Monday, October 5, 2009

October Ride - PHAT Revisited

Getting Them in While I Can

With the weather getting cooler and (more importantly) the days getting shorter, I am limited to the weekends for my bike rides. With two kids (7 & 4) that usually means 1 ride over the weekend.

It is 50°+ and it is overcast. The rain has mostly past, so I layer up and head out.

South to PHAT Route

I head south and connect with the PHAT Tuesday route that i have become very familiar with. It looks much different when taken at a leisurely pace. There is a lot of nice scenery that I normally miss because I am usually focusing on the riders in front of me.

Yet Another Flat Tire!

I've gotten my second flat tire since getting my new rear wheel this past August (3rd one this year). 3 flat tires in a year after going 2-3 years without getting a flat. I am going to have to do a thorough inspection of that rear wheel.

CRW Two State Tango

I saw a good number of riders as I was biking through Plainville coming from the other direction. Enough to make me think it was a club ride. I checked. sure enough, the Cambridge River Wheelmen were doing their "Two State Tango (Revised)" today. If I had known I would have done that ride. I have ridden the outer part of that route a lot, but never with that club.

I have a lot of bike blogging to catch up on. Stay Tuned...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Phast PHAT Ride Tonight

Phast Group

Tonight I decided to see how long I could hang on to the fast group. I made it almost all the way to mile 9. I got dropped by the "farms" in North Attleboro. I averaged 20.8 mph at the half way point.

I took a long break and rolled out with the third group. I had a good second half and averaged 19.2 mph for the whole ride. I haven't ridden this ride that fast since September 2007. I tied my second fasted average speed :-)

I am so behind on my bike blogging. I need to blog about my PMC Ride, and my subsequent trip to NJ.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bicycles Plus = New Wheel

Bicycles Plus = New Wheel
Bicycles Plus = New Wheel, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Scott setting up my new wheel at my favorite local bike shop.


Train, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Waiting for the 11:59 train to take me back to Franklin.

Yet Another Broken Spoke

Yet Another Broken Spoke
Yet Another Broken Spoke, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Broke another spoke. This time near the train station in Walpole. I think it may be the same spoke as last time.

Moose Tracks

Moose Tracks
Moose Tracks, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Today I will be tracking Moose Tracks. (CRW Markers)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hudson River Recovery Ride

A Recovery Ride Along the Hudson

Post PMC Ride

After the PMC, I headed down to NJ. My step-father, Rod, was having a cancerous Kidney removed and I wanted to be there for him. I of course brought my bike.

My friend, Mike, took me for a nice leisurely ride on a beautiful sunny Friday along the NJ side of the Hudson. He is a civil engineer that is heavily involved in creating bike friendly roads and routes. He wanted to preview this ride for an "on bike" tour he was going to give. We biked from a park next to the George Washington Bridge all the way down to the PATH trains in Hoboken (and back).

Upper Greenwood Lake Lollipop Route

I was also able to sneak in a quick 18 mile ride from Highland Lakes, NJ out to and around Upper Greenwood Lake and back.

It was fun!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pan Mass Challenge 2009 - The Big Post!

Apologies for the wicked late posting of this story. After the PMC I was deep in the throws of a job hunt and ironically enough, being unemployed I didn't have time to update my blog.

Sturbridge, Friday July 21, 2009

From 2009.08.01-02.PMC

It was overcast and rainy as my family drove me out to Sturbridge on Friday for registration. Traffic on the Pike (Interstate Route 90 to non-massholes) was backed up. So we got off and jumped on Route 20, which runs parallel to the Pike. This was a smart choice. We were able to get there early enough to be able to park at the host hotel. The option of taking a shuttle with a 7 and 3 year-old in tow was to be avoided.

Just as we approach the entrance to the hotel, I see Team Kermit arriving by bike from Newton. They were wet, but I guess if you team is named after a frog, then what's a little rain...

Bike Parking @ the PMC
Bike Parking @ the PMC, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Lots of bikes.

Friend from Graduate School...

After I had registered I was walking back to the main lobby and I saw a familiar face. I ran into an old friend and classmate of mine, Amie White. She is captaining her own team, Pedal 2 The Mettle and she is riding for very personal reasons. Amie has been battling Cancer on and off since Grad School.

Friday Night...

I don't think I slept much on Friday night. I was anxious and excited about finally riding in my first Pan Mass Challenge Ride.

Day 1

Good Morning

The ride from Sturbridge went smoother than expected. It is the hilliest portion of the Saturday ride. The only place where I really felt it was the climb into Mendon.

My Family at the Franklin Water Stop

Franklin Stop
Franklin Stop, originally uploaded by Martinator.

With my girls at the Franklin stop.

107 Miles, really?

That was the easiest long distance riding I had ever done. I may have actually trained enough :-) I'm sure that riding with an experienced team helped a lot. Not to mention the natural high one can only get when riding the Pan Mass Challenge.

Running into People...

I ran into a good number of familiar faces. Some were colleagues from my Days at Fidelity. Some were from my days at Monster (I was laid-off less than 2 weeks prior to the PMC from Monster). Back during the winter I was excited to be part of the PMC Monsters team. However due to corporate politics that didn't happen. It all worked out for the best.

Where are my roommates?

When I got to my dorm room I saw 3 other bags there. Over the course of the day, those bags disappeared. I had the room to myself. Well, I did until a Volunteer was looking for a bunk in the middle of the night. He snored.

It was nice having a real shower and a place to recharge my phone. The lack of a draft and A/C made for one hot and humid room, not so nice.

I think what people did was guarantee themselves a dorm room just incase there isn't a better option. Next year (2010) I will pack a tent. It was a beautiful night and I kind of wished I was sleeping outside.

Day 2


I ate a good number of the breakfast sandwiches. They were yummy. I forced myself to stop before getting too full.

Where's My Bike?

It took my 15 minutes of panicked searching to try and find my bike in the morning. None of the rows were numbered and everything looked different in the dark.

Next year I will attach a flag so I can find my bike a lot quicker if I don't have any other bike storage options.

PHAT Pace Line

After the climb into Sandwich and the descending rollers along the service road(?) next to route 6, (that was a blast!), Team PHAT Tuesday formed up in a nice ~19 rider pace line for most of the ride.

Hey Mark!

I had been trying to link up with a former colleague throughout the morning. A lot of texting at rest stops. So, here I am at the back of the aforementioned pace line minding my own business when I see this "non-PHAT" rider pass by. I look at the name tag on the bike. It was Mark! The person with whom I had been trying to connect with. Could not have planned that better. :-)

Arrive at P-Town, Already!

We left Bourne at 5:15 AM, (we would have left earlier if I was able to find my bike), and we rolled into Provincetown at 10:33 AM. That was fast. 77 miles on a bike never felt so short! We averaged 18 mph over 77 miles. Wow!

Hangin' Out in P-Town

The beer tasted good and I ate too much food (which was also very good).

Ferry Ride with Team Kermit

When I registered for this ride, I booked the last "Fast Ferry" back to Boston. It happened to be the least crowded. It left after the Party Boat, but arrived before it.

So it was a funny coincidence when I noticed that Team Kermit was on the same ferry ride. They sat near me. One of the riders from the Team was telling a really funny story about how he left his passport on the plane when he flew into Paris to watch "Le Tour".

Home Sweet Home

It was good to get home and have a slice of the homemade Blueberry Pie that my wife had waiting for me :-)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The 2009 Pan Mass Challenge

This past August 1st & 2nd I participated in the 2009 Pan Mass Challenge (PMC) for the first time. I, along with 5,000 other riders, rode 187 miles over 2 days as part of an effort to raise money for cancer research. So far, I have risen just over $3,000.

100% of rider raised funds goes straight into the Jimmy Fund, where it goes to support research and treatment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

It has been quite a journey for me as I have learned from so many people how cancer has touched their lives. Then in June, it became real personal.

Right before this years ride, my Step-Father, Rod, was diagnosed with Renal Cancer. On August 6th he went in to have his kidney removed. Thankfully the cancer was contained and hopefully that will be that.

If you would like to sponsor my ride, you can do so directly on my PMC Profile page [], where I wrote about a classmate of mine from high school who battled with cancer. Or you can go directly to the following secure eGift link:

You can also write a check made out to “Pan Mass Challenge” and mail it to me:

Martin Middelmann
257 Daniels St.
Franklin, MA 02038

Sunday, August 2, 2009

PMC Just Reward

PMC Just Reward
PMC Just Reward, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Mmmmmm... Harpoon UFO...


Mark, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Canal Path

Canal Path
Canal Path, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Enjoying the Sunset

Enjoying the Sunset
Enjoying the Sunset, originally uploaded by Martinator.

From earlier this morning.

From earlier this morning.
From earlier this morning., originally uploaded by Martinator.

Approaching Franklin earlier this morning.

Dighton Stop

Dighton Stop
Dighton Stop, originally uploaded by Martinator.



IMG00546.jpg, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Franklin Stop

Franklin Stop
Franklin Stop, originally uploaded by Martinator.

With my girls at the Franklin stop.

PMC Water stop 1

PMC Water stop 1
PMC Water stop 1, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Averaging 17.7.

PMC Start

PMC Start
PMC Start, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Friday, July 31, 2009

PMC Kickoff

PMC Kickoff
PMC Kickoff, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Getting ready for the kick off show to start!

Bike Parking @ the PMC

Bike Parking @ the PMC
Bike Parking @ the PMC, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Lots of bikes.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Pan Mass Challenge is This Weekend!

Quite a Journey...

I am all packed up and ready to get dropped of in Sturbridge(MA) tomorrow. To say that I am excited to participate in my first Pan Mass Challenge is an understatement. I have learned quite a lot as people have opened up to me about their experiences with cancer. It has been quite a journey and I haven't even ridden a mile yet.

In June the ride became much more personal as my step-father was diagnosed with Renal Cancer. He is scheduled to have his Kidney removed on August 6th.

So the Tuesday, after I ride the Pan Mass Challenge, I will head down to NJ to be there for my family.


NOTE: I will still be collecting donation up until the end of September, so don't think it is too late to donate to a good cause.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Over the shoulder

Over the shoulder
Over the shoulder, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Here comes Phat Tuesday on the last training ride before the PMC.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Broken Spoke @ Bike Shop

Bicycles Plus

I dropped off my rear wheel, Shimano WH-R540, at Bicyles Plus+ after work yesterday. They didn't have the spoke in stock so they are going to order it. It should definitely be ready by the PMC Weekend. It would be a bonus if it was ready by this weekend.

At least I got in almost 300 miles of training over my 2 weeks of vacation. Also thankful that the spoke chose to break at the end of my vacation and not at the beginning (or during the PMC for that matter...)

I plan to write a big blog post about my trip to Alabama sometime soon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fairhope Alabama

Fairhope, Alabama (Baldwin County)

Me at White Ave. Pier
Me at White Ave. Pier, originally uploaded by Martinator.

This is where I started all my rides from. That is Mobile Bay in the background.

Monday, July 6, 2009: County 3 to Weeks Bay and Back

Day 1

I decided to go for a short ride to make sure I put my bike together correctly. The short ride became 29 miles.

Getting Pulled in 'Bama
IMG00510.jpg, originally uploaded by Martinator.

On my way back from Weeks Bay Point, I met up with a rider named Lin (short for Marlin). He was down from Tuscaloosa with his family getting some riding time in.

You would't believe how many time I've run into this rider during my first week here. We plan on riding together next weekend :-)

DateDistanceMoving TimeAverageRoute
July 6, 200927.921:34:1817.8 County 3 to Weeks Bay and Back

Tuesday, July 7, 2009: Short County 13 Loop

For some reason I only got in a short ride on the second day. I think I was futzing around too much in the morning and the only way I could get a ride in was if it was a short one. So a short ride it was :-)

DateDistanceMoving TimeAverageRoute
July 7, 200913.470:49:3116.3 Short County 13 Loop

Wednesday, July 8, 2009: County 3 - Figure 8

This is my third vacation down here where I had my bike so I was getting pretty familiar with the roads. Once you are a mile from the shoreline, it is a giant, discontinuous grid of farmland. So I mix it up a little with a figure 8 route.

Marlin Sighting #2

As I pass by the Marriot at Point clear, I see this guy crossing the street. It's Marlin. He is taking a Real Estate Continuous Ed course and he is heading out to his car. What a coincidence. I stop, we talk. I tell him about a bike shop I know of up in Daphne.

DateDistanceMoving TimeAverageRoute
July 8, 2009 22.471:23:0516.2 County 3 - Figure 8

Thursday, July 9, 2009: County 24 - Scenic 98 loop

Typical Shoulder
Typical Shoulder, originally uploaded by Martinator.

This is about as wide as the shoulders get here. Unless of course you are riding along the 4 lane portion of US Route 98.

Guy on a Tri Bike
Guy on a Tri Bike, originally uploaded by Martinator.

I'm headed back to the house on Scenic 98 when this guy on a Tri-bike (Triathlon bike) passes me. Now, where I come from, people on tri-bikes are serious riders, but apparently there is a high ratio of road bikers here who ride Tri-bikes. This guy also has killer calves that come from lots of riding.

Anyway, I see if I can reel him in. I do. It was rather easy. So I am riding his wheel on this relatively flat road and he is moving along at just under 18 mph. BTW, that is not fast given the conditions. He is riding rather erratically also.

So with only two miles to go before I get back I pass him and just go. I'm probably cranking along at 23 mph and leave him in the dust. After a short while he is nowhere in sight. I get back to my starting point and he (eventually) rolls up to me and says "You sure dusted me back there". I didn't mean to, he was just going too slow, but I'm polite so I don't say this out loud. I come to learn that his name is Jackie, and he is from Daphne and is just getting into biking after a 3 year hiatus.

Ah, that explains a lot...

DateDistanceMoving TimeAverageRoute
July 9, 2009 23.491:22:2017.1 County 24 - Scenic 98 loop

Friday, July 10, 2009: Battles Point

I head a little west, a little south, and come back to Scenic 98 through an area called "Battles Point". Then I head to the bike shop in Daphne where...

Marlin Sighting #3

I'm sitting in my car (mini van) on the phone in front of the bike shop when I see Marlin walk past my vehicle into the bike shop. This time I ask for his business card so we can get together for a ride.

DateDistanceMoving TimeAverageRoute
July 10, 200919.931:11:5816.6 Battles Point

Saturday, July 11, 2009: Silver Hill - Weeks Bay Loop

It's Saturday, time for a longer ride. I've heard about a group ride that leaves from the Fairhope Pier @ 7:00 am on Saturday Morning that does 60 or so miles. I get there and I see cars with racks, but no bikers. I later learn that the group meets at 6:30 during the summer, but nobody updated the website.

A solo ride it is then. So I head in a straight line due east toward the town of Silver Hill. Guess what... It's on a hill. I then head south, then west, then south again as I approach the Fish River. I then head over to Weeks Bay Point and ten head back.

Fishermen at Weeks Bay Point
Fishermen at Weeks Bay Point, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Weeks Bay Point is full of fishermen on a Saturday.

Marlin Sighting #4

As I head back I run into Marlin again. He turns around and we ride together back toward Fairhope. He shows me this cool little loop that takes you on a bluff overlooking the bay. We part ways and promise to make plans to ride together next Saturday.

DateDistanceMoving TimeAverageRoute
July 11, 200946.382:49:3916.4 Silver Hill - Weeks Bay Loop

Sunday, July 12, 2009: Rest Day

Legs needed a rest.

Monday, July 13, 2009: 20 Mile Loop

I called this ride my "20 mile Loop" because I am running out of names for these rides. Over the course of this ride my handlebar tape breaks down.

Stupid Handlebar Tape
Stupid Handlebar Tape, originally uploaded by Martinator.

My handlebar tape is falling apart. I'll have to get it replaced when I get back home.

DateDistanceMoving TimeAverageRoute
July 13, 200919.971:16:0815.7 20 Mile Loop

Tuesday, July 14, 2009: Fish River

I'm running out of new roads to ride on. So I explore the roads further inland. I bike along the Fish River.

DateDistanceMoving TimeAverageRoute
July 14, 200928.341:43:3716.4 Fish River

Wednesday, July 15, 2009: Rest Day (Gulf Shores)

Beach Day :-)

Thursday, July 16, 2009: Weeks Bay out and Back

After a day of rest I decide to do an "Out-and-back" ride to Weeks Bay Point. I push it (but not too hard). I want to see how fast I can go. 17.4 mph over ~27 miles on essentially flat roads. That's good, right?

DateDistanceMoving TimeAverageRoute
July 16, 200926.771:32:1317.4 Weeks Bay out and Back

Friday, July 17, 2009: Daphne

I bike north to Daphne along Scenic 98. Now that road is hilly. Funny how a road less than a quarter mile from the water can be so hilly. Or maybe I've been getting used to the flats.

The roads up around Daphne are a lot more congested and less biker friendly because of that. That's just the way it is.

DateDistanceMoving TimeAverageRoute
July 17, 200926.641:38:3616.2 Daphne

Saturday, July 18, 2009: Weeks Bay Bridge - Fish River - Silver Hill - Broken Spoke

Over the course of the week I have been emailing back and forth with Marlin. We decided to meet up n Fairhope and ride together. One problem though...

Marlin Slept in...

He slept through his alarm, which he told me was in another part of the house. Funny how we kept running into each other but couldn't successfully plan to meet :-)

I decide to do a counter clockwise loop taking me south along Scenic 98, east out to Fish River, then north to Daphne. Then back west towards the only Sonic in the area. I though it would be cool to ride into a Sonic and order something from my bike.

Not many turns
Not many turns, originally uploaded by Martinator.

The roads in this region are pretty straight.

Me and Corn
Me and Corn, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Once up on the plateau, everything looked like this.

Me and the historic Marlow Ferry
Me and the historic Marlow Ferry , originally uploaded by Martinator.

I stopped along the Fish River and learned something about the Battle of Mobile Bay:

North winds

During the latter part of this ride I was headed due north directly into a headwind. It felt like I was pedaling through molasses. It was one of the few times I wasn't in the big ring this whole vacation.

Broken Spoke
Broken Spoke, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Broken spoke = end of today's. Ride. 37.1 miles in, only 2.77 miles away from the Sonic I was headed towards. Hope I can get it fixed before the PMC.

DateDistanceMoving TimeAverageRoute
July 18, 200940.082:49:3414.2 Weeks Bay Bridge - Fish River - Silver Hill - Broken Spoke

July 19, 2009: Packing up the Bike

Packed for the Trip Home
Packed for the Trip Home, originally uploaded by Martinator.

All packed up and ready to go home.

I managed to get almost 300 miles of riding in while down on vacation here. It was a good way to train for the Pan Mass Challenge.

DateDistanceMoving TimeAverageRoute
July 6, 200927.921:34:1817.8 County 3 to Weeks Bay and Back
July 7, 200913.470:49:3116.3 Short County 13 Loop
July 8, 2009 22.471:23:0516.2 County 3 - Figure 8
July 9, 2009 23.491:22:2017.1 County 24 - Scenic 98 loop
July 10, 200919.931:11:5816.6 Battles Point
July 11, 200946.382:49:3916.4 Silver Hill - Weeks Bay Loop
July 13, 200919.971:16:0815.7 20 Mile Loop
July 14, 200928.341:43:3716.4 Fish River
July 16, 200926.771:32:1317.4 Weeks Bay out and Back
July 17, 200926.641:38:3616.2 Daphne
July 18, 200940.082:49:3414.2 Weeks Bay Bridge - Fish River - Silver Hill - Broken Spoke

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Broken Spoke

Broken Spoke
Broken Spoke, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Broken spoke = end of today's. Ride. 37.1 miles in, only 2.77 miles away from the Sonic I was headed towards. Hope I can get it fixed before the PMC.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Getting Pulled in 'Bama

Getting Pulled in 'Bama
IMG00510.jpg, originally uploaded by Martinator.

On my way back from Weeks Bay Point, I met up with a rider named Lin (short for Marlin). He was down from Tuscaloosa with his family getting some riding time in.

You would't believe how many time I've run into this rider during my first week here. We plan on riding together next weekend :-)

I plan on a big post about my trip to Alabama when I get back home...

Stupid Handlebar Tape

Stupid Handlebar Tape
Stupid Handlebar Tape, originally uploaded by Martinator.

My handlebar tape is falling apart. I'll have to get it replaced when I get back home.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

First Ride in July

25 miles

I rode 25 miles on Saturday. I saw somebody jogging who was wearing a NerveWire t-shirt. It turns out it was the wife of a former coworker. I found this out by posting what I saw on Facebook. Weird where technology is taking us.

'Bama Bound

After the ride I packed up my bike in the bike case for my trip to Fairhope Alabama. Hot and flat. At least I don't have to pack any winter layers that I was still using on occasion this past June in Massachusetts.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

PHAT Birthday Ride

Happy Birthday to Me!

It has been 3 years since I did my first Century. It was on day 2 of a 3 day, 250 mile ride from High Point, NJ to Cape May, NJ. [].

New Tires

My Conti 4-Season tires were shot. The rear tire had a puncture hole it it (it was also worn flat like a drag racing tire) and the front tire was coming apart at the seams (on the sidewall). So I waited until the last minute to pick up some road tires from the bike shop in Maynard across the street from where I work: Ray and Sons Cycle.

The owner is a bit of a character and I sometimes wonder if he is all there. Their selection of accessories and supplies is very limited. However, like I said, they are across the street.

I walk in and ask if they have any Conti's. "No. We haven't ordered any in a while" was the response. I told him I was looking for a set of road tires, size 700x23. He goes into the back and comes out with Specialized Armadillos and All Condition Sport tires. With such a limited selection I opt for the less expensive (and lighter) All Condition tires.

I really wanted a set of Conti Attack/Force tires, but at least the set I did get was half the price.

I arrive at the PHAT Tuesday ride early enough for me to mount the new tires onto my bike. Of course I mount the rear tire backwards (they're directional). I'll fix that this coming weekend, like it really matters.

The Specialized All Condition Tires

They feel heavier that tires I have run in the past (Conti 4000, Attack/Force, 4 Season). They are meatier and almost feel like I have motorcycle tires. This actually helped me when I lost my concentration descending past the Big Apple Farm and almost ride off the road. I had to quickly brake and turn to avoid going into a ditch. When I did that my bike over-steered a bit but the meaty rear tire regained traction real fast when I got pointed in the right direction.

I'll keep these tires for a while and see how I like them. Maybe I'll get a different set when my personal economy gets better and use these as a spare.

Mistake #1 - The Fast Group

Yup, I tried to hang with the fast group. Yup, I was out of my league. Yup, I burned myself out a bit trying to hang on. Nope, the motivational coaching by the guy in the Team Landry's gear didn't help my legs pedal faster.

I dropped back and rode with the second group. I got dropped by them on Fales St. Not by much though. They were probably 200" ahead of my all the way until 120. Jonathon (blue jersey, blue & silver Trek), and I worked together to try and catch the group. We lost the group on 120 and that is where I got dropped by Jonathon also. I need to get better on the climbs!

Hiroshi came up behind me and pulled me into the halfway point. As he was doing so, Maryellen passed us by riding like she was on a leisure ride on a bike path.

Dam Dogs!

After the rest stop a group of us was climbing onto the Dam by the reservoir. There were three teenage girls with two Chocolate Labs, unleashed. The dogs were running in front of, around, and chasing down the riders ahead of me. One dog was running less than 6 inches along side Jonathon's rear wheel. Not a good situation. I knew I was next. So I grabbed my bottle of Gatorade and got ready. As soon as the one dog started to chase me down, I turned around and gave him a face full of Gatorade from my bottle.

That stopped him in his tracks.

I learned about this trick from the article on How to Deal With Bad Dogs

Play douse the Doberman. If you see big, fast Prince up ahead and know that he sees you, sprinting might not work. Especially if the road is tilting up. Take out your water bottle. Just having it in your hand may make him stay away. If he does come near you, give him a faceful and a loud yell. This distraction will slow him down, though he may come back for more. Just don’t distract yourself and ride off the road.

Mistake #2 - Make Sure the Rear Wheel is "On"

With the dogs behind me I focused on riding with the group I was with. We were slowly reeling in the group ahead of us. The ride around the reservoir it typically moderate as at the end we start to climb up into some rilling hills.

Things are going good when we hit the first climb. "Crunch" "Grind" My rear derailleur is making weird noises as I stand up to attack the hill.

Apparently, when I changed my tire, I didn't tighten down my rear wheel enough. So when I applied extra torque, it torqued the wheel loose. I had to stop and reset the rear wheel. So now the second half of tonight's ride would become a solo excursion.

Summary for this Ride

18.7 avg at the halfway point; 17.4 avg overall.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

40 Miles in the Warwick (NY) Valley


I'm visiting my parents in NJ. I mapped out some ride options and brought my bike. I decided to do the ~40 mile option.

Mile 2: Flat Tire

2 miles into my ride I get a flat tire. Blech... My rear tire is pretty worn dome and there is a big old hole in it. So I pullout a crispy $1 bill and line the interior of the tire with it for reinforcement. Then I install the new tube and off I go.

Big Descent

My mother live on top of a mountain that is probably the second highest point in NJ. Most of my ride will be in the valley. I descend on Barret Road: 1.5 miles from an elevation of ~1,275" to 450". Towards the beginning of my descent I notice there is a lot of play in my rear brakes. I had forgotten to close my rear brakes after changing my rear tire. Oops. I descend without incident checking my speed the whole way.

Rolling Hills in the Warwick Valley

The valley isn't flat. There are flat parts by the black dirt onion/turf farms, but not where I was riding. Refer to the elevation profile at the bottom. Even though I have done 40 mile rides before, this one tires me out. Heat + sun + hills. I stop and rest two times. Uncharacteristic of me for a ride of this length.


I saw a lot of deer along my ride. I even had a baby deer running alongside me at one point.

Distant Hills
Distant Hills, originally uploaded by Martinator.

See those mountains on the horizon, that's my start and end point.

Brady Road

I chose Brady Road for my climb back up the mountain because I figured it has the most reasonable grade. I had also ridden up this road on my mountain bike when I lived here in the early 90's so I was familiar with the climb. Of course that was on a mountain bike with really low gearing.

It wasn't a busy road so I was able to criss-cross it in a zig-zag pattern to take some of the bite out of the 10% grade.


39.69 miles, 14.2 mph average; 3,807" of climbing. Warwick Valley Ride on

Monday, June 22, 2009

An Early 47 on Saturday

Longer Days...

The sun is rising a lot earlier at this time of year. Or so they are telling me. The weekends fill up with kids demands and an ever growing "to do" list around the house. Plus with all that rain the grass is growing like crazy! So the best way for me to get a long ride in on the weekend is to get up real early. This Saturday I got up at 5:00 am and headed out around 5:40 AM. I mapped out a 47 mile route and was looking to be home around 9:00 am.

the weather had been calling for fog, overcast, and slight chance of rain. Well it was foggy, but it was also very sticky. It was around 60° and humid. It was right at the dew point.

Morning Fog
Morning Fog, originally uploaded by Martinator.

The fog wasn't so bad to deal with. It was the "Misting" the constantly hit my sunglasses during the first 15 miles that made visibility poor.

Cleaning My Glasses

It was getting silly. I could clear my glasses with my shirt because it too was getting wet. Not "wet" wet, just wet enough to be useless for cleaning glasses. I stopped off at Cole's Tavern and found some garbage in the parking lot. As luck would have it there was a napkin. I used it to clean off my glasses. Great! Now I could see again! That lasted for a couple of more miles until the "Misting" got them all covered with "wet" again.

Rhode Island

The "Misting" had stopped by the time I hit Rhode Island. I stopped at the Cumberland Farms and reloaded my bottles and cleaned off my glasses. It was beginning to threaten sunshine...

Douglas Turnpike

I have never been on this road before. It is a nice, straight, rolling climb back into Massachusetts through a very rural wooded area. I didn't take it all the way to Douglas, MA. Instead I had mapped out a shortcut back through Uxbridge, MA. There was only one problem though...

End of the Road
End of the Road, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Hathaway Lane ended abruptly as I can upon the cul-de-sac. When I had mapped this out on, the Google map there indicated that Hathaway Lane went all the way through. It was only half right. As you can see, there is a dirt road beginning right at the end of the cul-de-sac. I tried to ride down it, but after 10", I got off. It was too wet, soft, and muddy. I had the "track" I plotted downloaded onto my Garmin eTrex Legend GPS. I has also plotted out the waypoints for each turn. My Garmin was telling me that it was only ~1/10th of a mile to the next turn, which I was gambling on being back onto a paved road. The roads around here were unknown to me and I didn't want to re-route. So off into the woods I went.

Into the Woods I Go...

The "dirt" road I was walking on resembled an old fire road through the woods. It was still drivable if you had a Jeep, or a tractor (The road abutted farmland). Lots of mud, puddles, and mosquitos. Thankfully it was a short walk. The funny thing was that when I got to the other side, this "road" actually had a road sign (yes, it was still called Hathaway Lane).

"Old" Hathaway Lane, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Sorry for the blurry picture. There was a lot of condensation on my BlackBerry. The light at the end of the road turned out to me my next waypoint and it was back onto pavement :-) I probably shortened the lifespan of my cleats a bit, but what is one going to do?

Back on Pavement

It was good to get back on pavement on Chockalog St. I banged as much dirt out of my cleats as I could and got back on the bike. I'll have to remember to re-map this ride when I do it again.

PHAT Encounter in Uxbridge

As I was pedaling up Henry St. in Uxbridge when I saw a rider coming down. I hardly ever see other riders on this road. Soon behind this first rider I saw another coming down. This time I noticed her was wearing a "PHAT Tuesday" jersey. It turns out it was Kevin Robbins. this was confirmed in the thread attached to my FaceBook Status.

Home by 9:07 AM

I got home just as breakfast was hitting the table :-)

47.1 miles by 9:07 in the morning. 14.6 mph average. Not bad I guess given that there was 3,074" of climbing

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Home to Monster - Is it really Mid-June?

Mid-June? Really?

Mid-June? Really? Somebody tell the weather that. It was 50° and cloudy when I left at ~5:45 AM this morning. I almost didn't wear my shell, but I'm glad I did. I was only a few items and a half a layer short of full winter gear. Ridiculous!


~25 miles @ 15.7 mph.

The Shower at Work

It is great having a shower at work

It is not great when you are done with your shower and you realize you left your towel at your desk.

I had to get creative in order to dry off.