Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New Perspective

For the past few months I've been in a blog-funk because I've lost my camera - no idea where it is, and I haven't seen it for several months.  I have an iPhone, but have any of you tried to take a photo with an iPhone while you're riding?  It's pretty dangerous, and I won't endanger any of my cycling mates or myself by trying to take photos while I'm riding.  I can't figure out how to take good photos with the phone, anyway, even when I'm not riding.

However, my daughter, Georgia, left behind her camera for me to use when she headed back to college.  Now I can photographically record cycling-related stuff again on the roll because her camera is small and very easy and relatively safe to operate with one hand.  So now I have a revitalized perspective and am excited to have full photo capabilities again.


This past Sunday we headed over to Convoy, OH, passing by the wind farm on the IN-OH state line.  Heading east from Ft. Wayne the land lays flat as a table, which usually is a benefit to me.  Hills are not my friend.  We've been in the hills west and north of town the past two weekends, so I was happy to be on the flat again.


 The group rides have gotten noticeably faster over the past month, and it's tough for me to hang on the full distance now when I try to ride near the front.  On each of the past two club rides I got to the two-thirds way point and dropped back to draft, only to fall off the back.   

  I've committed myself to riding near the front as long as I can on each ride to help make up for all the drafting I've benefited from over the past several years.  Hugh suggested maybe I don't have to try to make up for all that drafting on each ride.

Not a bad idea.  I hope I can remember that on the next ride.

On Sunday, I fell off the back, but I was able to work my way back up to these two guys, Greg (in the red) and Chuck (in the yellow).  These two guys were early members of the club back in the 70's when it was formed.  They're both still very active in the club and don't miss very many rides.


I've welcomed another bike into the family - this 70's or early 80's Ross women's bike from our neighbor across the street.   He sold his house and put this out on the curb.  I couldn't resist taking it in and giving it some love and attention.  It was his mother's bike from a long time ago. 

The tires are badly weather-checked.  I think they may be the original tires?  Or at least really, really old as the sidewalls are peeling off of the tire casing.

Mechanically the bike is in excellent condition.  I'm going to clean it up good and put a new saddle and bar tape on it, then let Alex see how she likes it.  We're thinking of giving it to her Little Sister, but I'm going to try to find a smaller bike for her. I think this bike will be too big for her.

 I'm thinking this might be an entry-level road bike for Alex.  She fits really well on the bike, and I'm hoping she might feel more comfortable riding this bike 30 or 40 miles (or more?!?).  Her Cannondale Hybrid bike is terribly heavy, and it is tiring for her to ride for more than 30 miles. 

We'll see.

This weekend we make our annual Labor Day Weekend pilgrimage to Door County, Wisco for our fall bike wing-ding.  I love riding the back roads of the Door, and can't wait to get a chocolate malt from Wilson's General Store.


In other news, I ran my first 5k race in over 20 years last Saturday.  I didn't come even close to a personal best, but that's not what I'm after.  I've been running regularly with Alex since early April, and I am overjoyed to simply run comfortably again.  I never thought I would feel the wind in my hair again.

Actually, I can't, because I don't really have any hair left.  But if I did, it would feel great. 

How I miss the long hair days of my youth.

Happy riding!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My Job is Done

One of my goals this summer was to ride near the front of our club rides so I can help pull. The last few years I rode near the back, just trying to hold on. This year, though, I've been able ride near the front.

Yesterday I helped pull for 48 miles, either directly into the wind, or into a crossing headwind. Once we got to the 48 mile mark, we turned for home, and had a tailwind for the last 17 miles. The group took off, while I decided to mosey back at a more leisurely pace.

I was happy to ride back alone since I was able to help pull. However, Tim and Julie slowed up a bit, and we had an enjoyable ride back.

On this morning's club ride I realized I'm lucky to have a great group of folks with which to ride.

Happy riding!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Back From Vacation

We spent all of last week up on Lake Vermilion in northern MN fishing. The lake was very warm, and the fish were scattered.

I did get some riding in, and four of us rode on the Mesabi Trail. I was even talked into going down into the Soudan Mine - an abandoned iron mine which is now a MN state park. We were crammed into a cage and dropped down a shaft 3/4 mile into the earth. I'll never do that again.

Those old boys literally worked their fingers to the bone so their descendants could live better lives than they did.

I'm glad to be home, but I miss the nort' woods.

Anaway, happy riding, eh?