Sunday, March 29, 2009

Quick Loop Around Franklin

Nice Day

Earlier this week I had spoken with Ed about the possibility of riding this weekend. We leave it pretty open as things happen. Saturday; 1:30 PM Ed rolls into my driveway on his bike. There I am standing in my "shit-kickers" getting some yard work done. Oops. There's always next week...

Nap = Free Time

At around 3:00PM, I was able to successfully put my youngest daughter down for a nap. It was a battle of wills. My willingness to rock here outlasted her ability to fight going to sleep. She needed it as she is fighting a cold.

Now that she was asleep, I could go riding (she's 3, so at least one of us has to watch her to make sure she doesn't get herself into trouble. She is quite adept at that.)

Warm, Kind of...

The outdoor thermometer read 65°. That's the warmest it's been in a while. So I go with the shorts and short sleeve shirt (last weekend I was in full winter gear...). Well, as I headed out, it didn't feel like it was sunny and 65°. Oh well. I didn't care, I was riding.

Around Franklin

I did a short, 17 mile loop around Franklin on familiar roads. I saw a number of other riders out. It was good to get out. This is the most I have ever ridden in the month of March. Hopefully a good sign for the upcoming year.

Monday, March 23, 2009

NBW-028: East Providence Spring Season Opening Ride

Chilly Start

Chilly start, middle, and finish... The skies were gray and it felt cold. Cold enough for me to wear my winter riding shirt (07 Pearl Izumi Kodiak Jersey), my shell (Performance Transformer Jacket), and my shoe covers. I couldn't believe how cold I felt. Wasn't is supposed to be a warn, sunny, 50° day? I should have filled a thermos with coffee for the ride...

Ride Start
Ride Start, originally uploaded by Martinator.

A "portion" of the riders that showed up. I'd guess over 100 people showed up for this ride. Pretty much everybody has their winter gear on. Except for one guy in shorts.

Pup-cycle, originally uploaded by Martinator.

~100 riders plus 1 dog! I wonder what the dog is thinking right about now...

What? No Tabs?!?

I only had enough Nuun Hydration Tablets for one bottle. No big deal. I figured that, since the ride was starting at a bike shop that I would just pick up some Camelbak Elixir Lemon Lime Hydration Tabs, which I prefer anyway over the NUUN Tabs. However, much to my surprise, the East Providence Cycle bike shop didn't carry any of either.

What?!? You've got to be kidding me...

EP Cycle loses points in my book...

30 Miles or 40?

I had about 10 miles to decide if I was going to do the either the 30 mile option of the 40. It was chilly, I was getting dropped on the climbs (though not as bad as the same time last year) and it was only my second time out on the bike this year. So when I came upon the split, I decided not to push myself and I chose the 30 mile option. It was still a lot of riding for March (for me) and I wanted to ease myself into the season.

Halfway, originally uploaded by Martinator.

This is me at about the halfway point in the 30 mile option. Nobody in front of me and nobody behind me. The club ride became a solo ride at this point (until others caught up to me). Notice the beautiful shades of gray that we call "Early Spring in New England"...

March is for Serious People

As I was riding a thought occurred to me:

If you really love what you do, you do it in March!

Nobody who does anything casually in New England, does it in March. They just don't. Here's a list:

  • Serious Skiers ski in March (and April, and May...)
    Casual Skiers think February break marks the end of the season.
  • Serious Golfers hit the links in March, and by that I mean locally (flying down to NC or Fla doesn't count). I saw some golfers while I was riding.
  • If you love softball, you are out there playing. Like those guys were on the field towards the end of the ride.
  • Serious runners are, well, running.
  • Even gardening is a good example!
  • And then there are us Cyclists. (Cyclist who bike over the winter are just plain nuts and belong in a separate category.)

There are probably more examples, but I think you get the idea.

Monday, March 16, 2009

First Ride of the Year

Lucky to Get Out

The weather was beautiful and my weekend was pretty filled up with activity. My father-in-law was in town and we dragged him all over. So I figured I wouldn't be getting in a ride. Hey, it's only mid-March...

So I was surprised yesterday when after church my wife asks me "Are you going for a ride today?"

Um, OK. :-)

So while my wife and her father bonded over roasting a leg of lamb, I went for a ride.

What to Wear

It was sunny and in the 50's. I had seen people riding earlier in the day dressed like it was in the 30's. I was tempted to wear shorts, but I went with my long bike pants instead. I also decided to wear a feather weight thermal under my bike shirt. I didn't think I would need anything more

It turns out I had just the right amount of layers on. Any more and I would have overheated. Any less and I would have been chilly.

Gearing Up!

Gearing Up
My Bike, originally uploaded by Martinator.

I put 105 PSI in both the front and back of my Continental Grand Prix 4 Season Road Tires. I figured I would ride them a little soft given the road conditions. There was a lot of sand and stuff on the roads. It was good decision and I think my ride benefited from the lower pressures in the tires.

GPS Issues

Within the first mile my GPS device shuts off all by itself. I had to stop to get it restarted. What a pain! It stayed on though for the rest of the ride.

This is a pain so I finally Googled "Garmin Etrex Legend mysteriously turning off" and found this in a forum: "Garmin mysterious power-off symptoms explained"

"Vibration of the unit causes a relative motion between the front and rear halves of the case, perturbed by the mass of the batteries clamped into the battery box, which effectively causes the battery spring tabs to scrub the circuit board power connection pads, abrading the conductive material off of the pads."

Maybe I'll have to crack that puppy open..., originally uploaded by Martinator.

When I hit Holliston, I ran into the walk for Homelessness event. It was a real nice day for a walk.

Slow But Steady

I had absolutely no issues with my rear derailleur on this ride. I was having a lot of problems with it at the end of last season. So I guess my non-fix fix back in February had worked :-)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

First Training Ride of the Year

First Training Ride of the Year
First Training Ride of the Year, originally uploaded by Martinator.

The weather was nice so I got a group of riders together for an early season training ride. The pace was casual. Even so, it was difficult to maintain a decent paceline. Most of the riders were younger and of various abilities. Overall though, it was good to get out even though we didn't rack up a lot of miles.