biking - red bike1:11:40 17.65 mi (4:04 / mi) +1052ft3:51 / mi ahr:134 max:156 weight:137.5lbs
In the first set of hills west of the valley. Very windy, so drove over to Whately to start to skip what I guessed would be the worst of it. Really nice day, actually, the colors have been spectacular this month.
A day when, in the past, I probably wouldn't have ventured out on the bike, a little cool (low 50s), wind about 20 mph gusting to ?, but times change and I expect I'll venture out in a good bit colder weather in the next couple of months. A lot of it is just having the right state of mind.
biking - red bike1:21:28 21.51 mi (3:47 / mi) +195ft3:45 / mi ahr:120 max:143 weight:137lbs
Down to Hatfield and back, virtually flat. Which makes it harder in a way because you have to keep pedaling the whole time. Light SE breeze.
Legs still on the tired side.
A little more from Monday's ride before I forget:
-- Not much wildlife. Two flocks of turkeys, 6 and 10-12, a pileated woodpecker that flew right over me squawking away, a couple of raccoons on the road that weren't going anywhere until the highway department came along to collect them, and a few small snakes and frogs in a similar condition. No bear, no moose. Barked at by a few dogs but none chased me.
-- Very pretty. The fall colors were at their best. The only place traffic was bad was on route 20 towards the end, but there was a nice shoulder. Lots of places I'd never been before.
-- I spent some time studying the route, trying to memorize as much of it as I could, but I should have spent more time. Meaning, I knew where the big hills were, and about how big they were, but some of the medium-sized ones caught me by surprise. There were a few times in the last 30 miles when I cussed a few times, having just come around a corner and spotted a hill I wasn't expecting.
I had the cue sheet with me, looked at it a few times to see what the distance was to the next turn, and that was helpful just so I didn't have to worry. But I should have marked the climbs on it (the vertical). I think I did that once on a century ride and was glad I did. It just seems to make it easier if you know what's coming.
biking - red bike49:14 12.28 mi (4:01 / mi) +379ft3:54 / mi ahr:114 max:157 weight:137lbs
Legs were sore and tired yesterday, definitely better today though not to the extent I was feeling ambitious. Short and flat ride to check a couple of the local (avian) watering holes.
Two different cars took runs at me, unintentionally by all appearances. Fortunately my defensive riding was tuned in enough that I could take evasive action without it being too close a call, but I really need to be even more alert all the time, just assume that every car is going to doing something stupid. If you get hit, it's not much of a comfort that it was the other person's fault.
biking - red bike8:16:12 108.76 mi (4:34 / mi) +8543ft4:15 / mi ahr:140 max:162 weight:138lbs
A long day on the bike, though not without its rewards.
I'd wanted to do a century ride sometime this year, but so far I'd been stymied.
First possibility had been at the Tour of the Litchfield Hills, but I wisely opted for 75 and even that was a little too much.
Second possibility was at the Kelly Brush ride in Middlebury, VT. I'd done the 100 last year. It has some hilly sections but nothing of great substance, and the 100 miles passed then about as easily as one could hope for. But this year Gail was interested in coming and doing the 25, and it seemed unfriendly to disappear for 6 or 7 hours, and so I happily did the 50.
Third possibility was 8 days ago, the Great River Ride in the hills to the west of us. But the forecast when I woke up was for rain, just not very appealing, and so I bailed.
But the course was still out there, the cue sheet was on the web (just incase the route wasn't well-marked), and the forecast for today seemed OK. So off I went.
It was a long day. The route was actually 108+ miles. The climb was serious, 7-8,000' depending on who did the measuring, and it certainly felt like that, or more. The legs felt tired to start and they never got better. I'd put on a long-sleeve shirt because I was worried about being cold up in the hills, but it just meant I was usually too hot.
And yet, I need days like this. Days with a sense of adventure. Days when you test yourself, find out whether you do or don't measure up to whatever goals or standards you have set. Days when you see how good you are at dealing with adversity.
And this day worked on all those levels.
That's not to say it was a lot of fun. For starters, several hours spent going uphill, just hard work and the legs getting more and more tired. Eight plus hours on the bike put the hands and the arms and the neck and especially the butt to the test. But they all more or less survived. And while part of the planning had been to make sure I knew several ways to cut the course short, I never really considered that.
And so there was a fine sense of accomplishment. Two days after my 72nd birthday, I will call it a ride to honor that day (though 72 miles would certainly have been enough for that purpose). And throughout the day I didn't feel like I did any dumb things. Brief stops at four general stores, usually for more fluids. No close calls. Paced myself up the hills reasonably well. Never missed a turn.
But I would not be honest if I did not also admit that there were many times I said to myself, I'm not doing this again, it's just too hard. Once is surely enough.