Thursday, May 31, 2007

Animal Farm - 30 Mile GPS Track & Dot Race

I wasn't the only one tracking this past Sunday's ride with a GPS. I found another rider who tracked the 30 mile route and uploaded it to

  • NBW ride Uxbridge - The 30 mile track by a person with a Motionbased UserName of 'jussaume'.

If you bring up both of our tracks you can run a "dot race", (or just 'Click Here' to launch the 'dot race'). You can see that we were right next to each other at one point. It also looks like he had a "Mechanical Issue" just north of downtown Grafton. He stopped for 15 minutes in a spot that had no food services of any kind, so I can only assume it was a "Mechanical" stop.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

NBW-106: Uxbridge Animal Farm Ride

This was my third ride with the club since joining last summer. It was the first one in warm weather. I finally got an opportunity to meet and socialize with some of the members. I saw someone on a recumbent that looked very similar to one a friend of mine had. It turns out that Paula Bissel had bought my friend's Strada, small world.

As the ride stretched out, it started to feel like a solo ride with the difference being that most of the other rider I saw was going in the same direction. At the 30 mile cut off point, it was a solo ride. That is, until I caught up with Andy on the outbound portion of the 50 mile loop. I wasn't breaking any personal records at this point and our pace matched up pretty well so we rode together for most of the remainder of the ride.

At about mile 45 or so, with my legs tired and muscles burning, I remember thinking: "This feels good". Probably the endorphins talking ;-)

The next ride I hope to make it out for is the NBW: Scramble Metric. According to the map, it passes less than a mile from my house. That rotary along the route in Norfolk (@ Rt. 115 in the center of town) might pose a challenge.

Map, um, differences…

The ride was very well arrowed. There was one arrow that led some of us into a person's driveway, though that was a painless wrong turn. To be fair, the driveway resembled a small side road enough to cause a bit of confusion.

There were three areas along route (if one did the full 50) where the arrows differed from the map. All of these updates were improvements.

The start was different than it was on the map. The map had the route going through downtown Uxbridge. That would have been problematic given how "grouped" we all still were at that point.

The second was a minor change in Grafton, where George Hill Road meets Leland St. The arrow pointed left instead of right and took us down a side road (Leland St.) that ran parallel to RT 140 as opposed to riding on RT 140 itself. (Trust the arrows…, trust the arrows…)

The third was along the 50 mile "loop". It "cornered off" the Rt. 16/North Ave intersection (Mendon). I only saw it on the way back. I don't know if it cut it off on the way out. That could explain why I didn't see any arrows where Rt. 16 met North Ave . I was with Andy at that point. Andy saw the arrow; I knew it was different than the map. We stopped. I checked the map. We decided to "Trust the Arrows" and proceeded. Ironically this safer quieter cut-off was the only place we had an issue with a car as somebody came tearing out of a blind driveway in a Pacifica without looking first just as another (more patient) motorist was trying to pass us.


Back at the car, feeling fresh

Why are the end of rides so anti-climatic?


I can't pass the Southwick Zoo without taking a picture :-) Mostly downhill from here...


Andy's water stop at the liquor store in Upton.


I catch up to fellow member Andy. My solo ride is now not so lonely :-)


Gatorade stop at the 40/50 split. Should I do the 40, or the 50. I do the 50.

Lazy Acres Farm

Lazy Acres Farm, that is what the sign behind my fat head says.


I'm thinking right about now, "At some point groups rides eventually become a bunch of solo rides..."

My Finger...

This would be a much better picture if I hadn't gotten my finger in the way.


The meeting.

Dave's Bike!

Hey Dave, I ran into the lady who bought your Strada!

This is how the conversation went:

ME: I have a friend who had a bike just like that.

Paula: I just bought this bike recently. Does he live in Boston?

ME: Yes.

Paula: What's his name?

ME: Dave Spragg.

Paula: That's the guy I bought it from...

I hope Paula has a good inagurial ride on her recumbant today. It was nice to meet you.

NBW 106 Parking

Saturday - 33.5 Mile Ride out to Uxbridge

Summer tires on, check. New brakes pads on, check. Clean chain, check (What a difference!). Sunner & warm weather, check!

It was a beautiful day for a ride. A hot one too. I had to alter my planned route in order to swing by a convinence store in Blackstone.

Gatorade stop. Anderson's Variety in Blackstone

They didn't have Gatorade Endurance, so I tried Gatorade RAIN - Berry Flavor. Blech!

Before that I had to make an unplanned stop as I forgot to check the batteries in my GPS before I headed out. I stopped at the Lukoil in Bellingham on RT 126 near the Middle School:

Batteries for GPS

I saw the same rider twice on my ride. Once on my way out in at the 4-way stop sign at Pine & Beech St. in Franklin, and once on my way back on Partridge St. I've seen this guy riding in the past. He would look very much at home on a Harley.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

3 Day Weekend...

I am so looking forward to getting some good riding in this weekend. I already have permission from my wife to go on the Naragansett Bay Wheelmen "Uxbridge Animal Farm" ride this Sunday. I have even pre-mapped out the route in Google Earth and pre-loaded the route(s) onto my GPS device.

I'll have my Camera Phone with me and maybe I'll post some pictures from the ride. Of course I'll have to update the blog AS I am riding just because... :-)

If I am lucky, maybe I'll get some riding in on Saturday and Monday also...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Oral Surgeon Ride

Yesterday I needed to get to my Wisdon tooth extraction appoitment without my car. Apparently they don't let you drive after going under anestesia. So instead of shuttling cars around or scrounging for a ride, I rode my bike.

Riding along that section of route 140 sucked. That section is a 4 lane road with no shoulder. I'm glad I took my mountain bike on the sidewalk even I don't normally like to do that.

The bike is an early 90's Specialized StumpJumper (photo from an earlier posting). I just got my old 1990 Rockhopper back from my parents house, and I may work on making that bike more into a commuter bike and get the Stumpjumber back into mountain bike form.

Hey, I just figured out how to embed my Motinbased stuff right into this blog:

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Rainy Saturday...

It's a perfect time to do some routine maintenance. New front brake pads and a chain cleaning.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Bike to Work Day...

Here in Massachusetts, it is 40 degrees, raining, and miserable. Like it usually is for Bike to Work Day. So it is the car/train combo for me...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day Ride (...and Tendonitis)

The view from my Cell Phone Mount on my Handle Bars.

It was a very busy weekend. My mother was visiting, the grass grew 2 to 3 inches since I cut it last weekend, and I had to spread the last yard of mulch. Not to mention the Yard Sale we had on Saturday Morning and the Mother's Day Brunch we all went to on Sunday.

I still managed to get in a 28.6 mile ride in on Sunday afternoon. I had to put at least a little dent in this weekend's calorie consumption. I also needed an excuse to try out my new bike shirt.

  • 28.6 Mile Ride - east through Norfolk, MA then south west through Wrentham, MA and Cumberland, RI, then back through Franklin, MA.

It was a good ride and I was making good time until my knee started acting up @ mile 18. I was near the Ice Cream Machine on RT 114 in Cumberland, RI when it started to complain. I positioned my feet a little differently on the pedals and that helped a little. It is probably Patellar Tendonitis, I think I may have to adjust my seat position.

After reading this article, I find I may be guilty of the following:

  • pushing BIG gears - cadence too low
  • saddle too low or too far forward

Not to mention:

"As injury is generaly a problem of overuse, it is often seen in the cyclist just beginning a training program or early in the training season when the temptation is to do too much too fast."

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Wedesday Evening Ride...

A repeat of last Friday evening's ride. Only this time I was a little faster. I broke 16 mph average speed for the first time this year. A short route but it seems like a good one to use for a benchmark.

I saw two other bikers coming the opposite direction on Cleveland St in Norfolk. I guess I wasn't the only one who thought it was a perfect opportunity for a quick evening ride.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Monday Morning...

I dropped my car off at the dealership and rode my bike to the Natick Train station. I just missed the 6:14. It was pulling away as I rode up. So I ate breakfast at Russ's Lunch in downtown Natick and caught the 7:10.

  • Dealership to T - Dropped the car off at the dealership and rode my trusty old mountain bike to the train station.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Friday Sunset Ride

The family is away so I was able to sneak in a ride before the sun set. My chain is real dirty and is due for a cleaning.