Monday, October 29, 2007

Any excuse for a ride

On Friday, since it was my day off, the weather was nice, and S.O. was riding with her usual group of seniors, I joined them for a ride from SCCC out to the railroad dead end and back on the bike path. Except that I rode to SCCC from home first. And then I left them, rode out NY5S to Lock 9, and came back through Scotia. And then rode home through downtown. I stretched a 15-mile ride to 23 miles with this extra effort, and didn't use the car to do it, which was kinda cool. Temps were in the low 40s, so it was cool enough for wind-stopper fleece gloves for the first half of the ride. Not sure how many more rides will be possible, except on weekends and days off, since DST is about to go away, and it will be dark VERY early after next weekend. The goal is now 1,600 miles, and I only need another 42 to get there.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The season continues...

The October weather has been warmer than normal, and despite the shorter daylight, I've been getting in a few rides.

I've done a couple of short errand rides on the MTB, and it's working out well. A 3-mile round trip to CVS and the ATM proved that could easily be done, especially since I didn't need to carry anything that wouldn't fit in a pocket. Then I made a 5-mile round trip to buy some late-season corn. This involved wrapping a soft day pack around the top tube with a bungee, and then carrying the corn home on my back. This also worked OK, but the size of what can be carried this way is pretty limited. But I like the idea of biking to a destination for a reason, and will probably be doing more of this.

Yesterday, I continued that theme with a longer road ride. I parked east of Amsterdam, crossed the Mohawk on NY30, and rode NY5 out to Tribes Hill. There, I crossed back over the river and stopped at the Schoharie Crossing Visitor Center (rest room!), and continued on out the Erie Canalway to Karen's for lunch. Stowed some cider donuts in my handlebar pack and returned to the car via the bike path, for 19 relaxed miles total. The advantage of crossing the river as I did is that I only had to ride the bike path in one direction, avoiding the potential boredom it might cause otherwise. And there's a long gradual climb of several hundred feet going up to Tribes Hill, with a nice downhill to Fort Hunter back across the river. Nice ride, and easily done.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Winding down

No biking last weekend. Went hiking on Saturday, and the rest of the weekend was less than ideal weatherwise.

Replaced the rear tube of the old trainer bike - the flange around the valve was too big, and wasn't allowing the tire to seat all the way. I still have a minor bulge there, but at least now it's rideable. Doing about 20 minutes a day in the early morning, with a couple of sprints thrown in. Feels good to be doing SOMETHING.

The new seatpost arrived, and I put it on the old junker MTB. Adjusted the handlebars and seat as far as I can, and it's ready for action. Dropped a letter at the post office by bike at lunch today, and it wasn't a bad ride. Little concerned about the brakes, and that would be the next item to address, if anything. Now I just have to start using it for all those little short runs for milk and other small errands. It will live in the garage instead of the basement as encouragement to do just that.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Another River Ride

Went hiking on Saturday, climbing 2375 feet in about 2 miles, and my legs were SORE on Sunday. But it was another very nice day for a ride, so off I went. I fully intended this time to push all the way to Amsterdam and do 32 miles, and when I reached the 15-mile turnaround point, it really seemed like that would be way less than enough. All went well, the raised seat giving me better extension and an easier ride. But my butt's out of shape, and started getting sore. Then, around 20 miles, my aching legs had had enough. Too bad I still had 12 to go. Slogged back to Schenectady on NY5, and finished in a little over 2 hours, at a 15.4 overall pace. Not bad, but the second half just wasn't fun. Now at 1506 miles for the season, so anything more is just icing on the cake.

Another month or so of sporadic rides, and then back on the trainer. Changed the rear tire on the old bike, putting on a worn "trainer tire", and got it set up, though with a bulge that may get to be annoying. Need to check the rim tape in that area - think I may have added some for flat protection.

Ordered an extended seat post for the old MTB, thinking it may be usable for local errands and such. Odd diameter, so hard to find. Ordered from an LA craigslist listing - will see how it works out.