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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

I Kicked Some Ass!

I didn't feel like riding tonight. Really didn't want to, just wanted to get my drink on and my dinner on and chill out. Maybe practice the guitar, find some messed up stuff on the internet...



But I did it. 21.5 miles, despite headwinds that seemed to shift with me so I felt like cycling weather vane. I thought I was being smart starting out against the wind, but the tail wind on the return didn't really work out.

Gardner kinda sucks for a fall evening ride. You wind up on fairly busy roads, no matter how you work it, that have no street lights and some deferred maintenance issues. I rode Moonlight Road by moonlight, basically, my bike & helmet lights did little to assist in detecting the rough patches.

The New Century Air Center isn't bad, it's mostly lit and devoid of traffic in the evening. But getting to and from it, you have a choice of, basically, a highway with no street lights, or another unlit highway, or a side street with highway style traffic, ongoing repairs, no shoulder and no street lights.



Then there's the hee-haw factor. Signal a left turn and instead of waiting, you actually hear the car who's been stalking you accelerate to pass you before you complete the turn. Good thing you didn't go ahead and move over like your signal indicated you would.



It wasn't dark when I set out, but of course it was by the time I finished. 21.5 miles, and at my fastest pace to date: 14.6 mph average, over a mile per hour faster than I've ever done. Of course once we go off daylight savings time it'll be as dark as when I finished when I start if I start at the same time. Maybe put the bike on the car and ride some other part of town, one with more contiguous street lights. Or maybe some bike & hike trails where you're less likely to tangle with an F-150 driven by a jackass who's eager to get home in time for American Idol or whatever it is jackasses in F-150s are so hot to get home to watch. Most of the drivers I encountered were safe and courteous, but like I say there is a definite hee-haw factor 'round these parts.

Still, adventure aspects aside, my fastest ride so far, and on a ride of respectable distance. I cranked it but good tonight. I know you real cyclists, the ones who don't wear Hawaiian shirts instead of jerseys and who cruise on aluminum and/or carbon fiber bikes that cost as much as my hi-fi and weigh less than a cat, are laughing that I'm proud of 14.6 mph, but faster is faster. I love when I get concrete proof of improvement.

1 comment:

... said...

Awesome!

I started riding last year in November/December - it's it's no different than walking in the cold - you just dress for it.

Julie gave me a velcro strip that I wrap around my right pant-leg so my pants don't get caught in the chain.