mountain biking2:25:45 21.52 mi (6:46 / mi) +1442ft6:22 / mi ahr:104 max:136 weight:137lbs
Went back to Quabbin, on the east side this time, parking at gate 40. Headed off with the plan to get to the end of Shaft 12 Road, and stay legal. Both accomplished, plus a side trip out to Grave's Landing.
Actually saw a couple of No-Bikes signs, plus the map posted 50 yards in from gate 40 showed all the side trails not on the on-line map as off limits. Though not all that I passed were actually marked as such.
Nice outing, though it got warm by the time I was coming back, and I was parched. Though not so out of it that I didn't get a good look at a moose that happened to show up just ahead of me on Southworth Road. A female or juvenile, no antlers and didn't seem real big. I scared it up the road a few yards and then it cut off into the woods and I never saw it again.
And a slight modification to the helmut, a larger landing area seemed to work, and no FDFs stuck to the helmut itself. Though the numbers look slightly lower. At the rate I'm going there shouldn't be a live FDF in the Quabbin in 5 or 6 months.
mountain biking1:59:28 16.58 mi (7:12 / mi) +604ft6:58 / mi ahr:108 max:142
Maybe 150 of them? First time I tried on a bike helmut. Sure seemed to work.
Another tour of the old woods road at Quabbin, this time on the NE side from gate 33. Lots of stops, sometimes just to listen, sometimes to use the binoculars and/or the camera. Out almost 5 hours, wonderful.
Lots of FDFs, but only bothered me for a couple of minutes in the middle (must have been going through a dense population of them) and then a few minutes at the end (when the blue tape was at capacity).
biking - red bike1:19:07 17.35 mi (4:34 / mi) +1344ft4:15 / mi ahr:125 max:154 weight:137lbs
From the bottom of Jackson Hill road up to Shutesbury and back. First 7 and last 3 miles on dirt. Legs felt better.
A good month of training, a little over 600 miles and 52K feet of climb. Main thing is it has been fun, discovering new places to go and trying different things. Makes it a pleasure to get out, rather than drudgery. And nice that I am going a good job at killing off any remaining competitive instincts.
biking - red bike1:54:54 24.12 mi (4:46 / mi) +1830ft4:27 / mi ahr:121 max:155 weight:137.5lbs
Was up in Northfield, so did a loop there. Included a couple of good hills, one I'd done before many years ago, the other never, but wanted to see where it went. Perhaps the plan should have been adjusted for the fact that my legs were dead, but it wasn't....
The first, Huckle Hill Road up the north side, I remember as being steep enough I just barely made it. It hasn't changed. It is still steep enough to be a good challenge, and that's with a bike that probably has three gears lower than what I used to have back then.
The second, Fox Hill, I just started up not knowing what to expect. It turned to dirt pretty soon, but good dirt, nice hard surface with not much loose stuff on top, so good traction. Steady climb, but nothing special. Until I came around a corner, there was maybe 50 yards close to flat and then the road seemed to go straight up.
At least that part was paved, I guess the Highway Department did that to make winter maintenance easier. I had a few seconds to consider my options (one of which clearly was just turn around) and then decided I might was well give it a try. Probably only a couple hundred yards. I was turning the pedals over best as I could, but so slowly, just enough to stay upright. Thought about switchbacking, but figured that was as likely to cause a problem as help. And eventually I was up. And getting up while staying on the bike rates a complete success no matter how slow the speed. For sure. :-)
mountain biking1:59:49 18.6 mi (6:26 / mi) +2606ft5:41 / mi ahr:123 max:153 weight:137.5lbs
I'm still wanting to get some sort of gravel/adventure bike that would fit in nicely between my road and mountain bikes when I want to go exploring on dirt/woods roads, so today was time for some research on how low the lowest gear needs to be. Counted the cogs on the lower gears on the mountain bike and decided the 4th lowest (ie. still three lower gears) was about what one bike has that I'm thinking about, and maybe 15% lower than what's on my road bike. So the plan was to see if I could get up the hills with that.
Up to Shelburne, first hill was Cooper Lane, maybe 700' climb, dirt, nothing more than 10%, got up that without any distress (which does not mean without any work). So far so good. And then a few miles around and about to get me to Patten Hill Road, maybe 900' climb, maybe up to 14-15%? Wasn't sure I could manage that without dropping into a lower gear, realizing that doing that would essentially constitute failure.
Patten Hill surprised me. The first section (first 200-300' climb) was steep but it was paved. Wasn't expecting that, actually was expecting a rutted dirt road all the way. So made it up that with a little to spare. Then, when it turned to dirt, it was actually pretty decent dirt. There was what seemed like a long section not so steep and about when I started thinking it would be that way to the end, I came around a corner and saw the road was tilting up again. That went on for more than I wished, but again, made it up with something to spare. Pretty sure I could have done the whole thing in one gear higher, not sure about 2 higher. For the record, I was using 22 on the front, 23 on the back, so a smidge lower than 1-1. And if the 26, 30, and 34 on the back were feeling left out, so be it...
So a successful test. And then, since I was in research mode and not that far away, drove up to Pennell Hill Road to see how bad it was and whether I could do that. But it had been graded within the last couple of days. Maybe a dozen cars had been over it, but I wasn't sure how well it really was packed, and there would be no hope if I got out of the track. Left it for another day.