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Old, fat, and slow
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The Classic Newleaf Ride---I went out intending to beat the rain and ended up in more of a stalemate.

I could see where it was raining and see the lightning, but I was pretty sure I could avoid most of it, and I was mostly right. I didn’t get caught in any cloudbursts, but I got a pretty thorough soaking from gentle rain through the final quarter of the ride.

Happily, the weather is still warm enough that it was merely a matter of replacing sweat with rainwater.

The airgun assassin was apparently deterred by the precipitation.
 

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tall old member
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Sunday between Church and a surprise 40th birthday party and the rain all day I didn’t ride. There was a tornado touched down in Boardman, Ohio where we were having the party. It didn’t hit the banquet room we were in. On the way back to Pennsylvania I caught up to the storm. Really hard to see the road. My wipers couldn’t go fast enough.

Monday they predicted rain and it looked like rain but it didn’t hit until late in the day. I was doing stuff around the house and pool waiting for the rain to come and go. Finally I snuck in a ten mile ride before the rain hit.

Today was not supposed to rain but heavy cloud cover all day. I went for my usual ride and started getting wet. I checked the weather again and now they were saying a storm was going to hit in 15 minutes. I turned around and went home. The storm wasn’t much but I was home so I settled for 17 miles today.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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Don’t let ‘em tell you there is nothing new under the sun …..

I have been getting tied up every morning and rained out every night, often by rolling thunder-cells which take turns rattling the whole neighborhood in succession for hours at a time.

Last night was one of those---endless storms passing overhead, the thunder from one fading east as the next approached from the west …. Nice weather if you don’t want to be out riding.

The weather last night meant that this morning would have been a great time to ride---cooler than usual---but true to form, I got hung up at the computer. No matter—the wife was around all day, so I had more than enough to challenge me. But I was determined to make it out on the bike—and finally, about quarter past seven, I actually mounted up and rolled.

Usually I don’t like heading out that late, as it makes sleeping difficult, but I really didn’t care …. I needed it.

Nature definitely made an effort to make me happy. I left just as the sun was slipping behind the trees, lighting up and coloring the sky. By the time I reached the first big westward vista, extending out across the marshy pond of the mini-nature preserve, the sun was just dropping out from behind some low clouds and balancing in blazing orange roundness atop the far horizon.

Meanwhile the moon was chasing the sun, about three-quarters of the way across the sky and falling towards the west, glowing white in the pale blue sky, fully illumined by the setting sun.

Meh …. Okay if you like that sort of stuff.

There were enough clouds to keep catching different colors as the ride progressed, and best of all, I did one of my standard out-and-backs with a little alpine loop (three-percent hills, oh, my!) so I got to see the same vistas in fading light that I saw in blazing color on the way out.

Things seemed to be going well …. Even my often-sour attitude sweetened a little …. Until I hit the last long straight leading to my neighborhood.

I heard a noise behind me which, embarrassing as it is, I can only represent as “clackety-clackety-clack.” It sounded exactly like a pick-up truck with off-road ties hitting a flattened soft-drink can---I know, because such a truck had hit such a can ahead of me about six miles earlier---but the sound persisted---It was a weak and tinny freight-train sound, or maybe a car towing a trailer with the license plate dragging on the roadway.

Or maybe---yes, it sounds crazy--- it was some daft punk leaning out the window of an older Japanese coupe, unloading a rapid-fire BB-gun at me.

That was Not a thought I had---until I felt the sting of a couple pellets hitting me. I looked up and saw the lame phuXXer leaning out the passenger window holding something that looked to be a cross between a caulk gun and an old M3 machine pistol ….. It was pretty dark, they were far enough left not to be catching most of my headlight, and it was a quick glance --- but I was pretty interested, so I absorbed the scene pretty fully.

I didn’t get hurt … heck, I didn’t even get mad, much, because it was so quick and so unexpected …. and probably unless I caught a pellet right in the eye it wouldn’t have been anything much …. But wow. It was a first.

Didn’t ruin the ride or anything …. But what a weird occurrence.

When this world ends there will be things and people I miss and some others about which I will probably have …. Different feelings.
Florida Man strikes again. [email protected] I'm glad you were not injured.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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5,976 Posts
Thinking back he did look sort of like .... you. Were you down here recently? :D :ROFLMAO:
It is true that if I was going to be near your neck of the woods, I'd shoot you a PM about maybe getting some miles in. Past that, I've always felt that another human would have to be particularly deserving to merit the effort of shooting more than electronic messages at them. You, Sir, are in no way deserving :D.

Have you considered reporting the assault?
 

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Old, fat, and slow
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1,208 Posts
Yes .... and I carefully itemized the details and realized that no worthwhile officer would do more than note it in case it were a pattern .... and I spent a little time wondering if I had that civic duty ... and decided I did not. Between karma and the law and general teenage stupidity .... I am not sure how much I want to stir the pot .... because what's in the pot is the toxic stew of human depravity and I don't want to get any one me.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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5,976 Posts
Today I headed out on the Montague folding MTB with canine companion Chip to road test. I recently decided to tip-toe into the modern era by swapping my old school wired cycle computer for a used Garmin Edge 500. Same thing for the recumbent. Some of the sensors worked, some didn't. Enter the Internet. Yesterday I received the new sensors and got everything installed and connected. Just cadence and speed for the moment.

It was nice to have a live reading of the road grade. I enjoy seeing my cadence, too. The modern world may not be so bad after all. I hope :). I realize that the Edge 500 is technically obsolete, but it's a whole lot closer to modern than the equipment it replaced.

The route included a short section of honest to goodness, if still mild, singletrack. Accessed via a park Mrs. Newleaf and I found over winter. Naturally, I am not equipped to carry my DSLR on the MTB and have mislaid my point and shoot camera. Sorry about that.

The scenery was great, and I hope to be back before long as I left too much unexplored. It seems that post long Covid, I'm part of the 'sensitive' group when it comes to air quality. Smoke from out of state fires is hurting local conditions, and I felt it today. I'd been hoping that sensitivity would fade with time, but not so far. Still, it was a beautiful trail.

I was also just happy to be out. I have struggled for regular mileage of late and appreciate my saddle time all the more. As for Chip, he ran some 3.3mi and attracted more than his share of attention. I enjoyed the better part of my 17mi.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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Today I did a quick 4mi from my Air BnB to the Grand Junction Convention Center pic up my packet for tomorrow's ride. I'm actually only .5mi from the starting line, but cruised around the downtown area a bit. The jerseys are really cool this year. Pics to come in another thread.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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Today was the event! I got a bit of a late start but made it onto the course without issue. I hope so! Today marked my 4th riding of this event, and the route seems pretty fixed.

The initial big climb, some 2k ft with the grade bouncing between 4-8%, was made much better than last year's by my plate-sized 12-46 cogset out back and triple crankset up front. I spun my way up in the 90-105rpm cadence range, at 4-6mph. It was still challenging and I still stopped 'for pictures' more frequently than one might think, but the CO National Monument is so beautiful it's sometimes necessary to stop during the descent. Yea, I know. But it's true.

A roadie observed early on that mine might well be the heaviest bike on the whole course. I don't think she meant it as an insult, just stunned amazement that someone would ride such a rig there.

Excepting tandems - well, some tandems - I figured she was probably right and said as much before observing that it was good thing I was properly geared for the climb. I was. I've done it with an 11-36 and that was rough but manageable. Then I had a parts snafu and ended up riding it with an 11-34. Brutal.

The descent was sweeter than some years, a bit less than others. Lots of riders hugging the center line. I rather dislike full-on shouting 'on your left', but during that descent anything less vanishes into the wind noise. Passing on the right seemed unwise given the way a few of the riders just randomly swerved back and forth from time to time. I seriously don't understand. I set myself up to pass on sections where I could enter the oncoming lane illegally but safely if such a swerve forced it.

I dearly love descending through hairpins at speed on reasonably good pavement. It doesn't get much better than that, until you consider the scenery. Not many places you can ride a road without guard rails and periodically look down into a sheer drop of 500ft which begins inches from the pavement's edge. Not just once, but over and over.

Suffice it to say that the views are incredible, even on a day like today when air pollution made the ascent even worse and fuzzed the long distance picture more than I'd have liked. No matter, it was still totally worth the effort and discomfort.

Back at the start/finish line, I hung out a bit and bought too much schwag before dipping back to the AirBnB to drop some stuff off and get my cowbell. Then, back to the event. I hung out there until the very last group of riders came in, followed by the supporting State Troopers on motorcycles and all of the SAG vehicles.

I have never needed a SAG ride for this or any event, which is exactly the way I prefer to roll. That said, I am deeply appreciative of all the event personnel, and the SAG drivers and Troopers are by far the most visible. One of the former pulled over to let me blow past during the big descent, and they were all driving respectfully and carefully. That's less easy than it sounds. People get weird at these events.

It was nice to cheer them all in: riders and support personnel alike. It was cool that the people working the start/finish line all showed up to cheer, many with cowbells. I was one of the few participants there, and yelled all the louder for it. Cool to get to break in the new cowbell properly. I sure did enjoy hearing cowbells from the occasional passing car on the course. The encouragement helps. It's a great course, but a long one. Way cool. What a day. 48mi, 3200ft climbing.

Bucket. List. Ride. Enough said.
 

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tall old member
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1,586 Posts
Sounds like you had fun. If an 8% grade is over a half mile it gets my heart rate up too high. I need another gear. I wish I had a triple. Last Saturday’s ride I had to stop one time to take pictures. I’m getting better at starting out on a steep grade. I used to have a terrible time but didn’t worry about my heart rate so just kept on until I got to the top. Stopping to take pictures is better than walking your bike up a hill. That is what the noobs do.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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5,976 Posts
Sounds like you had fun. If an 8% grade is over a half mile it gets my heart rate up too high. I need another gear. I wish I had a triple. Last Saturday’s ride I had to stop one time to take pictures. I’m getting better at starting out on a steep grade. I used to have a terrible time but didn’t worry about my heart rate so just kept on until I got to the top. Stopping to take pictures is better than walking your bike up a hill. That is what the noobs do.
Thank you! I had a blast. Starting out on a steep hill is its own little but major skillset. Hard to learn. I did back in my MTB days as a kid, then young man. Happily, like riding itself, the skills are persistent once learned. I still remember how hard it was.

The average grade for the big ascent was 4.3%. It certainly got worse than that, but 8% is not so bad for short stints. Especially on pavement. Your gravel work is inspirational where it isn't scary! 4" of loose crap on top of more loose icky? [email protected] Respect.

I have respect for everyone who makes the top of the hill, whether they walk or ride. This year found a lot more walkers than I've seen in years past. They still made the top. That said, I find it easier to ride than to walk, even on steep grades with crappy gearsets. This year, I enjoyed the former thanks the right combination of the latter. Gears seriously rule when you know how to use them.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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Back home. Lost a day to travel, but this morning I made it out for 16mi with canine companion Chip. He was spoiling for an adventure and ran 5mi. It felt good to be back in the saddle. I'm still a bit tired from the big ride, but doing a lot better than I have in years past. Today would have found me spinning out a few more if not for the fact that I headed out without applying a drop of sun screen. Unforced error. So be it.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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Between you and longjohn .... i see no reason to post here any more. I feel like I am in the lobby of an auditorium busking with a kazoo between sets at a symphony orchestra performance.
I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly have my strong and weak times. I've appreciated seeing posts from you, Longjohn, and others during those times when I couldn't put together a ride of my own for whatever reason.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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Another good day. Set out on the touring bike with canine companion Chip and little idea of where I wanted to go or for how long. Climbing seemed in order given my creation of another climbing challenge thread. So, climb I did. 35mi, 1260ft of ascent. I played with my new Garmin Edge 530 and discovered somewhat to my chagrin that I really dig it. I love that it gives me the name of the street or trail I'm presently riding, along with the names of upcoming cross streets or trail crossings.

I'm not sure about the sharp curve warnings: I like the idea, but it's calling out 'dangerous curves' which I regularly negotiate at 20+mph. They aren't that sharp, and I don't need warning about them unless I'm going a whole lot faster. Will have to dig around in the settings later. I don't like playing with that stuff on the road.

On a somewhat amusing note, my old GPS and its mount were actually heavy enough to subtly change my touring bike's handling. Removing it changed my steering. Not much, but enough to give me an annoying on again off again bobble. So slight I doubt it would be noticeable to anyone else. Getting used to that easily enough, but I guess that's what I get for using a mount designed for motorcycling on a bicycle.

Today also marked my 2nd ride deliberately undertaken without my beloved Camelbak. I have decided that I spend too much money on cool jerseys to then let them hang endlessly in the closet. Nor is there a point to wearing a jersey when the Camelback obscures the back artwork altogether and the straps get most of the front. So, I am transitioning away from using a Camelback at last. I had more trouble staying hydrated using water bottles alone, but I'll hopefully get it figured out.

Two days does not a trend make, but both days I've ridden in a jersey but without my Camelbak, I've gotten more questions and comments from passing cyclists. There are always a few of these when I head out with Chip in tow, but the past couple of rides have brought a lot more interaction than I'm used to.

After his banner running day yesterday, Chip was today happy to stick mostly to the trailer, putting up 2mi running total for the day. He did get some time to sploot in the shade after his first mile. That is perhaps his single favorite way to end a warm weather run: find some shade containing grass and sploot for a round of panting, some hydration, and scritches. Good times.
 

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After the obligatory holiday weekend workload, my Bride and I skipped town for the flat coastland and some seriously needed R&R.
The nearly continuous rain for the first several days made sure we got our rest.
Finally, with good weather in the forecast, we chose to add three nights to the trip so we could return to the mountains looking like we went to the coast (sunburnt).

I’ve been able to get in 3 rides each longer than the last. This has been good to help build back my cardio fitness.
The first two rides were remarkably cool. Todays ride was brutally hot. I feel certain the real heat index was in the 90’s.
On all rides, i encountered sections of road with more traffic in 30 minutes than I typically see in a weeks worth of riding in WV. Thankfully, nearly all drivers gave me the lane or almost all of it.
Ride 1) 25 miles
Ride 2) 35 miles
Ride 3) 52 miles
 
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