Saturday July 11th
Alarm set for 6:00AM I wake up at 5:45 AM! In anticipation of needing to get up and run, the car was loaded last night. We have time to leisurely get ready and leave. We arrive at 7:30 the ride starts at 8:15 so I have plenty of time to register.
After going to other ADA rides (the 1 day events) I am looking forward to the pomp and circumstance and vendors that will go along with the premiere ADA event… WOW did I get that wrong! There are NO vendors, NO balloon arches, NO Big breakfast going on. For one thing there are maybe, 1/10 the number of participants on this event as in the 1 day events.
I gathered up my Red Rider Jersey (Finally) had Sue take my picture, and stood around with my bicycle. I thought the number of riders was less than I saw last year when I came down for the sendoff.
It was announced that they wanted all the red riders in the front for a photo OP, I looked around and could not tell which was the front! We were in a small parking lot that had two exits and riders were facing in all directions. Last year they left from the far exit and I saw 5 or 6 riders lined up with red jerseys and a cameraman taking pictures. I headed over and said “Gee I think I fit in with this group”. I got a very cold reception, not even a “Hi come join us”, so I left. I did notice that the bicycles in that group were very expensive one of them I believe was around $8,000 (my bicycle looks like a $100 special). Anyways, I heard my name called out to come up front, I guess I was at the tail end. That’s where I like to start but the guy with the bull horn was persistent so I moved to the front.
It turns out that there are only 12 Red Riders, the entire event has only 135 riders.
Remember the group at the other end of the parking lot well… turns out they were not Red Riders but a team the “Horny toads” with red jerseys (oops).
It was getting close to the start time when a young girl got the bull horn and proceeded to give a long dissertation on life after being diagnosed with diabetes. I don’t know why is she was telling US? WE know why we are here!
Then the obligatory Bla – Bla – Bla on riding safety, and we’re off!
OMG 86 miles to go… no wait 22 miles to the first rest stop!
My bike computer is running No wait I forgot to start my old one! I already like my new one I didn’t have to start it, but my old one… so I started my old one only 0.2 miles late.
The roads in MA are bad, even the road we start on is full of potholes, they are circled with yellow paint in preparation of being repaired, but not in time for our start. We turn left and the road does not improve, its full of potholes, holes over filled with tarmac and trenches filed but not level with the road. At mile 5 I look up and about a ¼ mile ahead of me I see a bicycle and rider sprawled out in the middle of the road. He sits up and sort of looks around, staggers to his feet grabs his bike and walks to the side of the road. By the time I get up to him a couple of the riders that were just ahead of him have turned around and joined him.
He has a several contusions on his arms. The first thing I hear him ask is “Is my shirt ripped?” yes it is ripped, on his shoulder. I noticed his tail light was broken and laying in the street with the battery. I picked them up and handed them to him. I was about to mount my bike and start out again when I saw a large group of riders coming (the problem of starting in the front, there are always several large groups of riders behind you, waiting for the opportunity to pass you). I hear a click and I see my NEW bicycle computer roll (its round) into the street (**##$#$**__IT). I watch helplessly as the very first rider rides OVER my computer! The rest of the pack goes by and 2 cars but the first rider is the only one that hits it!
I finally get an opportunity to retrieve the computer, it looks OK, I turn it over and the LCD screen is cracked the case looks fine but the internal screen is cracked and NOT working.
Good thing I have my old computer still on the bike!
I look at the new computer mount and see why it came off, the release tab sticks out about ¼ inch, just enough to bump and send the computer flying.
A good deed never goes unpunished!
O… remember the rider that fell… when “they” put a pipe under the road the filled in trench was about 2 inches lower than the road, his front tire got caught on the ridge.
I press onward many more riders pass me than I pass. (not good for the EGO)
After a while I see the first rest stop ahead yippee! 22 miles done 64 to go, I’m doing good, I feel good. I remember to turn off my old computer and check the stats, 22 miles and 16.6 MPH average WOW that’s fast (for Me). I eat 2 orange slices and some granola bars, re-fill my water bottle.
I use a combo of Power Aid Zero and G2 (Gatorade 2) both of these sport drinks are zero or low carb drinks that have electrolytes and are strawberry flavored. What they have at the rest stops is one 5 gallon cooler with Gatorade LEMON/LIME Full of sugar and one 5 gallon cooler with water. I don’t need all that sugar (I think) I have other ways of keeping my blood sugar up, so I top off my water bottle with a 50/50 mix of Gatorade and water. Lemon/lime don’t mix well with strawberry I found out.
I start calling my supporters (I intend to call all my supporters while on the ride). As riders come and go through the rest stop, I rest up getting ready for the next 22 miles. After 20 minutes I mount my trusty steed and start off again. *&^@ I get about 0.2 miles and remember to start my computer.
Since I stayed so long at the first rest stop a lot of slower people came and went before I left, as a result I was passing more people than were passing me (good for the ego). Every now and then we would ride along next to the Merrimack river. At the top of a small hill beside the river there where a bunch of people cheering us on! They were the family of one of the riders.
Somewhere around mile 25 we passed into NH, I saw no sign nor noticed any change in the street.
The route has been rather hilly, not big hills nothing over 200 ft. like Steve set up for the practice ride 2 weeks ago (was that 2 weeks?, seems like a lot longer that that), just no flats except by the river, otherwise your either going UP or down.
The next thing I know I’m at another rest stop WOW 22 miles gone. 45 miles at 16.4 MPH average. WOW I’m cruising!! This rest stop is in a dirt parking lot WTF! You can’t sit on the ground, you can’t lay on the ground and do stretches, its tuff to walk. Most if not all the riders have shoes with cleats (cleats are mechanical clips that mount to the bottom of riding shoes and “Clip” into the pedals. The cleats keep your foot from sliding off the pedal and allow you to PULL UP on the pedal for more power in the hills). Well cleats don’t like to get clogged up with sand!
Fortunately, one side of the lot was lined with 2 foot diameter plastic pipes so we had some place to sit. This time when I filled up with water/Gatorade I made sure there was NO strawberry left in it. My blood sugar was a little low so I took extra time and ate extra chips, oranges, and granola bars. Again I watched as riders I had passed came into the rest stop and left. After I was quite rested I started off. I’m cruising, I remembered to start my computer… Its warm, sunny, a tail wind… Life is good! Wait a tail wind! That explains my speed!
After the second rest stop I was riding alone, every once in a wile I would pass a rider or get passed, but mostly just me and the countryside going by.
I was riding along on a curvy road going around a right hand bend on top of a rise. When a town dump truck decided he had to pass me, he didn’t leave me the NH State law minimum of 3 Ft of space! After he passed me I saw the trailer he was towing!! … Since were on a right hand corner the trailer is what is called off tracking, meaning it turns tighter than the truck! The truck passed with less than 3 feet and as the trailer passed the distance from me to the trailer was diminishing rapidly. I had no where to go!! The road on the right had NO shoulder in fact it had a drop off of about 1 Ft from being washed out. I was just hoping (a lesser man would have been praying) that he didn’t have anything hanging off the side of the trailer! By the time he was passed me there was ONLY 1.5 feet of road between the non shoulder and the trailer that I had to fit into!!!!
But I lived.
I was starting to get pooped, not a lot of energy I could tell the hill was not very steep but I couldn’t hold my speed going up. I start to wonder if my blood sugar was getting low. Shortly the next rest stop was at hand, I would check my blood sugar.
It was 80, too low for riding around (that is a fine reading, in the normal range, but if I’m riding I find I have no energy). I spent extra time eating oranges and potato chips (yum) I waited till my blood sugar got up to 120 before I left. I decided that 1 swig from my frosting tube every 6 miles was not enough sugar so I decided to up it to a squirt of frosting every 5 miles.
I got on my trusty steed and went 100 ft were I downshifted for a traffic light and … I herd a grinding sound, the peddles locked up and the bike skidded to a stop. I wasn’t prepared for the stop and I started to fall over, I managed to get my foot on the ground before my knee! I carried the bike to the side of the road (I was in the left turn lane) and looked at the rear derailleur. Apparently the derailleur shifted too far and the chain went past the last gear and JAMMED between the rear gear cluster and the spokes/hub.
I carried the bike back to the rest stop (that’s lots of fun with steel cleats on your shoes. The cleats stick down almost ½ inch below the soul of the shoe. And they are steel so they’re slippery.)
There was a rep from Jerry’s Bike Barn at all the rest stops. He put the bike up on a stand and was trying to get the chain un-wedged. After 10 minutes I asked If I could try he said sure. I asked for a heavier screwdriver, and proceeded to PRY the chain out. He said “I’m glad you’re doing it, I was scared to use that much force on someone else’s bike”.
It took about 5 minutes… but I got it out. I adjusted the derailleur stop so it couldn’t happen again.
And Off I went. Next, stop Durham NH the day’s end, Miller Time!... BED!! Again I seem to be running out of energy, but. I pulled into UNH in Durham NH about 3:00!! WOOO HOOO ahead of schedule by about 1 hour. Sue was waiting for me with water, Food and a congrats for a long day. After sort of wandering around for while I checked my Blood sugar it was 79 way to low for me. I eat oranges and chips and candy. And cheered other riders in.
Watch me come in to the finish day 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJN14ex38KY
My usual post ride leg cramps were just starting to set in when I noticed a massage table set up at the entrance to the dorms. The other ADA rides I went on (Gloucester, Kennebunk) had 5 or 6 massage tables set up, so I was wishing for more. It was manned by a nice young lady with red hair (I know its very bad of me not remember her name). She was working on a cyclist, so I went over and asked if I could have a round. She said sure after dinner I would be the first one up. … AAA MMM when is after dinner I asked (its like asking how far to Albany? and you get an answer of 4 hours. &^#@^ what does that mean? 4 hours driving at 70 MPH or 4 hours driving at 50, or by train? I didn’t ask how LONG does it take to get there!!!!) OK back on track. She sort of snapped at me “ I’M HUNGRY and tired, I need to rest little, I’ll get to you after dinner! I apologized I was not trying to push her. I just didn’t know when, she called “after dinner”. She cooled a little and said 1 ½ hours. Fine with me.
While I waited I decided to at least take a shower in the dorms. The UNH dorms we got assigned to were on the 4th floor. Man it was ruff going up 4 flights of stairs after riding 86 miles, but the shower was nice. The dorm rooms where HOT and … lets just say well used. I’m glad Sue and I got a hotel room in Dover just 8 miles away.
After the shower I noticed that grassy area that had been a beehive of activity, covered with cyclists sprawled out and moaning, people getting their duffle bags from the sag wagon, chairs and beers and supporters… was deserted. I did find one volunteer and asked where everyone went? Dinner was the answer.
My blood sugar was low again so I eat an orange and a power bar. I’ve had no insulin since breakfast, I was a little surprised to see it low again.
Sue and I debated whether to go to the cafeteria or find our own dinner. I finally decided to try the cafeteria, if we don’t like it we can leave.
The directions were walk down to the bus stop turn left you will see a long set of stairs leading up to it. Well to make a long story short it was 20 minutes and ½ mile walk to find the cafeteria, and it was 3 flights of stairs
Up!! (some one has a cruel sense of humor).
We finally get there and this is NOT the cafeteria that I had in collage!! It was fantastic. Worthy of a college of culinary. (well almost) it was U shaped with stations spread around it, each station had its own chefs and a different food theme. A pasta station, a pizza station, burgers and London broil a stir fry station, fruit, sandwiches, desserts… it went on and on. AND the food was good! It took a while for me to sample all the stations but I finally got full.
It was a slow walk back to the dorm and my turn with the massage!
It turns out the massage lady is a tour de cure cyclist by day AND giving massages after the ride. WOW talk about stamina, and a giving person! She had about 15 people sprawled around the lawn salivating with anticipation, that they would get a turn on the table. She finished up with the person she was doing and called me up, and asked what she could do for me. I explained my cramping problem and she showed me a way to de-cramp my legs. It was AMAZING, immediately the cramping stopped! (at least till 1:00 AM) she also said low magnesium can cause cramps (low magnesium is common in diabetics). I thanked her very much for her help and generosity after a long day of riding (she was on the 7 day 550 mile ride).
Sue and I headed for the Motel in Dover. At check in I asked if there was a Target nearby. There was a target and a Wal-Mart across from each other about 5 miles away. We were given a room poolside indoors the chlorine smell was un-acceptable so we moved to another room.
Once settled in I was feeling low, I checked my blood sugar and found I was low again, 69. That is too low! What the hell! I just eat about 1 hour ago I should be at my max blood sugar from the meal, I eat some candy. We went to Target to get a new Bicycle computer and stopped at Burger King on the way. I was hoping to get the same model computer so I would not have to change any mounting or transmitter. I went to both stores and they both had Bike computers but Target had a Bell computer, it was square instead of round like I had, but had the same features for $19.99.
Back at the motel, I had to change the mount for the computer, 10 minutes, and it worked with the old transmitter! I also cut the release lever shorter so it did not protrude.
Before bed I checked my blood sugar and I was still on the low side of good so I eat an apple. Now I haven’t had any insulin since that AM and that was suppose to last only 12 hours. It was now 15 hours later and I was still running low.
Set the alarm for 6:30 and Turn the lights out, I went out too… Until 1:00 AM when I woke up with a leg cramp! For the next hour I drifted in and out of sleep as both of my legs twitched in anticipation of cramping!
Sunday July 12th, I woke up at 6:15 AM
To be continued;
Thursday July 9th
Two days to go
Mounted the computer on my bicycle. I intended to remove my old computer however I found that when I had wired it in 10 years ago I did a good job and put the wires UNDER things. Not wanting to remove stuff and re install the day before THE ride I kept the old unit on. I went out for a test ride to check the new computer and to stay limber, so it was a very easy ride.
? MPH average
Wednesday July 8th
The Charles River Wheelman have a Wednesday day ride. The choice is 50 mile that leaves at 9:30 AM or a 41 Mile that leaves at 10:00 AM. I chose the 41 mile ride. I know its only a half hour different but it would be colder to start and earlier.
The start was at a house in Lincoln, “with plenty of parking.“ and a $5 donation for lunch from the local sub shop. I arrived late 9:50 and got my bike together, as I entered the staging area a gentleman came up asked me if I was new to the Wednesday riders. When I said yes, he wanted to know what my average speed on the flats was (he wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to hold up the group). I satisfied him by saying 16 to 18 MPH. The yard where the ride started was about 1 acre and most of it was paved, so there was plenty of parking.
I tracked down the obligatory “I won’t sue you waiver form” and when asked opted out of lunch.
Shortly the obligatory lecture on riding began.
Bla Bla Bla “We will meet up with the other group of riders and ride the last 8 miles together.” said the ride leader.
I didn’t see how after 33 miles we would meet up with the other group, that would take some timing!
“I won’t go into the new bicycle laws again” he added.
I didn’t know we had any new laws. I knew they were working on a 3 foot rule (a car has to leave 3 feet of space between them and a cyclist…) anyways he went on to say Bla Bla Bla arrows bla bla…
I raised my hand and asked “what do the arrows look like?” He looked at me with a blank look that changed to a look of “are you dumb” and raised his arm and pointed! The person next to me whispered “a human arrow”. “OK, I never saw one used before” I said.
We left about 10:15 We (about 11 of us) had a sweep cyclist (a person that always stayed last to catch all the stragglers and problems) At the first intersection was a guy standing next to his bike pointing in the direction we were to ride in (the arrow).
Eventually I was talking with the leader as I rode alongside of him, part way through his story he signaled a turn and said to me “I need an arrow here, will you do it?”
“OK” I stopped and Pointed for the other riders to follow. The group was spaced out, with clumps of riders over about 5 minutes, When I saw the sweep rider I got on my bicycle and started to ride again. It was a leisurely pace that the leader was setting, (and I coast faster down hill than many people pedal so I caught up to him in about 15 minutes.
He stopped at the top of the next hill for everybody to catch up. After a short wait we started off again. At the next turn we got about 20 Ft past the turn when over his shoulder he SHOUTED “I NEED A POINTER!” he had to shout out twice before a person peeled off and worked as a pointer.
I was later told that the person in second position is supposed to automatically be the pointer. Oops that was I, a lot of the time on this ride! He also explained that you should not pass the leader (me again… see me and downhills above) OK, as a guest, I’ll behave myself for the rest of the ride. (Hard to behave, when you don’t know the rules).
After one of my pointing jobs we came to an area of Sudbury known as the Pine Lakes area It has a sidewalk/pike path that cuts across several neighborhoods but not in a straight line, so “people arrows” were being used up at a prodigious rate. I commented to the rider next to me “do you ever run out of arrows?” Two turns later I caught up with the leader who was waiting for riders to catch up, as he had ran out of arrows!
After the rest of the group caught up, we started out again. We went past Sue’s house, my street, and up MY HILL!
Now one of the reasons I go out with different groups, is to ride in different areas. So… I go out with a new group and what do we do… MY HILL! However we did go up hills in my area that I had no idea existed.
At one point I saw riders joining our group from a side road. We then went past my sister’s house wound around and stopped at the Grist Mill in Sudbury and waited for everyone to catch up. The group was larger than when we had started. I was surprised that the planned connection of the 50 and 41 mile rides had worked so well!
We ended back at the start where I was the last arrow.
I thanked the leader for the ride and packed up my bicycle, (I had things to do, buy a bicycle computer…)
13.8 MPH average
I did a little research on bicycle computers and found that Wal-Mart (but not the one in Hudson) and Target carry them. So off to Target.
I got one with the normal stuff (speed, avg speed, max speed, time of day, trip time, odometer, trip odometer) this also had auto stop, calories burned, fat burned, ambient temp and was radio linked to the sensor (as in no wires) and had a screen 50% bigger than the $60 Cateye (the industry standard). All that for $19.99!!
OMG 2 days left
Tuesday July 6, 2009
Morning rain, went shopping at franks bicycle barn for a shifter cable sheath, handle bar tape, bicycle helmet padding and a bicycle computer. I got the sheath and handle bar tape. No helmet padding available and I need to do more research on bicycle computer.
Back home I install the shift cable sheath and agree to meet Lincoln at the regular spot at 12:45.
At 12:15 I do a last check of the weather radar and it looks like we have about 3 hours before the next batch of rain comes in.
I get to the meeting spot 10 minutes late with the sky to the north looking pretty dark. I ask Lincoln if we should do the southern loop first and give the north loop time to clear. He thinks we should head north 2 miles to the Minute Man Airfield and check the radar there. OK But I don’t like getting closer to the north clouds!
We arrive at the airport and Lincoln heads in to the Flight Operations room to check the computer radar. No sooner than the door closes behind him than I hear thunder, and thunder… But its coming from the south!! About 5 minutes later it starts to rain, I head for an awning on a building and settle in for a wait (I refuse to ride in the rain). Lincoln comes out and says there is a big thunder cell coming north east from Worcester right at us! Its still raining, not hard, but he wants to ride home in the rain. No way I say I’ll wait. Well in about 2 minutes the rain stops, we look at the sky and listen to the thunder… We mount our bikes and pedal like the dickens for home!!
As we ride Lincoln wants to know whether we should go to his house or mine? It depends on the sky when we get to the meeting spot we can look at the sky and decide.
As we ride we get spurred to new heights of speed by the sight and sound of thunder as it gets closer. I get to the meeting spot first, I can see the sky, I don’t even slow down I take the corner towards Lincoln’s house at full speed! Lincoln yells to me 8 minutes to my house.
8 minutes later I roll into Lincoln’s driveway. He pulls up and opens the garage door so we can get his RC planes out of his car to make room for my bicycle, it starts to rain. We empty his car its raining a little harder. We get my bicycle in the car its RAINING, just as we sit in the car IT POURS it down pours!! We didn’t have 10 seconds to spare! Lincoln drove me home in an absolute raging downpour. On the way to my house, I suggested we go to the top of a hill we pass to watch the storm.
We got to the hilltop as the rain ended, we waited for 15 minutes and had two more bouts of rain and one fox walk by the car. (the closest I’ve ever been to a fox (the 4 legged kind)) then we left.
Sunday July 5
Today I added a little mole skin to the orthotics to thicken it.
Supposed to meet Lincoln for a ride at 3:00, about 45 minutes before the ride he calls to say he’s running ½ hour late. I decide to do a little extra mileage and leave early for the meeting spot. I add in a 6 mile loop back to the meeting spot and then wait 5 minutes for Lincoln.
He shows up and says he is feeling good and ready to ride. We start the ride, that lasts for 6 minutes, until we hit the airport… OK once again were off we have a good pace going until the HILL then I run out of steam on the third part of the hill and need my bailout gear, I do manage to push up the last steepest part without the bailout gear. The rest of the ride is easy I even pushed up my hill!
36 Miles 15.6 MPH average
Saturday July 4
Last night I took the orthotics from the Doc. and cut out the bump part that separates the toes and makes room for the nerve. I glued that part to the bottom of the insole on my riding shoes. Looks good except.. Its about 3/8 inch thick! I got out my dremal and ground it down and tapered it into a smooth transition so now I have a lump in the right place about the right thickness.
I rode alone I did my NEW Figure 8 which is my old route but with Lincoln’s HILL. I was able to push UP the HILL! didn’t use the bailout gear WOOHOO!! I felt great, My left foot only a little numb from the ride, so the Orthotics are working, just need to do a little fine tuning.
30 miles 15.6 MPH average with The HILL
Friday July 3
I tried the new Doctors orthotics in my riding shoes, no good, the orthotics have a large bump in the middle just in front of the arch as well as a large arch support. When you step on the orthotics the bump causes the toe bones to separate and give the nerve more room. Unfortunately, the orthotics is not as wide as my shoe, which causes my foot’s arch to press on the edge of the arch. In 10 minutes of walking I had a painful line on the bottom of my arch. After trying them under the shoes insole with pretty much the same result, I gave up on them. I went to my ones in my work shoes, from CVS that I have and put them in the shoes. They seem to work better.
After waiting the 2 days per the doc’s orders I went out for a ride with Lincoln. This turned into a nice day warm and sunny. By my hill at mile 3 I could tell that it has been a while since I’d ridden, I felt good but not up to my best.
When I got to the meeting spot my front derailleur had twisted on the frame! My new derailleur was designed for a bigger frame tube, this meant I needed a spacer for between the frame and the derailleur. A quick search produced some lead flashing and aluminum sheet that together would fill the gap. This worked great except for the added weight of the lead (all .55 Oz of it, I knew it was a temporary mount, until I got to a bike store and got a proper spacer). I finally installed the correct plastic spacer just before the ride! Except apparently the spacer is not thick enough, so the derailleur didn’t clamp tight enough, and twisted on the frame. (*&$%@%$^&*%$) Since everything is mass produced I can’t be the only person with this problem. (maybe that’s why the Campy derailleur was only $20).
Lincoln and I met up at the usual spot, Lincoln said he was not feeling very strong. After a week without riding I assured him I would not be either. After the obligatory stop at Minute Man Airfield we continued on our way. With Lincoln giving directions I found where I missed my turn for the HILL.
The HILL comes in layers, 4 distinct climbs the first climb is a long climb of about ½ a mile that gets steeper as it goes. This bleeds off your momentum and energy reserve just in time for a right turn and the second climb! A short leveling of the HILL to recoup and up the next section, leveling for a short bit and UP the last and steepest part to the TOP. I can now charge up the first and second part and recoup by the time I reach the third part, recoup and I start to charge up the last part… but I still have to drop into my bail out gear about 100 ft before the top of the HILL! Except my bike won’t shift into the lowest front sprocket &*^%^! Seems that when I tightened up the front derailleur I didn’t have it straight so I stop ON the last UP HILL part and manually move the chain down to the lowest sprocket.
I find I recoup much faster now than I did before I started to purposely run the HILL.
I can shift the front derailleur up OK, and between the upper 2 gears it works fine, I won’t need the lowest front sprocket for the rest of the ride, I’m good.
By mile 15 the toes in my left foot are starting to go numb. This is because the nerve is getting pinched. At mile 18 (where Lincoln peels off for home) Lincoln and I take a rest, where I adjust the orthotics. Not wishing to aggravate my nerve I again cut the ride short.
25 Miles 14.9 MPH average (I forgot to stop the timer when I fixed the derailleur, and I spent a lot of time waiting for Lincoln )
Saturday June 27
This is one of the rides I’ve been looking forward to… and dreading.
I know it sounds like I dread all my rides and hills and…. Its not that I don’t look forward to them I’m afraid that I’ll find out I’m in as bad a shape as I think I’m in. I remember when… I rode my bicycle UP Mt Washington... why because it is there (in fact I was told by the gate keeper I was the first person to peddle up). Any way I love riding even hills.
This ride is put on by some of the people running the Big ADA ride. This ride is a 50 mile training ride in Derry NH at 9:00AM.
I set the alarm for 6:45 AM, and wake up at 5:30… O well. I leisurely pack the car and go to a nearby diner Nick’s for breakfast. OK… so after breakfast I’m late 7:15 We (Sue and I) head up to Derry. For a change we arrive on time 8:15
The instructions to the start say… from Chases Grove Rd “YOU SHOULD FOLLOW THE SIGNS TO THE PARKING AREA IN THE AM” AAAAAAAA NO signs, I find a beach on the lake hence the “bring your bathing suit”
So I call Steve “Ya” a gravely morning voice says
“I’m at the beach but no signs”
“Ya..I didn’t expect people this early, I’ve not put out the signs yet, I’ll be there in a minute”
By now other riders start to show up looking for the signs.
In all 4 women and 4 men have shown up for the ride and cookout (I expected more). One of the women is from Florida, she says that she has only been riding for 8 months, and they don’t have hills like this in Florida, so she’s been training on hi-way overpasses, the only hills they have.
The natives are getting restless when Steve finally shows up.
We get introduced to the other 2 “officials” Faith and Jim. Jim has a “PETA” T shirt on (People Eating Tasty Animals).
We get the usual pep talk from Steve “stay to the right, Stop for stop signs ….yat, yata, yata” Steve hands out the route sheets, we will have 3 sag wagons, and shows us the signs that will be on the cars.
“If you need help, DO NOT, wave at the sag wagon, they will think you’re happy, hold up your Fist!” “The route is marked with a painted yellow triangle and arrow on the road. One before the turn one at the turn and one after the turn”.
So we start, I am first out and it starts with a gentle up hill, by mile 5 the other riders are so far back I can only see them in the straight areas. Then we start to hit HILLs, I see the gap reducing between me and the other 3 men. By mile 20 we have entered a rythm, on the down hills, flats and slight uphills I go into the lead. When (not if) we hit a steeper hill they catch up and pass me.
I’ve noticed, the down hills seem to be getting looonger than the up hills, this means I’m getting better at the hills. Yaaa!
We start up one hill, after ½ mile we go around a corner and ahead we can see the road just gets steeper and longer and steeper!! *&^$%$&* As you lower your head in resignation, on the road painted in the yellow of the markers is “WOW”… so Steve has a sadistic sense of humor.
There are no organized rest stops on this ride, however we pass a lot of convenience stores. At mile 20 we pass one, the question goes around do we need a water stop? I’m all set with 1/3 rd of a liter of gasoline (Lincoln’s name for my mix of water and Power Aid Zero) the other riders voice the same sentiment. By mile 23 I’m out of water and were in the middle of no where!!
We are on a long flat road (goes around Beaver Lake) and I’ve gotten a good 1/3 mile lead on the other riders. I look back and see only one rider sprinting after me, O Ho this can mean only one thing ether I missed a turn or someone has a problem! I turn around and he waves at me so I head back. I just catch up to him as he makes a turn off of the road I was on. I thank him very much for coming after me. (on a long ride a sprint to catch up to someone is VERY exhausting and can burn you out for a long time. I was very grateful for the catch.
By mile 28 I start to battle cramps in my legs. When I go downhill I have to stretch my legs to keep them from cramping. To add insult to injury my neuroma (a pinched nerve in my feet) starts to act up, by mile 29 I can peddle only with my right foot then only with my left foot! Worried that I will annoy the neuroma enough to make riding in the BIG ADA ride impossible, I am about to quit and call for a sag wagon, when we come to a convenience store at mile 31.
I get off the bicycle, check my blood sugar, 79 while 79 is a good reading it’s a little low for riding as hard as I am. I wobble in to the store where I get Power Aid Zero, water and a granola brownie. Guzzle the water and eat the bar and some frosting from my tube. I guess a squirt of my frosting tube every 5 miles is not enough in HILLY terrain.
After 20 minutes back on the bikes and up the hill. My feet are still bothering me so I slow down, 1/2 mile from the end I see Sue driving toward me waving. I am the last of the men to arrive at the finish.
I am beat, I just sort of stagger around and flop down on some grass by a picnic table on the beach. I check my blood sugar and its 119 a good reading. I just lay there for 15 minutes, then the women start to come in. I should have ridden with them!
I finallly get up and with Sue’s help do my stretches, I then go in for a quick dip to rinse off the sweat. I sit with the guys for a while and then we head up to Steve’s house for the cook out. And what a feast he put on! Ribs, chicken, sausage, hotdogs, hamburgers, home made baked beans and potato salad…
It was then that I found out I could not find my eye glasses. I looked High and low I looked in the car, on the lawn, by the picnic table where I leaned my bike against a rock, I looked for 2 hours, nothing. I decided they had to be in the water, I was so pooped I must have dove in the water with them on. *&&%*)%*# $400 gone.
I am too pooped to go in the water to look for them. Sue and I head home, about 6:00 PM.
Sunday AM I am so exhausted I don’t sleep well. I go over to my neighbor’s house and weld some rocker panels on his car.
Then about 2:00 Sue and I head up to Derry to look for my glasses. I have a feeling that I put them down and had them fall off of what I put them on. I bring 2 driveway markers along to use as guides so I can search in straight lines. Today the sun is not out its cool and windy with some mist to help. I stick a marker in the sand and head out searching, when I get about waist deep I put in the second marker. I know when I dove in I had walked out to slightly above the knees and did a shallow dive in, so the glasses shouldn’t be that far out or that deep. So I turn around and head just left of the marker on shore, when I get to it I move it left about 3 feet and turn around and head to the right of the marker out in the lake. Repeat until I’ve covered the area I was in. We searched for 45 minutes nothing. I did find I was a little upset at myself for not being prepared for the search, no polarized sunglasses, no face mask or looking box. Back home.
Monday my feet are still pretty bad so I call my Podiatrist, Monday July 13 is the earliest he can see me.
“Not good enough” I say to the receptionist.
“He has an office in NH he goes to on Wednesdays”
“great when can he see me”
“This Wednesday “ she said
“great sign me up… by the way, where is his office?” I figure it can’t be far he comes to Acton the rest of the week.
“It’s in Londonderry”
Great I’ll go to the lake in the AM and search for my glasses and at 1:30 I can go to see him in the next town over.
I make a looking box out of 4 pieces of 2X10 I stole from Freddy next door and some Plexiglas I have. I caulk and screw the sides together and caulk and duck tape the Plexiglas to the bottom! TAADA a 30 minute looking box.
AHH the best laid plans. I get a repair call, wipers not working. So I end up getting up to NH late and go straight to the Doc. I got a cortisone shot in my pinched nerve area, and some orthotics for my shoes. I’m told to “take it easy for a day”. I tell him about the search for my glasses and he said that fine just don’t go jogging or for long walks.
I get to the lake and one last look around Steve’s yard, He offers to help look in the lake. I thank him but say its pretty miserable out (cold windy and raining). I’m down in the water using the looking box (which works GREAT) when I hear Steve asking other people if they have seen any glasses. No luck, I see Steve searching around, I’m engrossed in my search when I hear.
“I see some glasses over here”
“What.. where?” I turn around and see him standing by the retaining wall looking down into the water, I run as fast as I can in waist deep water and look down, Sure enough there they are just resting on the sand in 1 foot of water.
WOOO HOOO THANK YOU STEVE
The saga continues
Thursday June 25
NO rain (at least this afternoon) so the roads are dry. I can’t do my planned 30 miles because of a late start 6:45. I want to do the loop that has Lincoln’s HILL. I start off doing good and am up to the airport in good shape. Now the route to Lincoln’s HILL gets fuzzy but I push on. I decide the road is not going to Lincoln’s HILL, but being a man, I will NOT turn around. I am however going up a good sized hill. Near the top of the hill I pass Bolton’s “Town Museum” I didn’t know Bolton had a Museum. At the top of the hill the road “Ts” into another road… HILL Rd as in Lincoln’s Hill. I made it to the top of Lincoln’s HILL by a different route. It was not easy but not that hard,
I’m dealing with hills much better now. I still dread them but the reality of them seams to be less than what is in my mind’s eye.
One section of my route has construction on the road, for a couple of weeks the road surface had been ground down in preparation of resurfacing. The grinding process leaves the surface with a very rough diamond pattern in it. This pattern really soaks up energy from the bicycle, so bad in fact its easier to ride on the sidewalk. They finally put down some new blacktop and its smooooooooth!
It’s starting to get late so I need to shorten my route, so I cut off the small loop of my figure 8.
25 miles 2 big hills and 15.6 MPH average
Wensday June 24
More rain! I refuse to ride in the rain, however I’m starting to panic about being ready for the ADA ride. So what to do? I have a set of rollers that hold my bicycle and all I have to do pedal, no balancing just peddling (sounds like fun).
The last time I rode my rollers was waaaay back in February, I rode for 30 minutes and went 3 miles, that’s 6 MPH average. It just about killed me!
One of the problems with rollers is there are no down hills. If you stop peddling the rollers stop, so you are starting from a dead stop when you again pedal. No coasting. You may use the same muscles but its not the same as riding on the road.
So I set up the rollers in front of the TV and start peddling about 4:30. I suddenly notice that 10 minutes have passed, not bad but I need a fan to cool me off. Back on the rollers and time is whizzing past. I stop every 10 or 15 minutes for a minute or two (mock down hills) but I’m doing good.
I rode for 1:20 minutes and went 17 miles. I find rollers much harder than road riding so I’m happy with the result. Remember In that mileage, NO coasting and NO down hills.
Monday June 22
Lake George - Glens Falls rail trail, some years ago I'd ridden part of the
trail, so I thought I'd come back and finish it. Looking on line I found a
revue of the trail, I also found that by riding city streets for 2 miles in
Glens Falls I could tie in to Feeder Canal trail system for an additional 9
miles of trails. That would give me about 40 miles of riding.
It is cool and almost drizzly out. I get into my riding gear with my leg
warmers (not wormers) and head to the trailhead on the south shore of Lake
George. The wind is Howling down the lake out of the north, driving white
caps onto the shore. The steam boats are having a hard time making headway
after leaving the dock.
The wind is bad news for me, while I'll have a tail wind going to Glens
Falls it means a head wind for my return trip when I'm tireder and since
Glens Falls is down stream from Lake George it means I will also be pedaling
UP hill on the way back.
The trail head emerges from the trees and children start pouring out of the
woods, like an exodus of ants. They came out in groups and singly. The
thing is children don't pay attention to where there going, they wander all
over the trails will change direction INTO your path without looking. Even
if you watch them they will dart into your path without any visible
indication. So I wait for 10 minutes until I see the adults who are the tail
herders. Once I see them, I start up the trail.
Yes UP, the trail starts going up hill, a gentle hill. The trail has been
newly paved and is very smooth. The ride is deep in the woods, no wind damp
and cool (I like my Warmers). I get 1.3 miles from the start and
downshift.. the front shifter broke (*&%$). Turns out the shift cable fell
out of the guide. Apparently When (not IF) I down shift too fast the cable
will go slack and fall out of the cable guide (never happened with my
Dura-Ace derailleur). With the cable back in place I continue UP. Starting
a ride up hill makes it tough to warm up, you're working your leg muscles
hard and they aren't ready.
For about 3 mi the trail is deep in the woods until it pops out and runs
along Rt 9 for 1/10 mile then turns away from the road and heads down hill
back into the woods. One place on the trail had a straight section with telephone poles.
Typically if a rail trail has telephone poles, they are beside the trail, On this section they had the trail weave around the poles. This made for a very pleasing sinuous trail around the poles, instead of a straight line. In another straight section they had the poles IN the center of the trail pavement
The trail is mostly down hill to Glens Falls, Except for where it has a
steep climb to bridge a road. The bike path bridge has a head clearance of
7 feet! I'm short and I nearly hit the girders. A tall person on a bicycle
is going to have problems.
At one point the trail ends at a street and there is a sign pointing left.
You ride along the street and it goes through a golf course, turn right at
the sign and continue. After the golf course I see a sign and parking lot
for a bicycle path on the right. Past the parking lot I can see a bicycle
path, and I see up ahead it crosses the road I'm on. I see no sign for me
to turn onto this new bicycle path (but how many paths can there be) so I
turn left onto the path.
I started to run into a lot of cross streets at mile 9. I saw a lady on the
porch of a double decker house and asked "what town am I in".
"Glens Falls" was her answer.
I thought the trail was 18 miles to Glens Falls, This is going to cut my
ride shorter than I wanted. The trail went up this street and down that
along this sidewalk and around a factory until I saw a small sign with an
arrow "Feeder Canal Trail"
HA, I was ready for this, I got out my paper with the street names I would
need to go down to get to the Feeder Canal Trail system. I'm glad I have
the street names for I saw no other signs to the trail.
It was a trail, It's not paved, its Basalt (fine slate and clay that is packed down).
My bicycle is not a good match for this kind of surface. My tires are to skinny and too
high a pressure, this causes the tire to sink and slide, (not safe). But I went down the trail anyway. The surface was packed so it wasn't too bad, it is narrow and bordered by grass. I certainly could not go as fast, I took my time and enjoyed the scenery. The trail ran along a canal, you know for barges. The walls are made of granite or concrete,
it was not deep 3 - 4 feet, I don't know if it filled in
with silt or if canals just aren't deep. I follow the canals for about 2 miles and came to an overlook with the canal going down a steep hill. The overlook would have been awesome BUT there was a landfill blocking the view. The Canal trail became a paved road going down the hill, with a sign
handicapped access only. Now a canal going down hill means only one thing LOCKS and a bunch of them, 8 or 9 of them. The gates are missing so you had
8 or 9 waterfalls.
I continued down the hill (knowing I was going to have to pedal up). At the
bottom, the hill it "T" into another canal/trail and the surface again turned to Basalt. After haven almost fallen twice because of soft sand and soft basalt I
decided I'd had enough of this trail. I turned around and headed UP hill,
once at the top (hey that wasn't bad) I was faced with going back by canal trail or street.
I had no idea where I was, so I opted for the street. The roads didn't
follow the canal, so I had to keep zigging left till I came to the canal and
zagging right to not cross it. In about 3 miles I found myself on one of the
roads that had lead to the feeder canal. The ride back was uneventful except I dropped my shift cable again, and it's mostly up hill to Rt 9 then down to
19 days and $70.00 to go
Thanks for your support
If you don't want the updates let me know and I'll take you off the list.
My updates also at http://the-plowmeister.com/html/training_rides.html
Sunday June 21
Sue and I are in Warrensburg in upstate New York to visit with her son, wife and daughter, and for me to ride the Lake George – Glens Falls rail trail. Dave, Sara (Dave’s daughter) and I set out for a ride Sunday about noon. Sara lasted about ½ mile before turning back, Dave and I continued on with a tour of Warrensburg. We rode along the Schroon River and headed into town, we turned left and skipped the downtown part. We did go up and down Hills, in and out of cul-de-sacs, around neighborhoods and just tooled around. Giving my new gears a try. I drop Dave at his house at mile 9 and tool around for another 2 miles. A short ride. The black paint on my Campy crank set is chipping off (I figured it would)
11 miles, 11 MPH average.
Thursday June 18
Sue and I drove up to Hampton NH to a bicycle store to get a new set of cranks for my bicycle. My gears don’t go low enough for a big hill. My smallest gear in the front is 44. I’m finding I can’t push that gear up hills the way I used to. In order to go lower I need to get a different chain ring, the smallest I can get for my crank is 39 teeth not much smaller. The cost for that gear is around $100 (for 1 chain ring gear) My bicycle may be old (it has 10 speeds, Bicycles now come with 30 speeds) but it has excellent components. When I built it circa 1974 I worked in a bicycle shop and had access to Dura Ace and Campagnolo components.
To get lower gears I would have to go from my 2 chain rings in the front to 3 chain rings. That means a new crank set of with 3 chain rings. A comparable set to what I have now would run around $400. So, this store is selling a new Campy Mirage (short for Campagnolo) 3 ring chain set for $50. And it’s painted BLACK (OOOO). It is the bottom of the line Campy, but it is Campy. The small chain ring is 30 teeth so that is a lot smaller than my 44 teeth so my low gear will be about 37% lower. O-BOY!!!
The problem will be that the rest of the gear train is designed for what I have, 52-44 front gears, 14 – 28 rear gears.
Will my front derailleur work on a 3 ring system? Will my rear derailleur work with such a small front gear?
While I’m at the shop he talks me into a new front derailleur that is designed for the 3 ring system for $20.
I get home and start to work changing over my bicycle. The crank fits my bottom bracket (the axle shaft that goes across the bottom of the frame that the cranks fit on). However just as I figured my front derailleur doesn’t have enough travel for 3 chain rings, so I put on the new derailleur. My rear derailleur can’t take up the slack from the small chain ring so I can only use the rear 2 lowest gears. But it works!
Cost $70. and the new stuff while being Campy is still 20% heavier or 7 OZ more weight.
Wednesday June 17
OK had a ride yesterday, I’ll still go out today with Lincoln. I want a long ride and Lincoln is looking for an easer ride. So looked at my maps and found a couple of roads that would allow me to enlarge my loop for more miles.
I meet up with Lincoln at our normal meeting spot, 5 miles from my house. I was not feeling my oats. I say that a lot when I start on a ride. It usually takes me about 3 miles to warm up but after 5 I still wasn’t feeling like I was in the groove. We started towards the Stow airport. As usual we stop at the airport so Lincoln can watch for planes. After a couple of minutes we head out again. As we ride we discuss where we want to go, I was talking about widening my loop and Lincoln suggested we do his loop, the one with the HILL… we did it once before. Now his route is similar to my loop only Shifted to the west a little bit so he can do the HILL. I figured that if I add his HILL to my loop I should end up around 35 miles for my ride. I like that.
“OK you talked me into it, lets do the hill”
So the name of the road is HILL St. and I still was not in the groove. It starts off gentle and levels off, up ahead I see that the road gets steeper and goes left out of sight.
“That’s the top” Lincoln says.
Not bad I think, so I push hard to the top…. NOT… it kept going UP. I start complaining to Lincoln about the HILL.
“You have done this before, so you knew what it was like” Lincoln said
Then the road levels out… AHHH… but up ahead I see more HILL!!
“I thought we finished the hill what’s that up ahead?” I asked Lincoln
“O That, I meant the road levels out for while before we finish the HILL”
“you wanted to do the HILL”. Lincoln kept repeating.
“What The *^$$^ &8665 350 -81^5$ $##.
I had been pushing up each section of the hill thinking it was the last section and using my energy accordingly, I was Pooped! This last section looked like and indeed it is the steepest part of the hill.
I made it, I had pushed up each section. By the top I was finally feeling “in the groove”, I was feeling good! The downhill side was long and not as steep as the up-hill side (I like looong downhills) and very rough, lots of holes and patches in the road. We tied into my loop and continued on. Lincoln peeled off for home around mile 25 and I continued with my loop, still in the groove. I was getting a little worried about the time it was starting to get dark so I pushed on, trying to finish as soon as posable.
I was feeling good. I did real good on my remaining 2 hills one looong (1 mile long) and one short and steep.
I finished my ride feeling good, I had gone 30 miles (plus 1 mile riding in circles waiting for Lincoln at the meeting spot)
At the top of Lincoln’s HILL about 16 miles from my start, my average speed was 14.3 MPH. By the end of my ride my average speed was 15.4 MPH So that meant my average speed on the second half was about 16.5 MPH.
Tuesday June 16
I’ve not been able to get on my bicycle since Friday due to the weather, all this rain and cold, this is really putting a dent in my riding. I did get out today with the NVP club ride. Nice and Easy, Nice and Hard is the name of the ride. The ride has 2 choices 16 miles or 22 miles, I got the cheat sheet for the 22 mile ride, lots of hills.
The 12 of us started almost on time, it became very clear right away that the rest of the group was waaay faster than I, and was out of sight by mile 3 (except for the 2 riders behind me who I lost sight of by mile 4). I was not feeling particularly strong so far on this ride.
So I was all alone, that’s OK I got a cheat sheet (do you see where this is going). I followed the cheat sheet and ran into, and on roads I’d been on, on other rides. I recognize the road but have NO idea where they go, and just because I know the road does NOT mean I won’t be turning off at a different point so you got to go by the sheet.
I know how this ride got its name I’ve been going up and UP for a while. The sheet says turn right at mile 10.5, Rt 111 at “T” stop (T intersection). I get to mile 11.86 and come to an intersection with Rt 111. It aint no T intersection but a 5 way intersection. I know I’ve been here on a ride before, Slough Rd. diagonally across Rt 111 I recognize. But from when and where does it go? My cheat sheet says nothing about Slough Rd. I do know Rt 111 will take me back to the start where my Jeep is, so I turn right onto Rt 111. I proceed down a LOOOOOOOONG hill, now normally I’d be worried with a hill like this for it must mean I’ve got to go up the other side… however I know I already peddled UP the hill so this is payback, and its nice.
I was glad to get back to the Jeep, the whole ride had been a struggle, I never did feel like got into the groove. I was riding around the parking lot to cool down, I got once around before the other riders started to show up. I was gone for 1 hour and 10 minutes and averaged 14.9 MPH. THEY had been gone 1 hour 12 minuets and gone 22 miles ~ 17.75 MPH a 3 MPH faster average than me doesn’t sound like a lot, but it IS! Very humbling!
After talking with some people it turns out I have the cheat sheet for the short ride. The long ride does goes down Slough Rd!
I spoke with one rider that I saw at the Gloucester ride and asked her why I didn’t see her at the Kennebunk ride. Her answer “that is too far to go for a ride”. After a couple of minutes, she said “O that is when I was in Vermont and did a 100 mile ride in the mountains. (she added the mountains part because she KNEW I hate hills). Later it hit me Kennebunk too far to go for a ride but Vermont isn’t?
At home, as I’m writing this I get out my mapping software and try to figure out where I went wrong on the ride. I found it! At mile 9.4 I was supposed to turn right onto Codman Rd, I missed that turn completely. You got to follow the cheat sheet. (Except for when they forget to put a turn on the sheet).
So 17.4 miles @ 14.9 MPH average
Friday June 12
I’ve not been able to get on my bicycle since Monday due to the weather and work. I did get out today. With another ADA ride on this Sunday I don’t want to push too hard so I slowed down on the flats and pushed a little bit on the hills. That seemed to have worked great! I feel really good and am believing I can. My speed up hills are way up and I’m not as winded at the top. I have two hills that I use as a benchmark. In my prime (two years ago) on one hill I could go up it at 9MPH, I just did it at 8MPH. The second hill I use for a benchmark, I did at 11 MPH, I used to do that one at 12 MPH. So I’m definitely getting better.
22.3 miles 15.5 MPH average.
I have noticed in past years when training, that my results always went in steps or levels. I would train and train and be stuck at a level of capability. Then I’d go out and boom I’d move up to a new level. There didn’t seem to be any way to tell when I would move up to the next level.
The most recent level jump happened between may 31st and June 7th I hope for one more before July 11th.
Monday June 8
I had a big ride yesterday with the ADA in Kennebunk so I wanted to do a short easy ride just to get the juices flowing. The last time I did a short easy ride after a big one was on June 2nd two days after the 30 mile ADA ride in Gloucester and that short ride made me feel so much better. I’m hoping that by doing a ride the next day I can leave out the day in-between and feel better sooner. I hope to repeat the good results with a 6 mile ride around my lake.
I feel really good after the ride. I’m starting to think that it may just be possible to do the ADA ride of 150 miles on July 11 – 12th.
6 miles 14.1 MPH average.
The ADA is having a ride in Kennebunk ME. The ride choices are 25K, 50K, 100K or 100 Miles. I don’t get it…. why mix Kilometers and Miles. Last week I did 50K and just about died! But, I feel much better now. I need to extend my range and last week I did 50K, I felt that that doubling the ride distance to 100K was going to be too much. I couldn’t think of what to do, I even thought of staying home and riding locally for 45 miles. Then it hit me, I can ride the 50K and then ride the 25K back to back! I’m brilliant! Kennebunk is 2 hours away and on top of that I have a graduation party at 2:00 in Westford MA. Lets think; 50K is about 2 hours, start at 8:00 AM the 25K should take about 1 hour, I should finish about 12: noon, the ride back is shorter so 1 ½ hours add in fudge time… I’ll be an hour late to the graduation party, fashionable! I don’t like getting up at 5:00 am, How about making a weekend of it and going up to Ogunquit on Saturday (O boy a trip!).
Ahh, the best laid plans. I spent most of Saturday working on my neighbor’s truck. Sue and I went up (or Down) to Wells Maine early Saturday evening.
The first thing we did was get a hotel room. We ended up at the Wells Ogunquit Resort on Rt 1 in Wells. A nice clean motel. Outside of the office there were 6 grills lined up and 7 or 8 picnic table on a large grassy area. Sue and I checked the room out and then I went back to register. The Office was a large open area with a high counter that divided it into office and kitchen, there were plates and utensils and all kinds of stuff on the office side, that I figured were for the included breakfast.
I asked the innkeeper about a good seafood restaurant.
“Lobster trap” and piped up very cheerfully “I have the menu here if you want to see it”.
No thanks, (I’d been there, tourist trap, is a better name) next!
“There is the XXXX, I have their menu also”
Nope (again I’ve been there)
She thought a moment and said “there’s The Fisherman’s Catch But it’s not on the main road”
Yes I want that one! I got directions.
Picked Sue up from our room and off we go for seafood. All I had to do was count stop lights and turn right. I got lost, not lost but, I couldn’t find the restaurant. I dug up the receipt from the motel and called them. Ok…. I got it now, and I did, drove right to it.
This is my kind of place, paper towels hang from plywood silhouette of happy lobsters over each table. The prices are very reasonable a boiled lobster was $13.99. They didn’t have a raw bar and I didn’t want to get to fancy the night before a big ride so I ended up with fried clams and fried calamari. Sue had a crab salad on salad. Sue really liked the crab. The clams and calamari were excellent A really good crispy batter and done to perfection. Packed up the leftovers and head back to the motel. I Liked this place, I’ll be coming back.
I was thinking out loud that I needed some meat, and was trying to think of what to do about it, we passed a McDonalds…. When sue said the grills at the motel were open til 8:30 and we were free to use any of the stuff at the motel managers office/kitchen. I know we will pass a Hannaford’s on the way back to the motel. We get back to the motel armed with a steak at 7:50 PM. In the room we find the grills close at 8: PM not 8:30. so I run over and start a grill at 7:59PM. Then I find a sign that explains, the grills are open till 8PM and all the dishes and utensils should be rinsed and returned to the office by 8:45PM. I slapped the steak on the GAS grill, and lickity split I had my meat fill. Rinsed the utensils and was back in my room by 8:45.
Around 9:15 sue went out to the car to get some stuff and returned with my sweater and said “we’re going to the beach to watch the moon over the ocean”. I put on my sweater and headed out the door, where we could clearly hear waves crashing ashore. We went to Ogunquit beach and saw an almost full moon glowing all over the ocean. The water was also the highest I’d ever seen. We walked on the beach for a while then back to the motel and bed.
OK… OK I am finally getting to the bicycle ride.
My alarm was set for 7:15 AM but I woke up at 7:00. I figure we need to leave at 8: AM to arrive by 8:30 to register and start the 50K ride at 9:00.
The motel included breakfast, available from 8:00 to 11:00. so at 7:50 I was walking over to the office and saw one of the sliding doors open, to the kitchen. So I walked in. There were a couple of people in the kitchen area busily making breakfast who turned around and greeted me with a good morning and a smile. At which point the lady behind the desk came over to me and explained that the kitchen was not for guests but the owners of the motel and I was kindly ushered over to the other side of the counter were she was still setting out breakfast stuff. Sue grabbed some stuff and we headed out.
I didn’t know what was going to be the ADA for breakfast so I stopped at McDonalds for a breakfast sandwich.
Got to the School where the ride starts, unloaded the bike, pumped up the tires… went in to register. This time registration was in the cafeteria, I looked with envy as I walked past the Red Rider Jersey booth to the registration booth. I walked up to the booth and filled out the waiver, I said to the kid taking the registrations “I want to ride the 50K ride” before I could add that I also wanted to ride in the 25K ride the young man behind the table got busy grabbing route sheets and numbers and handed them to me. I then had the chance to say that I also wanted to ride the 25K ride.
He looked at me kind of blank and said “O you want the 25K route”?
No I want to ride the 50K ride, then I will ride the 25K ride.
He got very confused and turned to the other lady working the table and said something to her. She turned to me “You want to start on the 50K and if you get tired you want to bail out and do the 25K?” she asked
No I want to ride the 50K after I finish that I want to ride the 25K.
There was a flurry of talking between the two and even a third party was called in.
But the 25 K starts at 10:00 the third person said.
OK I said the 50K should take me about 2 hours. So I get back and start the 25K a little late, I bet you have stragglers that start late.
More talking amongst themselves and I get a number and two route sheets a Blue (50K ride) and a yellow (25K ride) and a blue wristband, no yellow wristband.
That’s OK I know when I do the 25K that I’ll follow the yellow markings on the route, I don’t need no stinking wristband.
I head out to the start in time to hear the lecture on how to ride. I don’t need that so I grab Sue and my camera and look for the school name for a photo op.
While I’m doing that they start the 50K ride, I end up being last out (don’t you love it when things work out).
I start the ride in last place and Sue heads out to explore Kennebunkport.
On this ride they painted a triangle with a line on the street showing which direction you should go and in the color of your arm band yellow 25K, blue 50K, white 100K I don’t remember the color of the 100Mile Ride (pink?). They also had 2 ft square signs with arrows stuck in the ground (in the proper color of course).
Again it took a couple of miles for the pack to thin out enough to start passing people. I like my starting theory (See my ADA ride on 5/31 for my starting theory). I was going along pretty good, nice warm sunny day I had my leg wormers on and I was feeling good. Ya you guessed it, I suddenly noticed I was alone, No other riders within sight! Great I’m off course and only about 5 miles from the start. I was on a main road so I kept going. In about ½ mile I came to downtown Kennebunk where I saw some riders zip across the intersection up ahead, well maybe I ain’t lost. When I got to the intersection I saw a Blue sign with an arrow, Great I’m on track. Ha so much for Murphy!
The ride turned left when we got to the ocean and rode along the waterfront. It was rather nice the road was up against the beach and the ocean was certainly looking picturesque.
Then, a rest stop after I’d ridden only 8.9 miles? Oops, I wonder how much of the 50K I’d cut out. I had visions of ending up with a ride of only 15 miles because of what I missed. So I asked the workers at the rest stop, no one seemed to know at what mile their rest stop was! Finally one gentleman went over to his car and dug out his clipboard, and about 5 minutes later said
“How far have you gone?”
“8.9 miles” I said, a pause for a minute or two “you didn’t do too bad, you only cut out about 2 miles, this rest stop is at mile 11.1” I also found out that all the riders through the rest stop were on the 100K ride I was the first 50K rider. The leaders of the 50K ride must have been on that 2.2 mile section I skipped. I was in the LEAD. So far I’ve been un-passed.
By the way, the route sheet was set up in such a way as to be unusable while riding. The directions were on the left side of the page, then the notes, then waaaay over on the right side they had the mileage. You can’t read that and ride.
Back on the bike and off I go.
I ride about 2 miles and I’m feeling good, You guessed it, I notice ONLY a white 100K sign and only a white arrow in the road! No blue sign or arrow! Up till now they had always had all the arrows and signs grouped together, so I turn around and go 50 feet when.
”You got a Blue Band?” I hear from a lady going past in the other direction.
She’s gone before I can say anything, then another group of riders go buy with blue wristbands. OK, I was, going in the correct direction. Turn around again. Now I start to get passed. All the fast riders from the 50K ride have finally caught up with me, I knew they would. I continue on with my ride, past Bush’s house, past a Trappist monastery. More beaches and ocean. Then we turn away from the sea (*7^655&^%%^ that means UP hill.
Mile 20 (my mile) I come to an intersection and the paint in the road said to go right, and I see about 7 or 8 cyclists standing around checking their route sheets and talking. I also see a Blue sign pointing left. I thought we had gone through that intersection from a different direction, hence the confusion. I go about 50 feet to the right and run into a rest stop. I water up and check my blood sugar, at 134 I’m good, I talk with the officials there about all the confusion at the intersection. How the paint on the road said to take a right and the blue sign said to take a left. That’s when I find out that the rest stop is NOT on the route. When I leave the rest stop I need to go BACK to the intersection and go straight through it (If I had not gone to the rest stop I would take have taken the left turn just like the sign said).
Only 10 Miles left. Mostly up hill, since we started inland about 6 miles from the coast, the ride is downhill to the ocean and UP hill back to the start.
I pull in the finish among a fervor of fanfare, cheering and clapping and shouts of you did it. They even had a couple of girls blowing bubbles as you crossed the finish line. I liked it so much that I rode around the school, and re entered the finish line to much fanfare and bubbles again.
One volunteer caught me in the act of re-finishing with “hey you just came through”
“I liked the reception so much I went around the school so I could go through again” I said with a smile. I explained it was to video tape the reception at the finish.
Click on picture for a movie of me crossing the finish line. (Quicktime format)
I rode 26.6 miles at an average speed of 15.5 MPH And I felt GREAT! It was about 73 degrees out and I had left my leg warmers on for the whole ride. When I stop riding I loose the air flow and start to sweat like a stuck pig.
Sue was supposed to meet me at the cafeteria at 11:30 with a fresh water bottle of POWER AID ZERO and water, 50/50 mix, a sport drink with electrolytes and no carbs. (Or as Lincoln calls it, gasoline, I does look like gasoline). I was early so Sue was not there, I called her to tell her I was about to head out on the 25K ride and not to come back to meet me. She answered the phone and said “I’M pulling into the school now”.
I got a hardy congrats from Sue and a new water bottle.
I went in to see about getting a Yellow wristband so I wouldn’t confuse workers on the route with my Blue band. The first lady I asked sent me to a second lady who was verrry confused as to what I wanted to do.
“But They already left on the 25K ride” she said.
“I know, they left at 10 and its now 11:05. I bet you had some late starters and I’ll catch up”. I said
She went and consulted a third person and came back and said “No more wristbands, you understand that the water stops might be closed”
“That’s OK, I’ll manage its only 16 miles,” I said
She went on to explain that I should go out to front of the school and tell the “communications van” (ham radio people) that I was going out on the 25K ride.
“OK thanks” and I headed out to the communications van with my bike.
They were pretty busy checking the lists of numbers from the riders that had gone through the different checkpoints. From what I heard it sounded like the head honcho was a lady standing at the table. When I finely found a break in the action I said “I was told to tell you I am going out on the 25K ride”.
The lady that was standing at the table came over and said the 25K people already left.
She then noted my numbers and asked if I was late.
“No, I just finished the 50K ride and I want to do the 25K ride”
She looked kind of blank for a moment, then asked “why?”
Now I was kind of blank…. Finally I said “because I want to”. I should have said because the 100K is to long and the 50K is to short. A 50K plus a 25K is just right! But I didn’t
“OK” she says “but you have to take the numbers off because they’ve already marked you as in”.
“OK fine with me” and she proceeded to remove the numbers from my bike and my jersey and explained that the rest stops might be closed by the time I get to them. She stuck my numbers in my jersey pocket.
Ok I’m off on the 25K ride after spending 20 minutes explaining what I’m doing to 5 different people.
As I ride along I got about 2 miles and started to see people coming at me with yellow wristbands. I guess they’re returning. As I pass people with clipboards they shout out at me “what’s your number” I shout back “I don’t have one”. Aaah... I have a Diabetes Jersey on from last year, they think I’m riding in this event. Wait… I am riding in this event.
I am passing a lot of people headed back to the start/finish with yellow wristbands. Streams of returning cyclists turns to a trickle of slower and slower riders. Finally, I see a really slow family followed by a motorcycle. And then the stream is dry, no other riders.
In short order I’m at the ocean again, and at the same rest stop from the 50K route. I stop and ask “How long ago had the main group of yellow riders been through”
“About 40 minutes ago” was the answer. Then “What’s your number”
“They took it away from Me” said I. I then had to go through my whole story, again.
Back on my bike a couple of more miles along the ocean and turn left for home. I passed the place were I’d seen the motorcycle, I hadn’t seen any riders since then. Then in about ½ mile later I caught up to and passed my first people with yellow bands. HA… I am fast, I am passing people that left 1 ½ hours before I did. (well to be honest it was a mom on a bike with a 10 year old on a bicycle, not your fastest type of team). 3 miles later I passed a second group, a dad with 2 children on bicycles about 2 miles from the finish. I crossed the finish line among great fanfare …again.
One sharp person said “hey you’ve been through already”.
I said “Yes, that was for the 50K ride and I just finished the 25K ride”
“Wait” he said “you already did the 50K ride, then you did the 25K ride?”
Now I got my story right “because the 100K is too long”!
I did the 25K ride in 15.68 miles and at 14.9 MPH average. A little slower than the 50K But I’m happy and I feel good!
This time I head straight to the massage tables, there were about 9 of them.
After the rubdown (Ahhhh.. that is good), I head in to the cafeteria where they’re serving lunch spaghetti, chicken and salad and sandwiches, etc. At least it is whole wheat pasta.
The road on this ride were in grate shape, I didn’t see a single flat tire on the whole ride.
Out to the car… On the ride back Sue said they had breakfast in the cafeteria that morning they had pancakes, omelets, cereal and coffee and oranges and…. I just didn’t see any of it this morning. We arrive at the party 1 hour and 10 minutes late.
Thursday June 4
Another easy Ride of 8.3 miles
5 1/2 weeks left and I am still $270 short of my goal!
Thanks for your support
Wednesday June 3
My legs are still a little sore, But I go out for a long and easy ride. I decide to take my regular 18 mile loop and expand it by taking a left fork by the Stow airport. I’ve been on this road with NVP before, But that does not prevent me from getting lost anyways! It felt like I was riding all over trying to find my way back to my regular route. Eventually I did find my route, I tied up with it a lot closer to home than I thought. Somehow I had crossed myself! I ended up only adding 2.5 miles for 20.5 miles. The good news is I felt GREAT! And my speed was 14.9 MPH average the best yet! For the first time I’m thinking maybe I can do the 85+ miles on day 1 of the NEC ride.
5 1/2 weeks left and I am still $270 short of my goal!
Tuesday June 2
My legs are still pretty sore, But I go out for a short easy ride to get the juices flowing. A ride of 6 miles. After the ride I feel pretty good, my soreness is a lot less.
I think an easy ride works the muscle, and that helps push out the toxins that build up in the muscle. I found out a long time ago that if I don’t cool down by riding easy for a mile or so I get real bad cramps. Maybe after a big ride I should rest, then go on an easy 2 mile ride to help push out the toxins?
5 1/2 weeks left and I am still $270 short of my goal!
Sunday May 31st
I got up at 5:30 am to head up to Gloucester for the ADA 30 mile ride. Sue and I left the house @ 6:05 The drive up was un eventful. Arrived at the Gloucester High school at 7:20 AM, checked in, got my rider number 386. (the highest number I saw on the ride was 507, I don’t know how many people actually rode). Since I am registered in the BIG ride NEC (New England Classic 150 or 500 mile) I can ride in any of the other ADA rides without having to raise separate or additional money. I don’t however get any of the goodies.
Because I am Diabetic and riding I get a “Red Rider Cycling Jersey” that basically is designed to stand out (RED), the jersey says that I’m riding with Diabetes. (there were a good percentage of Red Rider Jerseys there). I however I won’t get one ‘till I ride on July 11th.
I saw a fellow rider from NVP at the ride. I think she went on the 60 mile ride for I never saw her again.
I have a psychological starting theory….. This is my theory….This theory that I thought of, is… (Monty Python and the dinosaur theory) I start at the vary end of the pack! That way I PASS people and I’m not getting passed. See how FAST I am, Nobody passes me!!!! The problem with this starting method is it takes a while for the pack to thin. So you’re riding in a crowd, which is nerve racking with so many non- riders. Shifting into the wrong gear, weaving, stopping in the middle… But I don’t get PASSED.
The ride was well marked with arrows in the street before and after each turn. Pink for the 15 mile ride, green for the 30 and yellow for the 60 mile ride. Hey… I follow the green arrows, just like the green wristband that I got at the registration.
We started around 8:15. It was cool so I had on my Leg Warmers (I like them). As we ALL were turning out of the school parking lot there were still cars with bikes on them trying to get in. It took me about 1.5 miles before the pack started to thin out. Then I started to pass a lot of people as my speed increased (see, my starting theory works).
The ad for the ride said we would be riding along the shore with a lot of nice people to keep us company and in beautiful Gloucester. The route would have some hills nothing major and “challenging road conditions” Well, challenging is a nice way of saying atrocious. Pot holes, sand, pavement patches that had have peeled up and Glass. I saw 6 people with flats all in the first 10 miles. I was surprised at how many people were riding with their seat way way to low.
We did ride along the sea coast now and then, and the ride was quite pretty. At mile 12 they had a rest stop. I had intended to partake fully in all rest stops to soak in the event. Add some water to my bottle, a slice of orange removed my leg warmers and off again before I started to tighten up. So much for “partaking fully” in the rest stops.
After the rest stop the rider density really thinned out I spent most of the rest of the ride alone. While the rider density was low I started to get passed, I lost count of the number of people that passed me. They must have had a late start (remember the cars at the start). At Mile 20 there was another rest stop. I stopped and checked my blood sugar at 130 I didn’t need any extra carbs so I topped off my water and headed out. I should have put my leg warmers back on for it was still cool and got colder. I did notice that whenever you turn away from the ocean you go UP hill. We turned away from the ocean a lot.
The ride was in a sort of figure 8 with 10 of the 30 miles on the last loop and it was also inland, as a result, it had the longest and tallest hills (plural!).
For the last 6 miles my semitendinosus muscles in both legs were starting to cramp up. I couldn’t coast downhill as it would start to cramp so I had to keep peddling to keep my leg moving.
After 2:03 minutes of riding time I rode in to the finish amid cheering onlookers. My legs where hurting. Even Sue said I wasn’t right. She said I was in a fog and wondering around. My blood sugar was fine, what I had was only 5 hours of sleep and NO coffee or soda in the morning (I.E. no caffeine).
We stayed for the lunch that was held in the gym where we registered, they served salad, chicken and bread sticks. They also had two masseuses there, giving massages.
After finishing lunch and soaking up the ambiance I loaded the bike into the car and started for home. It was only 12:30 PM I didn’t even get out of the parking lot when my right semitendinosus did a BIG cramp! So I parked the car and got in line for a massage, with only 2 people in front of me I figured it would move pretty fast. I was glad to see did not move fast, that meant I would get some quality time on the table. The massage was donated and was pretty nice on my legs. Back into the car and head home.
SIX weeks left and I am still $280 short of my goal!
Friday May 29th
I went out with Lincoln to do a ride in the afternoon after the roads had dried out (a little). I know I have an ADA ride on Sunday in Gloucester, I signed up for the 50 K ride (~ 31 miles) so I wanted an easy ride to keep my juices flowing and not burn out. I also was looking to continue to increase my distances, So I decided to take my 21 mile loop and add a little to it.
I started of making the BIG hill at 2.5 miles from my house in fine shape (I don’t want to mislead you here, I did not die on the hill). I met Lincoln at the usual spot and we started off. After visiting Stow airport, we continued on our way. To extend the ride about a mile after the airport we turned left instead of going straight.
Now I’ve been on a number of NVP rides and they cover this area (Stow, Littleton, Boxborough)… so I’ve been on many of these streets, however since I’m not going to a place but just riding in big circles I may recognize a street but have NO idea where it goes. So I remember being on this street but don’t know where we turned off or where it went.
Any ways we where doing fine and going up a slight hill after 100 miles the hill started to get steeper, I started to think maybe I should bail so I don’t hurt myself for Sunday’s ride. We went around a corner and it got a LOT steeper, not knowing where the top was I decided to bail. Just as I was explaining over my shoulder to Lincoln my thinking we where passing a couple that were walking up the hill and the woman said “You can make it”! Not to be one to miss an opportunity of NOT go up a hill I turned around and yelled back to the walkers “I have a big ride on Sunday and don’t want to burn myself out today”. Back to where I know where the roads go.
Lincoln was riding another “new” bicycle, it turns out he built the last bicycle to ride while he built this with some cannibalized parts from his commuter bike. Now he is keeping up with me. Which begs the questions, is he getting better and I’m not? Does the bike make that much difference?
My normal ride is a figure 8. So on this ride by the time I got to the junction of the 8 I had gone 24 miles and decided to call it enough (I still had 2 miles home) I finished the ride in good shape 14.7 MPH average and 26 miles.
Tusday May 26
Today I called several bicycle shops to find a solution to my flats.
I was told by Franks spoke and wheel "you are crazy there is no reason to
run that much pressure unless you are racing" I asked "why?". the only
answer he had was the roughness of the ride. When I asked about less
rolling resistance his answer was ya but not enough for the loss of ride
quality (apparently less rolling resistance IS worth the loss of ride
quality to me). He said he had Veloce cloth rim tape, and that he's had no
problem with it but that he did not know if it would survive my "insanely"
high 145 PSI that I run (the tire is rated for 147 PSI). I went on line and
found that Veloce rim tape is good for high pressure.
I went to Ray's in Hudson and got someVeloce rim tape. While I was
there I checked out leg warmers. Leg warmers are just legs, not pants.
they had size large, which were big enough to cut the circulation off at my
I went home and patched my 2 tubes and installed the rim tape on my
front wheel. I removed my rear wheel and took off the rim tape, the tape
was the same that I had used on the front wheel, but I've had NO flats on
the rear? I re-assembled the wheels and started to get ready for a ride
with NVP that evening. The ride was going to be "Nice and easy Nice and
Hard" a 15 or 21 mile ride with "a long hill" on the longer ride. As the
afternoon went on it got colder and colder, I have a problem riding in
weather that is below about 63 degrees. I find my muscles cramp and my
lungs get cold burnt.
I called Franks Spoke and Wheel up and was told they have XL leg warmers
so I headed down. They were still pretty tight but better, a little too
long (everything I get is a little to long for me). Got home just in time
to dress, long sleeved T under my riding jersey and my NEW leg warmers -:) .
The ride starts at 6:15....... well 6:30... anyway I met Lincoln at the
start of the ride He had his "new" bike. Up till now he had bean using a
commuter bike on our rides, I had bean slowing or waiting for him on our
rides. This time I desided to go on the FULL 21 mile route with the HILL.
We kept up with the pack for 2 miles and then slowed down. We wound
around Stow and Harvard THEN we got to Stow Rd. it just kept going up...
ahhh I see the top... nope just leveled off for 100 feet then UP, it did
this for miles. (have I told you I hate Hills). Anywas it got colder too,
am I glad I got the leg warmers my legs are HAPPY. I am improving on the
uphills. a little easier and a little faster. (7 MPH instead of 6 MPH). So
we finally got to the top.
There is an unknown law of physics, "down hills are not as long as the up hill".
We made it to the end. most of the pack was still putting their bikes away
when we pulled in.
We averaged 14.1 MPH not bad for a "hilly ride" and Lincoln kept up with me.
I gave Lincoln a lift home in my jeep since he had ridden his bike to the
6 1/2 weeks (I know my math was wrong before) to the ADA New England Classic
4 days to the ADA Gloucester 31 mile ride.
Thanks for your support
Munday May 25
I have got to work on increasing my distance capacity. so I can do the 80 + miles
on the first day of the New England Classic. I decided to take my 18 mile
loop and widen it out to 24 miles. When I started out on the ride I got
about 1 mile and I was NOT doing well, I felt like I had no ability to
output any power. By mile 2 I was still slower than normal and my legs felt
it. At mile 2.6 I have a LARGE hill to climb and crested it doing and
feeling pretty good. At mile 4.5 I ran into a parade going down one of my
streets! (I purposely left late in the day to avoid parades). So I asked a
cop at the intersection "is the road closed?" to which he replied "Yes"
So I rode in a tight circle trying to think if I can bypass the street and
decide I can’t without going WAY out of my way. So I asked the cop if I could
ride down the closed street? He said "Sure"... ? .... OK off I went on my route.
I got 1 more mile was heading up a slight hill and feeling good when I felt
something wrong with the feel of my front tire! FLAT(*&%^$#&(* and NO spare
*&$##%). So I call Sue to pick me up. I started to walk back so I would not
cramp up (I have a problem with cramping) and found that I should have
gotten the mountain bike version of my new bike shoe as they have a sole that you can
walk on, as opposed to my metal clips. Sue showed up and gave me a ride
home where I took apart the front tire. Same reason for the flat as last
time but in a different spoke hole. So today I rode 6.5 miles WO.HO
ONLY 6 weeks left till the New England Classic 150 and I still need to
Thanks for your support
Friday May 22
On Friday May 22 I went on a ride with 2 of my supporters Hank and Lincoln.
We went on the Ayer rail trail also known as the Nashua River rail trail. a
12 mile trail from downtown Ayer to the outskirts of Nashua NH. We got
started at 11:45 AM Hank was a little faster than what he led me to believe
on the phone. So we made good time. The weather people said 15 to 20 MPH out
of the Southwest. then why did we have a head wind going north? O ya I'm
riding a bike, Of course the wind is going to come at me!!
We got to the northern end without much of a problem averaging
~14 MPH (no HILLS on rail trails or at least gentle ones). We were standing
around resting and talking when Hank said "Chris is your front tire flat?"
I look down and sure enough it's (*&()^) FLAT! I spin the tire looking for
a nail or cut. Sure enough I find a slice in the tire *&^&%^******* that's a
$69 tire with a $10 tube! I take the wheel off, the tube out and check the
inside of the tire for the hole. I can't find one. (That's good news. My
tires are 260 thread count Kevlar, you know the same thing bullet proof
vests are made of). So why did the tire go flat? My rims are made with a
double wall U channel with holes for the spokes.
When I put air in the tube I saw evenly spaced bumps on the inside of the
tube. They corresponded to the spoke holes! I then found one bump that had
a crack in it and was leaking air. While I do have rim tape (a heavy strip
of plastic that goes around the rim and covers the spoke holes) it
apparently is NOT able to withstand the 145 PSI. I run in my tires.
OK problem found I started to open up my spare tube and Lincoln
pipes up "I have a patch kit". I explained to Lincoln that I have given up
on patch kits because they cost $6.00 and once the little tube of glue is
opened the glue dries out and becomes useless in short order. That results
in having to buy a patch kit for each repair. I prefer to spend $4.00 more
and have a new tube. "Oh no" Lincoln says "I have no problem with the glue
drying out". OK, FINE, I'll use your patch kit. By this time Hank has
started back as he had an appointment to keep. So I prepared the tube while
Lincoln got out his kit. Well. the glue was no good!!! So back to the new
tube. All assembled, now to pump it up. My pump is not so good, Lincoln's
was better so we used his. After we picked up our mess we head south back to
Ayer. *&*^$% a head wind*&(%^O(% Now the wind comes out of the Southwest!
We stop for water and make it back with only a slight loss of oomph around
the 5 miles to go mark. I found a blister on my hand of all places.
Thersday May 21
I rode with NVP (Nashoba Valley Peddlers) this evening, a "training
ride" a training ride of HILLS (I hate hills) it is 17.3 miles long. It is
rolling from the start; Up down UP down UP down I mean whoever made this
ride up is sadistic, at one point we take a left off of Bulkeley Rd go UP
Crain, then we take the next 2 right turns back to Bulkeley Rd! the whole
purpose of the 1.2 mile jog was to go UP the hill on Crain Rd! ()**&().
I was pretty burnt by the hill at mile 10. Then from Mile 10 to 14 its
HILLS! UPUPUP (mmm not to bad) down UPUPUP (not bad at all) down
UPUPUPUPUP! *&%^ !!! We had gone over the TOP of an unnamed hill, down OVER
Nagog hill, down OVER another unnamed hill*&(#$ sadist! I was feeling
pretty good, from there it was gently rolling back to the start.
My average was 13.8 MPH. The problem with hills is if you average 15
MPH on the flats go up a hill for 1 mile at 10 MPH down the other side at 20
MPH for 1 mile it does not average out to 15 MPH. it works out to 13.33 MPH
average. The reason is the amount of time spent going 10 MPH is longer than
the time going 20 MPH. So I'm happy with 13.8 and I feel good, not burnt
I used to do a LOT of riding in my youth! My body is conditioned to
peddling a certain speed and effort, when I get on the bike I automatically
peddle like that. I found that by slowing just a tad on my peddling RPM on
the hills, I don't burn out. OR I'm getting better, I don't know!! (I don't
hate hills quite so much now (yes I do)).
6 1/4 weeks left till the New England Classic 150
Wendsday May 20
Went on a 15 mile ride with the NVP club. the ride is called
"Avoid the traffic" billed as difaculty #3 or rolling hills. I know I need to start
extending my distances if I hope to do the 85+ miles on the first day of the
ADA New England Classic. So I decided to do the 15 mile ride and at the
end keep going for 2.5 miles further, turn around and head back to the
start/finish for a total of ~ 20 miles. That was the plan.
The first mile of the ride is on Rt 225 at 6:30 PM anything BUT avoiding
the traffic! after that 1 mile we got into some nice backroad and did avoid
the traffic. We get cue sheets with mileage and directions to turns.
trying to read them while riding, in the wind and bumps on the roads can be
a challenge. What makes it even harder is when the cue sheet has
distances that are estimates to turns and even turns that are MISSING from
the sheet. (We all follow the person that knows the route, that is one way
of keeping the group together.)
For the first time I felt good on a ride, like it may be possible to do
the ADA ride. I did the group ride, added my 5 miles and felt good. My
average speed was 15.5 MPH
6 1/2 weeks left till the New England Classic 150
Thanks for your support
Monday May 19,
After riding last week on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday for a total
of 63 miles plus 6 on the exercycle(god I hate that) I was not feeling
particurly strong today. Have I told you I hate Hills. Today I went on a
ride with the Neshoba Valley Peddlers (NVP) the ride is billed as "nice and
easy- nice and hard" a ride of hills! But today's ride is run in the
opposite direction. I figure I hate hills so much, I must need to work on
them to make them easer. I got to the start (train station in Acton) and
found out they had a 15 mile version. Great sign me up, no need to start off
with too many hills!
There were about 7 riders that went on the 21 mile
ride. Two ladies and me started on the 15 mile ride about 10 minuets after
the main group left. I pulled away from the ladies. At about 2 miles into the
ride I felt like I had no energy to push up any hill.
At Mile 10 I started to feel better and I noticed there hadn't been any hills to
speak of., I finished the 15 mile ride feeling good, with pep left in me,
still no hills. I was the first one back so I cooled down and waited for
others to show up. the group that did the full 21 miles showed up in about
10 minuets. I asked them where the hills were? It turns out they’re all on
the part of the ride that I skipped by doing only the 15 mile part. :-) So
I averaged 15 MPH on that ride.
7 weeks left till the New England Classic 150
Thanks for your support
Friday May 15th.
I went on a 24 mile ride this afternoon. I tend to run out of steam at the 10 mile mark and recoup a little around the 15 mile mark. I don't know if I'm pushing to hard at the beginning or just not in shape yet.
My average speed for the 24 miles was 14.5 mph which is about 1.1 MPH slower than I get on my shorter rides (15 miles) of 15.6 MPH average.