I asked a couple of friends to join me on this 30 mile out and back ride starting in Providence R.I. along the East Bay and into Colt State Park. I wanted to give my touring bike a good shakedown to make sure everything is good before my upcoming short tour of Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. No takers, and I have to say they missed a humdinger of a ride. Everything was near perfect, sunny, mild, no wind and plenty of people willing to chat.
The MUP got pretty busy when the local school let out. Lots of kids ride their bikes to when there is a safe bike way nearby.
I often say that to fellow riders as we are struggling on a group ride. Hills are our friends too. Right?
The sound began as a whisper as I rode my bike on a country road flanked by evergreens. It was the sound of wind approaching me. The trees in the distance begin to rustle then bend. The wave approached and got louder and I could see the approaching gust moving toward me as the trees reacted. I began to tense anticipating the struggle about to begin. The gust hit me with a fury, I was now in a wind tunnel and my speed immediately dropped from 16 to 10, then 8, 6, 4. The wind howled and I had to yell to hear myself say FAAAAAAAACK. Then is stopped but only for a few seconds till the second wave hit. I was struggling to keep moving and knew that if I stopped pedaling hard, the bike would stop moving.
Things improved as the road curved and took the wind out of my face. I was beginning to get into a good spin until I approached a causeway. I would be in the open till I crossed the lake. Again I heard the wind before it hit me head on. The gusts threatened to send me and my bike for baptism in the lake. I finally reached the turn around point and the ride became a hoot.
One hill to climb with a cross wind then it was 14 miles home with the wind at my back. I heard the trees rustling behind me but did not hear the wind. Nor did I feel it. Now I was the wind. The hills turned to inclines, I got into the big gear on the front cog and began to smile. I was in the zone and coasting at 18 MPH effortlessly. I needed to get some food for dinner after this ride, but it was so nice that I took a two mile detour to the market. As I took a left, two kids on BMX bikes coming the other way, turned right on the same road. I decided to pass, gave them a heads up, and let loose. I was very surprised when I looked at my speed o meter and saw the number 26.8 staring me in the face. Not on a hill, on a flat.
Sometimes the wind is brutal, but then again, the wind can be our friend. So can a Clydesdale if you carry and apple on your bike ride.
I’m doing a video and stills shoot next week for a bike event. I needed to check out three routes and work out where I’m going to set up in a variety of places. One ride is 48 miles, one is 25 and the other is 13. There is a staggered start with the longer routes going out first. I’ll be using my car for the shoot, but I did all the research by bike. I have to say that the 48 mile loop has some very spectacular scenery.
On the way out I spotted two guys on the path that I have know for years. One was on foot and the other on a very old three speed. We stopped and chatted for much too long and I decided to move on. I looked away briefly to don my helmet and sunglasses when I hear the thump. The guy standing over his bike tipped over and whacked his head on the fence. He was unconscious, tore a chunk of his ear and the back of his head looked like a bullet exit wound. Two weeks ago, my riding partner was standing over his bike in NYC, fell over and broke his hip. My question…. Who wants to ride with me tomorrow
Yesterday I called the hills on our Wednesday Night Ramble Goldilocks hills. Not too steep, not too flat. My legs told me a different story overnight and this morning. An easy spin or recovery ride is a standard remedy for those aching muscles. I planned on one of those easy, short recovery rides. I ended up doing 25 miles, but it took over 3 hours with all the stops for photos, taking to friends, stopping for coffee, stopping for no reason. It was a good day to ride a bike.
Wednesday Night Ramble in Tiverton RI. Six of us showed for this first Wednesday night ride of the season..Lots of Goldilocks hills. (Not too shallow, not too steep). This and my daily ride around town gives me 27 for the day, which is my average daily miles for the month.
The summer tour is imminent but the route is still undecided. I’m really leaning toward Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard for a short 5 or 6 day ride. West Virginia with the Rails to Trails group is still a possibility.
Rode around the city at lunchtime for a couple of hours. I had planned to ride less because I was going to do an evening training ride. Well, evening rolled around and I decided to ditch the second ride. I took the dogs for a walk on the MUP and there were bikes galore out. It was such a beautiful night that I decided to go for a ride.
I am filming a fundraising ride in a couple of weeks. There are three mileage options, 13, 28 and 45 miles. It’s an Ice Cream Ride where two of the options use basically the same route. The short ride is in a different part of town altogether. I’m going to ride the longer routes in reverse which will allow be to cut across town to get some footage of the family ride down by the waterfront. Tonight I did a practice ride that takes me to two sections where the longer rides converge. This is going to work out OK.
I was about to drive to yoga when the weather on the 8’s began broadcasting. It was raining but the prediction was for the sun to show itself after and eight day hiatus in just a couple of hours. That got me into the garage to check out the “made summer ready” road bike. I’ll keep this short. Continue reading “Three Flats and Sunshine.”→