Monday, April 5, 2010

Long Day in the Saddle

Alex and I dropped our daughter off at the parents of one of her friends yesterday morning. They (the parents) are escorting a group of kids to Florida for spring break. Alex and I went to breakfast, then I got on the bike at 11:00 am for a long bike ride.

I pass this house on my way to and from work - It's a cool looking home, but I wonder why they built it in the woods. The woods here are generally less than 40 acres, with crop land all around. Now people are dividing up the woods and building homes inside the woods. By the time they get grass established, trees start dying and they have a large hole in the woods.

This little guy hopped on my arm at the 6 mile mark, and stayed on until somewhere around the 30 mile mark when I turned directly into the strong headwind.

From the point I lost the little guy above, I rode another 25 miles straight into the wind. By the time I got here (the little town of Roanoke), I was pretty well beat.

I stopped by the gas station and bought some granola bars, Gatorade, and water, then hit the road again. This old iron bridge is still in place, southeast of town. It crosses the Little River, which flows into the Wabash River.

When I left Roanoke, I rode with a cross wind for the next 23 miles on this road. The wind was blowing hard enough that I had trouble getting blown around in the gusts, but this was much more preferable to riding directly into the wind. Oh, this road is also a part of Adventure Cycling Association's Northern Tier Route. I turned north just before I got to Monroeville.

The road north was sweet - I had no problem cruising at 20 mph, and for a good long while I was riding at 23 mph! I snapped this photo as I passed through Maples - Maples is just a blip on the map where the road crosses a railroad track.

Pretty soon I passed just east of New Haven, and continued north riding at a magical pace.

When I got home, I had covered 97.5 miles, so I rode to the end of our road and back to make this my first century of the year.

I didn't post this yesterday since Alex had supper waiting for me, and after supper, well, I took the evening off.

I almost forgot, the Brooks saddle I got for Christmas is wonderful. After the long ride I had no soreness, and absolutely no numbness.

Happy riding!


Oldfool said...

I now longer even think of 20 mph on a bike. I did break 10 mph on my 65 pound cargo bike yesterday. First time. Winter has taken it's toll but I'm coming back. 20 mph is not in my future. 100 miles in a day isn't either.

Mike J said...

Great ride. I don't have a century in for this year but it's coming. Way to go.

Steve A said...

Yer ahead of me on the distance in a day so far this year. You even did it without your fork breaking off!

rlove2bike said...

Sounds like you had a nice one. I kept waiting for you to get the tail wind, as I figured it play out. I like rides that start out into the wind so that the winds make me feel strong later in the ride. It looks as though you rode a rural route...small towns...looks nice. Congratulations on the century! !

Jon said...

Cool ride. Congrats on the first Century of the year!

Sometimes I miss the Midwest bike riding, with all the small towns and backroads. Looks like a fun route.

Apertome said...

Congrats on your first century of the year ... very impressive!

I've ridden through some of the towns you mentioned. New Haven and Roanoke, definitely. Maples looked familiar, also.

What time did you finish your ride? I'm trying to get a sense of what to expect in May. Looking forward to riding with you again!

jeff said...

Great job on an early century! I'm hoping for one in a couple weeks. And I have A Brooks on my Surly which got me around South Dakota on the TdK, and around Colorado on a CRMBT. Good saddle.

Big Oak said...

Thanks everyone for your positive comments. Here are a couple responses:

Oldfool - 10 mph with a 65 lb bike is probably worth 15 to 17 mph on any other bike.

Steve - fork is intact!

Jon - yes, most of my riding is on county roads - there are tons around here and even the gravel roads are good to ride on.

Michael - it took me 7 hrs, 9 min ride time, not including the 10 min stop for water and granola bars, plus 3 quick stops to pee, er use the bathroom, er, water the shrubbery.