Monday, July 28, 2008

Grant Hill and More

FINALLY, a day with a predictable late afternoon rain threat and no morning commitments, so I started out on a 20-mile Grant Hill Road loop. When I got to the bridge over the Normanskill at the bottom of the climb, the bridge was closed and under repair. I talked to the guys, and they're just doing a temporary repair to the steel deck, so it's only closed for 3 days. It's over 50 years old, and needs a more major rehab, maybe in the fall. They let me walk the bike across, and I started the climb. This seemed pretty easy today, and I cruised down into French's Hollow, where the Normanskill was VERY high going over the dam. When I got to US20, I decided to extend the ride, and headed west to Dunnsville Road. Climbed up that to West Old State, then back to NY158 and County Line Road. This added about 6 miles to the usual 20, and it felt good.

I'll need to ride this route loaded once I get everything packed for the Vermont trip, now scheduled to begin on or about August 20.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

SWC Thursday Night Ride

A humid evening, with rain always a threat, but it never materialized. Rode almost 16 miles in Clifton Park, Round Lake, and Halfmoon, at a very relaxed pace. Beer, pizza, and slides of an Alaska vacation in the host's garage afterwards.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Quick River Loop

Lots of storms around lately, so not very many good riding days. This afternoon turned out better than expected, and it looked like there was time to get out for an hour or two, so I headed to SCCC to do 15-17 miles along the Mohawk, as usual. Temps in the mid-80s and humid, but not bad while riding. Followed the bike path to the end, then out NY5S to NY103, and crossed over to NY5 to return through Scotia for 17+ miles. Passed two guys on their way east from San Francisco. They had stayed in St. Johnsville last night, and were heading somewhere past Albany today, TBD. Not very talkative, and there was too much traffic on NY5 to ride 3 abreast and carry on a conversation, so I bid them farewell and headed on.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Day in Saratoga

Some friends from Long Island were up at their Saratoga condo for the week, so we got together for a short ride and some lunch in town. We did a rolling, and very relaxed, 14 miles, and went to lunch at a crepe restaurant in the city. Good ride, good food, and good conversation.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Morning Ride

The afternoon looked a little iffy, so instead of riding to Thacher Park as I was thinking, I cut that distance in half and rode the usual Grant Hill Road/French's Hollow loop. This ride has become my staple, with some good climbing, good scenery and variety, and a nice twenty miles from my driveway. It's time again for a longer hillier ride, but with lots of hiking coming up next week, it may be a while before I get to that.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mariaville Hills

Tonight's SWC ride started in the West Hill development of Rotterdam, climbed to Mariaville, and then it was mostly downhill all the way back to the beer and pizza. Overall, it was 19+ miles and 1500+ feet of climbing, but I had energy, strength, and gears to spare. I felt really strong tonight, and even though I had a chain throw incident less than a mile in, I still caught the leaders by the top of the first 3-mile climb. Coming down from Mariaville, I felt this surge, and slammed it into my highest gear and took off, approaching 40 mph. The whole rest of the ride was like that, with no energy shortage whatsoever. It made the beer and pizza all that much better.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Battlefield and Corn

It's been a few hot sticky days with t-storms always possible, so not much riding. Holly's bike group was riding around Saratoga Battlefield today, so I went along for a short relaxed ride. Only one other person showed up, and the three of us just reached the parking lot after riding 12+ miles when the rains came again.

After that shower, there appeared to be a break in the action until later in the afternoon, so after lunch, I biked about 6 miles r/t from home to the local vegetable stand, and picked up some fresh corn for dinner. Grabbed a newspaper along the way, and I'm in for the day.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Rynex Ramble

I had done this ride once before a couple of years ago, and knew it was a stiff 3-mile climb. Today, I added 2 more miles at each end by starting at SCCC instead of the Rice Road parking area.

The climb up Rynex Corners Road from NY5S continues for about 3 miles, sometimes steeply up to 9%, but with a few less steep grades. I used every gear I had, and still stopped once to catch my breath. It was a warm humid day, and my heart was pounding. Once at the top, beyond the junction with Crawford Road, the riding improves and is mostly rolling to NY159. From there, it's almost all downhill by almost any route you choose. I need to do more of these before next month's Vermont trip...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A Quick River Loop

Today promised late afternoon and evening thunderstorms, and it looks like the SWC ride may well get rained out. Knowing that, I was going to get out for a ride this morning, but an early batch of showers prevented that. A look at the weather radar showed I had a couple of hours in the early afternoon before things went downhill, so I headed for the bike path, again.

I parked at SCCC and went to Lock 9, returning through Scotia on the other side of the river. Knowing this was a short and fairly flat ride, I pushed the pace a bit, to squeeze out a little more of a training effect than at my usual pace. As it turned out, I averaged 16.6 mph, instead of the usual 14.something. That doesn't sound like much of a difference to a non-bicyclist, but I could certainly tell I was riding hard.