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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Long Ride

Before we went out to not be ethnically engorged much, the girls hung with my Mom while I did a training ride. Figured it was high time I stretched my limits a bit again. I didn't do 40 miles, but I hit it pretty hard.

Starting out at Gum Springs park on 67th, I wandered north and east, by the Trek Store, up to 55th, then West to Rosehill, wound around to Pflumn to Midland to Renner.

Saw an awesome recumbent tandem waiting across the intersection at Pflumn and Shawnee Mission Park way and sort of got a picture of it.

I almost took the loop of Shawnee Mission Park but decided to go south on Renner instead, going to 95th and taking that loop I like on Legler around to Santa Fe Trail Dr. Along there I saw a group coming the other way and recognized some of the riders, and we smiled and waved and said our hellos as we passed. Makes me feel more like a 'real cyclist,' recognizing and being recognized by people I know only from having ridden with them.

Not a very real cyclist, mind you. I averaged 11.3 mph on this journey, woefully slow.

Took Pflumn back north, went east on Blackfish to that side-street climb I remember from some of the Trek routes. You end up crossing Quivira south of 79th, which is nice because the intersection at 79th is practically impossible to cross: the bike won't trigger a straight ahead green and hardly any cars are in the lane to go straight at that intersection. You can go over and push the pedestrian cross button, but then a whole bunch of right-turning traffic comes barreling around the corner and by the time you could have gone the light you triggered is already yellow. I can't remember what street it is that this little climb puts you on, but it's infinitely easier to cross there.

Anyway, wound my way through the office parks to Switzer to 67th. I was going to cut back up 67th to my car but I wanted to get more distance in, see what I can do. So I went down that delicious hill to the little road by Aristocrat that hooks up to Merriam Lane. That way, having ridden over twenty miles, I could take 55th from the bottom, something I wouldn't have attempted with fresh legs two months ago.

Made it all the way back up to Rosehill, to Long and finally back to 67th Street. 28.1 miles, and I could have kept going (though I don't know how much longer, and my average speed had been dropping for awhile: 11.9 in the first third or so of the ride, down to 11.3 by the end).

I am diggin' my cycling computer. Answers those questions I always wonder: How far did I go? How fast did I really go on that one downhill? What speed did I average? And I think seeing a speed when I glance down maybe pushes me to crank a tad harder on the uphills and flats. Seeing a number less than the 'average,' I know means I'm not raising the average. So it seems to matter whether I get up that hill at 4 mph or 6 mph....

So I did about a third of what a day on BikeMS is going to be. In barely over a month. Yikes, what have I gotten myself into?

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