiated the very trap that got me today several times in the past. Not today.

Stay safe!
 

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What a ride!!
That might even be fitting for that title “EPIC!”
I mean, with a crash, extra miles AND a malt shake, it definitely sounds epic to me!!!


I’m sorry to hear you went down and i hope the next two or three days go by without much new pain discovery.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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5,874 Posts
What a ride!!
That might even be fitting for that title “EPIC!”
I mean, with a crash, extra miles AND a malt shake, it definitely sounds epic to me!!!


I’m sorry to hear you went down and i hope the next two or three days go by without much new pain discovery.
Thanks, Dos. Overall it was a wonderful ride. The crash was on me and could have been much worse. My left shoulder and hip are mildly unhappy with my life choices, the hip especially when it touches anything. Sleeping on that side can be fraught. Other than that I've reconfigured my gear so I can continue to ride pending the obtainment of replacement bags. My helmet shows the tiniest of cosmetic damage, but I'm pretty sure I did hit my head in the course of the crash. It will probably end up getting replaced as well.
 
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