biking - dark blue bike1:44:15 18.02 mi (5:47 / mi) +1148ft5:27 / mi ahr:112 max:157 weight:136.5lbs
Another venture up on the Mt. Toby "roads," this time on South Mt. I've never made it up this, probably the average was having to get off 3 or 4 times, and I didn't make it today either, got off twice, once the way it's supposed to be done (unclip, put a foot down), once not (in this case, got the left foot unclipped but when down on my right side). Right knee hurt quite a bit, but I continued on and after a bit it felt OK.
So I think that will end this little phase of testing my bike as if it were a mountain bike. Nice to know it does well, but no real need to keep confirming my own limits. And nice nice to know what I can manage if I unexpectedly run into some rough stuff.
The rest of the ride was just meandering around bits and pieces of local dirt roads.
biking - dark blue bike1:51:36 14.1 mi (7:55 / mi) +1716ft7:06 / mi ahr:120 max:153 weight:137lbs
Well, this ride ended up different than expected.
I was tired from yesterday, but also intrigued by experiences this week on some rough stuff and how it seemed my blue bike (an "adventure" bike, good tires, decent low gear, disc brakes, but no shocks) was handling much better than I remember my mountain bike doing.
So I thought I would ride a loop I've ridden a few times on the MTB, and see how I did in places where I knew I'd had trouble.
Didn't want to start by climbing right up Claybrook, so I looped around by the Town Park and then headed up North Mt and then over to the gate at the start of the jeep road going up Mt. Toby. Did that whole section rather well, no falls, no need to get off, not really even close to not making anything. The blue bike really is better.
And meanwhile I had some time to think about Phil's attempt to goad me into trying the ride up the jeep trail to the top. Far from the first time for such behavior, on his part and also on mine. :-)
This time I figured I was smart enough to not take the bait, not getting hurt the main priority, but I was still intrigued. Most of the jeep trail is stuff I can handle, or at least I thought I could, but I didn't think I could get up the steep section lower down (a little after the Power Line Power Climb starts), and I was sure I couldn't get up the steep and rocky section up towards the top (after the hairpin).
But I thought, I'm here, let's just go try the first steep section. Or at least let's take a look at it, see how steep it really is.
So I rode over to it, and it looked steep, but also pretty short, and I thought I could get up it. And so up I went, and the tires kept their grip, and with the use of a few of my daily reserve of extra watts, the next thing I knew I was up.
Well, shit, now I had to keep going. The middle section is just a long slog, rocky in places, OK in places. Legs were getting tired. Finally got to the base of the last steep. Maybe a couple of hundred yards long. But the lower part is full of loose rock, with no line that offered much hope of success.
Started anyway, got 10 or 20 yards, it was quickly clear I wasn't going to get much farther, managed to unclip and get a foot down without taking a tumble. Rather pleased with myself.
Except now, well, while I was slogging up the middle section I'd had time to think, and plenty of time to look at my watch, and I knew Phil had taken 35:xx (without hauling an extra 23 pounds of bike like I was, though he does seem to be hauling 14 extra pounds around his middle). And my time seemed to be shaping up such that even with a hike-a-bike I could still get inside 35. But I couldn't dawdle.
And so hike-ab-bike it was. Took about ten steps for my butt to complain, but in the heat of competition you ignore such things. Partway up the steep section it looked like the rest was something I could ride, but I didn't want to press my luck. Eventually hopped back on and pretty soon was at the fire tower, 32;22, very pleased.
And then back down, shocks would have been really nice. Hard on the brakes most of the time and bouncing all over the place and not really enjoying it. 17:52.
The rest of the intended loop to get back home has a bunch more rough stuff, but I said the hell with it, came back very happily on the roads, downhill or a tailwind all the way.
biking - dark blue bike3:49:29 41.49 mi (5:32 / mi) +3051ft5:10 / mi ahr:124 max:160 weight:136.5lbs
Nice ride with Walter and a bunch of folks he knows, 9 of us in all, from Northfield up into SW New Hampshire, including though Pisgah SP, a place I have run many times but never biked. The usual mix of paved, dirt, and other. Lots of stops to regroup, or to figure out where we were going next, or just to take in the scenery. Couldn't have been much nicer.
And I seem to be getting better at getting up washed out and rocky old woods roads than I used to be. :-)
biking - dark blue bike1:31:22 22.03 mi (4:09 / mi) +505ft4:04 / mi ahr:118 max:144 weight:137lbs
Breezy out of the north. Usually I try to start out into the wind so I have it with me at the end, but I was having trouble getting going today so I just pointed the bike south and enjoyed it. For about 20 minutes.
Then it was into the wind for about an hour, though I dodged a fair bit of it by choosing less exposed roads and even a mile and a half of proper mountain biking, a familiar bit just above us, first part of North Mt. Road and then Gunn Road. Discovered the blue bike handles better than the mountain bike, seemed to be able to hit my lines through the rocks and roots and leftover mud puddles better, though there were a few times shock absorbers would have been nice.
And then back out on the pavement, not much more to the north and then the last 5 miles with the wind back behind me.
biking - dark blue bike1:43:28 20.23 mi (5:07 / mi) +1699ft4:44 / mi ahr:124 max:163 weight:137.5lbs
I've been wanting to try the access road to the top of Mt. Tom for some time now. It and Kingsley Hill Road are the two hardest paved climbs in the state -- others, especially Greylock, are (much) longer but not nearly so steep -- and I'd done the latter a month or two ago. This one is shorter (0.9 miles) but steeper, 14.2% average grade with a max of 23%, plus the road is much narrower (maybe 8' wide), with moderately crappy pavement.
But I've ridden enough hills in the last couple of months that I figured it should be doable. At a very slow pace, of course, but still doable.
And so it was. Two moments of concern. The lesser was one moment when I felt the front wheel getting lighter -- usually a precursor to it going airborne -- a problem I often get on steep sections on my mountain bike (because I'm not very skilled). Got that under control quickly. The greater concern was losing my concentration -- was glancing at my watch and the next thing I knew, I was in the tall grass. Fortunately, no bad rocks or bushes right there and I got back on pavement without having to put a foot down.
Time (16:30) was actually a little better than the 17-18 I expected and I still had a little in reserve. Very pleased!