biking - dark blue bike10:49 2.65 mi (4:05 / mi) +4ft4:04 / mi ahr:106 max:117 weight:138.5lbs
Supposedly I should warm up a little if I'm going to climb a hill. So I warmed up a little.
biking - dark blue bike2:44:21 22.94 mi (7:10 / mi) +3176ft6:20 / mi ahr:133 max:159 weight:138.5lbs
And then, or so it occurred to me on the way home, I used Alex once again for inspiration, the key word in this case, and one that she is quite familiar with, being "suffer."
It was not a good day in general. Perhaps because I made some bad decisions, perhaps it was going to be a bad day anyway.
Doing the climb up the north side of Greylock was not in and of itself a bad decision. It struck me as a perfectly reasonable thing to do. But --
-- I really didn't need to do it on a weekend, especially not on a weekend in the middle of leaf season, and really especially not on a weekend in the middle of leaf season when the weather was absolutely perfect. Pleasant temps, bright sun, gentle winds. The place was packed. No problem with the one other biker or one runner. It was the zillion cars and motorcycles. Didn't directly cause any physically suffering, and certainly no one hit me, but the place is so much nicer when it is deserted.
-- I really didn't need to pick a warm day. It was 50 at dawn, but mid-70s by early afternoon. For me that is hot. Too hot.
-- I really didn't need to pick the warmest part of the day. The sweat was just pouring off all the way up.
Eventually I made it up, barely. Stopped at the top to have a drink and a snack, also to consider my options. The original plan, down the south side, a left at the bottom, up a dirt "road" called Quarry Road, part of a shorter way back to my car than any fully paved option, didn't really appeal to me, had some climb and more climb was the last thing I wanted.
Another route I considered was a dirt road angling down to the west to hook up with Rt 7, coming back via Williamstown. But I didn't know anything about the road condition, and where my car was would add a couple extra miles to that route.
And then I remembered one other route I'd been thinking about -- just after Jones Nose take a left on Old Adams Road, follow it around the mountain a bit to the east, then drop down to paved roads just above Adams. Been on that "road" at least 10 times, all 15-30 years ago, tail end of the Greylock trail race. Should be OK and I was curious to revisit it.
So off I went. Heavy traffic all the way to Jones Nose, but it was downhill and I could keep up easily and I just placed myself in the middle of the lane and worked on my bike handling and never felt the least bit threatened. Best part (and only good part?) of the ride.
Turned onto Old Adams Road. Sign said 4.5 miles to the trailhead above Adams. And it quickly turned into the final bad decision, really bad, a totally miserable 4.5 miles it was. Rocky, overgrown, rocky, eroded, rocky, lots of fallen leaves covering a lot of the rocks, and, of course, rocky. Close to an hour of me (and the bike) being shaken, sometimes rather violently. No falls but needed a couple of hike-a-bikes.
Eventually it, like the climb up Greylock, also ended. A few easy miles back to the car, mostly downhill.
Certainly battered, but, to use another Alex phase, I don't think actually broken. :-)
And my wonderful bike, well, it can rest assured it's never going on Old Adams Road again. Saw one other guy out there, full suspension, fat tires, looked lots better. But we chatted for a moment and he wasn't having any fun either.
Time for the climb: 79:35 vs 80:45 in 2015 and 77:15 last year.
biking - dark blue bike1:20:00 20.46 mi (3:55 / mi) +471ft3:50 / mi ahr:119 max:153 weight:138lbs
Beautiful fall afternoon, bright sun, 70F, modest NW breeze. Hip was a little sore from where I landed on it yesterday, but it seemed less so as the day went on, so going out was pretty much irresistible.
Up this side of the river, back through Old Deerfield. Stopped at the Canalside Bridge to admire about 50 mergansers. And didn't fall off today.
And also discovered that the careful and precise placement of my preferred item of first aid -- duct tape -- deals very nicely with a sore spot on my butt. Sorry, no photos, this log is (almost) always in good taste. :-)
biking - dark blue bike1:17:48  15.95 mi (4:53 / mi) +328ft4:47 / mi weight:138.5lbs
Well, if I wasn't already, I certainly was in the ranks of the stupid today. Fell off my bike for the third time this year. Speed at the moment was about the same as the other two times, well under 1 mph, but a fall is still a fall. Because of the way my right foot points, I have a harder time unclipping on that side, and once again that was the side I went down on. Hip is a little sore, but no damage.
Other then that it was a fun and interesting ride.
Started off just as multiple sirens were going off, so headed in their direction. About a third of a mile towards town a car was now parked in a driveway where it wasn't supposed to be, having gotten there by destroying half the hedge in front of the house. But no harm to anyone, the driver slept through the whole thing.
Chat with folks for a few minutes (the farmer who plows our driveway lives next door, and he and his wife were taking in the scene), then move on. Plan for the day was slow and easy and also exploring a few back "roads" in the area.
Before long I was in mountain bike mode for not quite a mile (this is when I fell off, didn't see a patch of loose sand under the leaves, suddenly the front wheel was going sideways), checking out the start of one of the roads up the mountain.
Then out to the flats, first a visit to a recent subdivision (all paved), then headed down a farm road to see if I could get over to the main road (116). At one point I was following a pick-up, and then the farm road stopped, and he stopped. And he inquired, perhaps with a touch of hostility, what I was doing there, but after a bit of conversation he was telling me how to get over to 116 via his cousin's land, all very friendly.
Rode off from there, thinking I wonder how differently that would have gone if I had been black (or maybe I never would have gone exploring in the first place).
Meanwhile I'd flushed a pheasant, reminded me it was hunting season. Within a few minutes I was out at 116, three cars parked there, three men, two dogs, all wearing orange. Out looking for pheasant...
Turned back toward Sunderland, then over to River Road, then another farm road. Got me right over to the river, but then the road ended. Thought I could just ride north along the edge of the last field, looked like some winter rye was planted there, maybe 6" high. I got about 50', the soil was loose and deep, and I quickly ground to a halt. But successfully unclipped!
Back to River Road, a bit more meandering, eventually one more short bit of farm road over to the river. And then home with about 5 minutes to spare before it would be getting too dark to ride.
biking - dark blue bike1:04:50 16.1 mi (4:02 / mi) +360ft3:57 / mi ahr:121 max:151 weight:138lbs
I was less than 5 minutes in the workout when it crossed my mind that it must have been inspired by Phil, or maybe Charlie, or maybe Alex, but I couldn't decide which. Maybe all three?
The inspiration, of course, was that the best way I could think of to describe my ride up until then was "stupid" -- though "really stupid" would also do just fine.
See, I rolled out my driveway, planning a mellow ride of a short duration, the legs still feeling not the best. In a minute or so I passed Claybrook Road on my left, a nice little hill that I almost never do (except for one time on a bitter cold winter day I did it 8 times, so that I'd never gat far from home in case my body froze).
And in an instant I thought, let's see how fast I can get up Claybrook, and since I remembered doing it in 3 minutes or a bit more, let's see if I can do it in less than 3 minutes.
So 2:57 later I roll past the corner at the top, gasping, legs complaining mightily, thinking how stupid was that, no warm-up at all, and then I spent the next five minutes laughing about all the stupid workouts P or C or A have done over the years.
Though, to be fair, I suppose I should be included in that list too. :-)
The rest of the ride, well, surprising good. The 2:57 seemed to wake the legs up rather than kill them. I put out a decent effort for a few miles, then stopped for corn (right on 2 minutes, I think), then a few more decent miles over the bridge to Whately to check for ducks at Tri Town Beach (just 3 lonely Ruddy Ducks), and then one last energetic bit back home, feeling really quite good.
So is the inspiration from P/C/A stupid, but also effective? Should I start every ride like this? And if so, should I make sure I have "911" on speed dial?
biking - dark blue bike2:43:05 35.31 mi (4:37 / mi) +2239ft4:21 / mi ahr:125 max:153 weight:137.5lbs
Up to Shelburne Falls via Conway, back by Old Albany and Upper Roads. A couple of dirt sections, hills here and there, a route seemingly chosen to maximize the headwinds. No big deal. The only takeaway was the legs were still tired and I seemed to be going rather slowly.
But I only got off the bike once, and that was to get across some railroad tracks that were being reconstructed and where the road was closed to cars but open to bikes. :-)
biking - dark blue bike1:21:05 19.05 mi (4:15 / mi) +633ft4:08 / mi ahr:115 max:139 weight:137lbs
Legs were tired and a little sore from yesterday, but I figured an easy ride wouldn't hurt, plus got to start get used to cooler weather. Up the west side of the river to the old railroad bridge, back down this side. A gear (or two) lower than usual most of the way.
Windy from the north and mid-50s, sure felt colder. Hands especially were getting cold, could have used full-fingered gloves.
But it will get a whole lot colder before long.
So far I've done 4,070 miles on a bike this year. Doing the last 930 of the plan will probably not be easy....