Friday, June 25, 2010

I'm Way Behind on my Bike Blogging

I'm Way Behind on my Bike Blogging...

...but I have been biking. Mayby this weekend I'll fire off a rapid number of updates.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tim's Ride

Tim's Ride

Tim is the captain of the PHAT Tuesday PMC team. The first time I rode on the Tuesday evening rides he rolled up next to me and said "Don't kill yourself trying to catch up (to the fast riders who just dropped me)!"

This was a 55 mile rider that meandered around Metro West. Tin, his brother Mark, and I were the only ones who downloaded the ride to our respective GPS units prior to the ride. Mark and I were the only 2 riders who did the entire route correctly.

The "pack" missed a turn in Westwood. Tim set out using 21st century technology (a cell phone) to track them down. I rode with Mark wondering if: a) we were going to catch up to the group b) the group was hopelessly lost.

It had turned out it was b). Mark needed to make a pit stop and we were at a point in our ride where we weren't going to pass any more convenience stores or gas stations. However I knew we would be passing the Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Norfolk. They had bathrooms and a "bubbler".

While Mark was inside I figured I would stand by the road and see if Tim would catch up to us. In less than a minute, I saw a pack of riders approaching. It was Tim and the lost pack. Talk about timing.

Tim was nice enough to route the ride right past my house. So when I got home I stopped and waved as everybody else rode by :-)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hot Day in Coventry


For this lunch time ride I decided to keep it simple. I mapped out a 6 mile loop of all right turns and did it twice. It was hot out. I really didn't check the weather before heading out. It was sunny and in the middle of the day, so I expected it to be hot. I didn't realize until I got back that it was in the lower to mid 90's.

I kept well hydrated and kept moving so I didn't get Heat Exhaustion. I had thought it was odd that I burned through 1½ bottles of Gatorade during a short 12 mile ride. That and I noticed salt stains on my RoadId wristband.

Despite the heat I had a very enjoyable ride.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

PHAT Tuesday Ride: Marty Sucking Wind

Need to ride more

I was sucking wind by mile 5. Stupid me trying to hang on to Ed's wheel early on in the ride.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

PMC Route and Tower Hill

South to Tower Hill

It was a nice day and I thought it was about time I hit Tower Hill. So I headed due south. I climbed over Summer St and connected with the PMC route in Wrentham. I followed that until I got near RI. Then I took a shortcut past the reservoir.

Tower Hill

Tower Hill Road in Rhode Island is always a work out. There is a very steep grade at the very bottom. Then it is a rolling ascent to the top. It always feels good to get to the top.


On my way home I stopped at a friends house. I saw his Mountain Bike parked out from so I figured he was out and about. I pulled in and we chatted for about a half hour.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Inagural Biking at Work

Coventry, RI

I just recently started a contract position in Coventry, RI. It is essentially in the middle of RI. It also feels like the middle of nowhere. It is too far to bike commute to (45+ miles each way), so I have to figure out another way to get some mid week riding in (Outside of the PHAT Tuesday Rides). One option is to park in Cranston (or West Warwick) and take the Washington Secondary Bike Trail in.


I could just bring my bike to work and ride it at lunchtime.

Someday I might try the "Drive-park-bike" combination commute. However I figured I would try the lunchtime ride first. I mapped out a number of < 15 miles rides that I figured I could squeeze in during lunch.

So that's what I did this past Monday. This area is hilly. I rode north, then west out to Rt. 102, which apparently is 300-400 ft. higher than my starting point. Coming back I went down a 12% grade. that was fun, but not something I want to do every day. In the future I will ride the other routes that do not have that steep grade.

It felt good to get a ride in during lunch.

NBW Arrows

I noticed some NBW Route markers painted on the rod along this ride. I did some quick investigation and determined that they were for the NBW Club's "Tom & Pat's Half Century" Ride, which stars in Coventry, RI. I more or less did the 19 mile option.


Since I was in the middle of unfamiliar territory, essentially alone, I made sure to update my RoadID information with my new work address and my manager's contact information.

If you do not have a RoadID, I highly recommend you get one.

Last Saturday...

An Afternoon to myself

My wife had a friend visiting and they took the girls to the Outlets to go shopping. That gave me the opportunity to go out for a long ride.

North to Holliston (then flying blind...)

I started out by heading north and west through Medway until I got to 126, then I kept on going north. When I got to where 126 met 16, I went straight. Now normally I like to preview a route on a map so I can get an idea of where I am going. I know the road on the other side of Rt 16 went somewhere, but I had no idea where. Sometimes you just have to go.

So this blind journey took me through some back roads and eventually through some more residential neighborhoods. I didn't know where I was going, but I knew I was going north and west. I also saw that the house numbers were decreasing so I knew I wasn't going down a dead end.

To my surprise I wound up coming out right nest to the Out Post Farm in Holliston, MA.

I once again knew where I was. From there I headed east (ultimately to Dover) trying to stick to back roads and trying out new back roads. I cut through the Industrial park in Holliston (Lowland St. & Jeffrey Ave.). Not very scenic, but zero traffic on a Saturday afternoon. I was looking for a road that ran parallel to 16 and cut over to Hollis St. in Sherborn. I found it :-)

After reaching Dover center I headed back south through Medfield and Norfolk. I passed by a lot of nice houses.

My goal was to hit 40 miles. I did 38. Close enough.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cold, Slow, Phat Ride...

It's May, Right?

Overcast, just under 60° F (and dropping), it was cold. Long bike pants, feather weight thermal under my North Face Shell and I was still a bit chilly.

I rode with the slow group, only they weren't as slow as h was. I got dropped at mile 4.5 on Burnt Swamp road. Thank goodness there was an even slower group behind me that I was able to jump onto. That group was being pulled by Jamie, the newest member of Team PHAT Tuesday. I was determined not to get dropped by Jamie, so I rode tight on his wheel and matched every gear change a change in cadence that he made. By doing that I was able to settle down and get into a groove.


Last September 1st I did this ride in 1:21:38, averaging 18.4 mph. Tonight I rode it in 1:34:27, averaging 15.9 mph. It was my slowest PHAT Tuesday ride on record.

Well, it can only get better from here on out.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesday Morning - Last Day of Unemployment

Nice Weather

It was a perfect morning for a ride. I debated on whether or not to go because I was planning on joining up with the Phat Tuesday ride later that evening. However there was a chance of thunderstorms in the evening.

I decided that the weather was too nice to NOT ride, so I went out for a 20 mile ride in the morning. It was a sweet ride :-)

Phat Thunder

It's a good thing I got that ride in. There were severe thunderstorm warnings for right when the training ride was supposed to happen. We're talking about hail, 70 mph gusts, and other fun stuff. I think about 10 people showed up. Then the winds came, then it rained. I knew more was on the way. The ride was cancelled. Simply unsafe even if it did stop raining

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Quick 16

Squeezing in a Quickie

In between a lunchtime First Communion celebration for my neighbor and an extravagant birthday party for a 4-year old in the late afternoon evening, I managed to squeeze in a ~16 mile ride.

I'm glad I didn't go longer because my wife said we had to be at the birthday party by 4:00 and I heard "we have to leave by 4:00". Oops! Oh well...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tax Day Ride


Today I had a short window for a ride, so I decided to do a variation of my old benchmark ride around Franklin. Only 15-16 miles.

Kept it in the small ring. This time of year it is more about the miles and less about how fast you go.

Tuesday Ride with Scott

FaceBook Message

Scott sent me a FaceBook Message early Tuesday morning: Want to go for a ride? Yes.

It was a chilly morning. It was 33° when I got up. So, with memories fresh of last Wednesday's 80° sunny weather, I don my feather weight thermals, my long bike pants, and my shell and head out. Thankfully, I dressed just right :-)

I met Scott at the town common in Franklin. Scott was planning on doing the PHAT Tuesday ride later that evening, so we had an easy "conversational pace" ride. It was a good ~25 mile ride.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday Ride: Norfolk & Wrentham

Sunny and Chilly

It was sunny and chilly. Somewhere around 60°. I wore my long cycling pants, no shorts today, although I did wear a short sleeve shirt. It was a nice ride and it was good to get out.

Rear Derailleur

My rear derailleur works much better after getting it back from the bike shop. They adjusted it and fixed the hanger which was bent. However it is still making some clicking noises. When it was working perfectly, it was dead silent. So any little noise is noticed. I'll have to keep an ear on it.


Today it is even chiller. It might not break 60° today (it was 33° this morning). I plan on meeting Scott from The Grace Bicycles Velo Club

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Out of Work, Sunny in the 80's, Time to Ride :-)

Contract Ended

My contract ended rather abruptly last Friday. Since then I have stained my deck, contact recruiters, and taken care of a number of other "to-do's". One item was: Clean Bike Chain!

So I cleaned the bike chain on Tuesday, and on Wednesday the forecast was going to be sunny and in the 80's. It was. I went for a ride :-)

I decided to head east and north toward Dover. I wanted to see if Rt. 109 between Millis and Medfield had opened up yet. It had been closed due to flooding. That part of 109 crosses the Charles River is what is known as the Charles River Wildlife Storage Area. This is a big marsh that, due to all the rain, became a temporary lake.

Flood 109

Rt 109 was finally opened. I stopped and took some pictures.


I headed up Center St. from Medfield to Dover. It was a nice ride. Then when I got to Dover Center I turned right and headed south. I didn't realize heading south from Dover Center also meant heading "up".

Rear Derailleur

My rear derailleur was acting up. If I was in the small ring up front and any of the smaller 4 rings in the back, it would skip. And If I stood for extra power, it would skip even worse. Time to take it to the shop.

Need to be back!

Ok, so I am heading back from Dover and I realize it might be tight getting back home before noon. Noon is important because that is when the school van drops off my youngest from Pre-school. So I decide to just take 109 straight back home, foregoing the scenic route. Rt 109 may be busy, but it also has really wide shoulders. So I push it getting home. I make sure not to be in the "big ring" too much as it is too early in the season to stress out my knee. I didn't what to risk incurring the Patellar Tendinitis that has happened to my when I pushed too hard in past "Early Seasons".

I make it home by 11:40 AM, down some yogurt (for protien), shower, and wait for the van :-)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

First Warm, Spring Ride

Rusty Legs, Squeaky Chain, and Brand New Bike Pants

Saturday was the first real warm weekend day we've had this year. I was able to get in an 18 mile ride before our visitors showed up for Easter. I needed to preemptively burn some calories for the feasting we were about to do.

This being only my second ride of the season, my legs were a little rusty. However at this point of the year, it is all about logging miles and staying in the small ring.

I should have cleaned the chain before I headed out. It was squeaking. I should have taken better care of my bike this past winter. Usually I give it a good cleaning over the winter. I didn't this year.

My rear derailleur was also acting up. It had started doing this last fall, but I never took it to the shop. The winter is the best time to take it in but I never did.

Last fall, while at my local bike shop, I was walking out when out of the corner of my eye I saw a pair of Cannondale Chrono 8 Panel Bib Shorts hanging on the clearance rack, for half price. They were in my size! I grabbed them and headed back to the cash register. Saturday was the first opportunity I've had to wear them.

For a cyclist, nothing says comfort like a brand new pair of cycling shorts :-)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Riding with Grace Velo

It's February...

It's February, and the bike isn't even set up on the trainer. I'm not really even thinking of riding when in my inbox arrives an email (from the Grace Velo Bike Club list) about a ride on Saturday at 1:00PM. The weather is supposed to be sunny and north of 40° F. I check the calender. It falls right in a sweet spot where I have nothing scheduled. So I go for it.

A Good Showing

I bike to the center of Franklin where I meet up with about 11 riders. It supposedly is going to be a "Conversational Pace" ride. Some of these guys are retired and ride all winter. Some of them race.

I hang on more or less for the first 10 miles. Andy, with the gray steel bike and 70's era shifters breaks off the ride 2 the Sheldonville Post Office. A few miles down Burnt Swamp road another riders turns around at the RI border (Near Adam's Farm).

I simply try to keep the riders ahead of me in my sights.


Another rider (I am terrible with names) drifts back and we take a short cut. The group is going to "Hammer it" through the "Farm Section". I am familiar with this as it is part of the PHAT Tuesday Training rides I take part in. The other rider hasn't been on a bike since may due to ligament surgery. I am just out of shape.

We reconnect with the other riders and make our way along 120 where I get dropped again. We regroup at the rest stop and I get dropped by the reservoir. I know my way home so I don't mind. Plus, I knew I was still behind the group from the tell tale tire marks exiting the occasional puddle on the side of the road. It felt kind of cool that I was able to "track" them like Locke on Lost :-)

Some of the rides waited at the end of Burnt Swamp Rd (the route came back on this road). I get dropped again on Summer St. Beck at the park there were 2 riders still there. that was nice of them ;-)

Hey, at least I finished :-)

Ride Stats

It was a 30 miles ride (including the ride to and from the start from my house, and the shortcut).

  • Distance: 30.03 miles
  • Moving Time: 2:13:59
  • Moving Average: 13.4 MPH

The Map

For a change of pace I am embedding a Trimble Outdoor Map. Motionbased has essentially been turned off, Garmin connect (it's replacement) is lacking, and I am a bit tired of MapMyRide.