biking - dark blue bike1:21:42 20.74 mi (3:56 / mi) +776ft3:48 / mi ahr:123 max:160 weight:139lbs
Out early, but would have been better an hour (or two) earlier. But a whole lot better than in the afternoon.
A ride similar in attitude to many I take these days. Prior to the last couple of years, my rides (usually at times when ailments were limiting my running) didn't vary a great deal. I had a few standard loops that I did often, and then a few more that I did very occasionally. And the pace was almost always reasonably hard.
Nowadays that attitude -- let's see what time I can do on Loop X today -- has disappeared. Instead, I try to come up with a route that offers something of interest. Maybe some place I haven't been. Maybe some sort of challenge. Something to get a bit of unknown into the ride, which seems to make things much more appealing. Sometimes it's going on trails just to see where they go, or see if I can manage to ride them. Sometimes the challenge is just to see how I do on a small part of the ride.
And so for 5 or 10 (or 20 or 30) minutes I am a bit on edge, not knowing how things will play out. And then you see. I really seem to like that.
Today's bit of interest was a few miles on route 63 heading north from the Amherst-Leverett town line. There was a time back in the early 80s when we lived in Amherst and I used to ride along there a lot. But rarely now. But it's got good pavement and a nice shoulder and a series of gently rolling hills. And so the standard hard/easy pattern that often happens, get the heart going, let the heart recover. Just fine.
The challenge came just after this, turned up Jackson Hill Road (dirt), wanted to see how long the climb up to Cave Hill Road would take. I've ridden that section a number of times, but always as the first part of a much longer climb, and therefore not with any sense of urgency.
Today there was a sense of urgency. My reference in such matters is Strava's segments, which are particularly useful because the best local rider seems to have done most any segment you can find, and he sets a nice standard. Usually it seems that on climbs I'll be about twice his time, or a little less.
So on Jackson Hill his best was 4:04, so I thought 7 minutes would be a good goal. I put in a real good effort. 6:24. Very pleased. Enjoyed the effort, enjoyed the result, enjoyed the rest of the no-stress ride home.
biking - dark blue bike1:56:18 21.13 mi (5:30 / mi) +1342ft5:12 / mi ahr:123 max:162 weight:140lbs
Out for almost 2 hours but only 30 minutes was hard work, the rest being a warm-up for about 20 minutes and then just taking a round-about way home. But the 30 minutes in the middle, well, just throwing down the gauntlet for Mr. Phil, his choice, "running" or with his brand new bike.
29:45 to be precise, jeep road to the top of Mt. Toby. I've run up many times, and much quicker, as has he, but just once before on a bike, last September, 32:22. There are two real steep places. I'd made it up the lower one, the traction was reasonable, but the upper one seemed impossible (for me), lots of loose rocks, so maybe 4 minutes of hike-a-bike.
This time the lower one was actually harder, an erosion gulley right down the middle, had to cross it at one point, but had enough momentum, and pretty soon it was behind me. Then just a long slog. Got to the upper steep section. Again, no way. But not so far this time, got back on sooner and managed the upper part of it. And then a good effort on the last flatter bit to get under 30 minutes. Very satisfying.
Quite a few people out. A couple of runners on the mountain plus about 10 walkers, it seemed there must be some rule that walkers had to have a dog with them, because they all did. Then on the roads coming home there were lots of bikers, maybe 30 or 40. Even though by then it was already getting hot and anyone with any sense would already be done for the day. Did I say I overslept? :-)
biking - dark blue bike1:46:11 24.56 mi (4:19 / mi) +1270ft4:07 / mi ahr:121 max:157 weight:140lbs
Another hot day expected so out early enough to have pleasant enough conditions -- upper 70s, light breeze from the south, and humid. But a lot better than going later.
Really nice outing with lots of variety -- some flat with little or no traffic to get started, occasional modest ups to get the heart going, some lovely dirt road sections, and even a section I hadn't been on, though the Horse Mountain saddle just east of Mountain Street Reservoir. Didn't know how bad the short steep section would be. Turned out to be just right, not easy and not impossible. I had good bike control in the rocky section and made it up. Maybe I'm getting a little better at this stuff. :-)
biking - dark blue bike1:25:39 19.3 mi (4:26 / mi) +1165ft4:12 / mi ahr:120 max:159 weight:139lbs
Easy ride mostly, with a few short sections of a harder effort, all the ups except for Rattlesnake Gutter, dirt, which I just sort of moseyed up. Had to get off a couple of times as there were logs across the old road, clearly intended to block any sort of vehicles that couldn't be lifted over. RG is rocky ravine, Gail and I went caving there once many decades ago.