Thursday, May 01, 2008

Two rides today

Despite the first Schenectady Wintersports Club ride of the season being tonight, it was such a nice day that I decided to get out this afternoon as well. I hadn't ridden in a few days because of weather, and needed to take advantage of this opportunity. I decided on the Grant Hill Road loop, which is always a good climb. It seems to be getting easier, which is good news. I extended the usual ride a bit by taking US20 to NY158 to County Line Road to Church Road/Helderberg Avenue. I thought I might cut through side streets via Cold Brook back over to Hamburg St, but instead went straight down Altamont Avenue, a more direct route. Altamont has lots of traffic, but a good shoulder, so the main concern is various forms of turning cars, and a sharp lookout fore and aft was required. About 22.5 miles total.

This evening, since I was the designated pizza pickup guy, I needed to be back earlier than the 17-mile ride would allow. So I started out with that group and cut it short to get back early, only doing about 12 miles. As I was heading back alone, it really struck me how much more I enjoy riding alone. Riding with the group, I was trying to carry on conversation, trying to keep up, having to watch for passing or slowing cyclists, and just not riding my own ride. I felt much more relaxed and in touch with the pure experience when I was riding back after leaving the group. This comes as no surprise, of course, but last night I really felt it clearly.

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