Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Haven't blogged for awhile.  Very busy.  Looks like riding outside is going to be finished for the foreseeable future.   My last ride was a week ago Monday.  Since then it has been cold and rainy.  That means my biking is indoors either on my trainer in the basement or at the Rec center.  I cannot believe there will be no more outside rides until the spring but the long term forecaste is not promising.  I was hoping for one more long ride to Champaign but the prospects look bleak.  No big rides planned for the future but I'm getting wanderlust so I will have to look into another adventure.  More later.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Fat Tire Ride completed.  Joining friends the ride around Lake Geneva WS was another success.  By that I mean, there were no accidents, bike breakdowns, punctures or any other incident that would distract from the enjoyment of the experience.  Brian, our first time rider was surprised at the amount of hills and their grade; especially the last hill where 90 percent of the riders become "walkers".  Only Roger and I from our group did not walk the hill.  But, of course, we have many miles of those type of hills in our past.  So, a good time was had by all. 
On another note, I just passed 4,200 miles on my new bike purchased in April. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Almost 4,000 miles on new bike.  Couple of interesting rides lately but back in the saddle. Next ride will be the Fat Tire ride around Lake Geneva WS.  Will be joined by Roger,  Rick and newcomer Brian who is visiting from England.  This is the third year we have done this ride but while it is relatively short, 22 miles, it is fraught with thrills and adventure.  A bar about every 4 miles, hills to satisfy climbers and a steep near the end to challenge the best.  Roger and I are the oldest of the riders and two of the few that don't walk the final climb.  Also, not much drinking for us but the younger riders take advantage of the stops.  All in all a good time.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Back in the routine.  Biking 40 miles a day when the weather allows.  Its been hot and humid the last few days but if I get out early enough it is doable.  My new bike has just passed the 3,000 mile mark.  Not bad having purchased it in April.  Looking forward to the Fat Tire Ride in September.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Day 16 ride to Boston Ma.  Finally reached the Atlantic Ocean at Revere Beach, Ma.  1,168 miles ridden with old friend Harry and new friend Tony.  Fantastic bicycle ride across the eastern portion of the U.S.  I made many new friends and met some amazing people along the way.  Livin the dream!

Day 15 of ride to Boston. Today's ride was a 90 mile jaunt from Brattleboro VT. to Burlington Ma. With all the climbing from yesterdays ride I knew there would be challenging hills today. And, man was that a fact. If one were a climber with a bike this would be climber heaven. I'm a flatlander and these climbs were indeed a challenge. I just put my casset on the smallest ring and chugged along. The good news it that not one of those inclines were too much to accomplish. Riding down the descent fast was the reward for all the hard work of climbing those monsters. Passing the hilly part, the road became very busy. With little or no shoulder a biker had to be on constant alert. Enjoying the scenery was not a possibility so this particular ride was one of the most difficult. But the good news is I near the end of my ride and I had a great time. Plus, the weather has been fantastic. Today was in the middle 70"s with a favorable wind. Again, the scenery is best described in the photos.
Since tonight was the last big ride, a banquet offered a feast and sharing of the experience by each rider. Universally agreed was that the experience was more about meeting people and the interactions between them. This was followed by social interaction (partying) by many, but not all and I drag my weary carcass back to the room. If the grammer, spelling and snytax are wrong, one can understand why. 
 Harry and I crossing into New Hampshire

 Covered bridge on the road to Mass.
 Still climbing in New Hampshire
 Taking a rest from climbing to but Lemonade from kids at roadside stand

 Church in Concord MA.  Across from Concord Square
The British are coming......The British are coming.  Iconic church at Concord Square

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Day 14 of bike ride to Boston. Todays route was from Albany NY to Brattleboro VT. a total of 75 miles. Once again the weather was picture perfect. Clear skies, temperature in the low 70's and favorable wind. Couldn't ask for much more. The unique aspect of this ride is the amount of climbing involved. 5,000 plus feet. For a flatlander like me that is quite a bit. Climbing start virtually the minute I left the hotel. This was followed by hills that were quite doeable.... After mile 34 a 6.3 mile climb ensued. The good news is that the first 2 miles very steep. The bad news was the next 4 miles were STEEPER!!. And if anyone is wondering, I used every gear on my bike and wished I had more. An electric motor would have been nice or even some of Lance Amrstrong's drugs. But I digress. After a short stop at the top I was off again. The terrain was very hilly but nothing like the 6.3. At mile 57 another steep climb was waiting ending at the top of Hogback Mountain. From that point into Brattleboro it was very hilly but not like those we climbed earlies. As for the grade percent, it was as least 10% plus. Not sure exactly because I do not ride with a Garmin; much steeper than I'm used to. Now, about the downhills. In the past, I would have had no problem "deadheading" down the mountain. But being older and wiser, I actually used my brakes coming down. Even with the braking action, I hit 45 mph on one descent. Also, since I last rode this route, the road had deteriorated to the point of being very bumpy. Pot holes and semi's provided excitment on the descent.  But all's well that end's well.
When I entered the city, I saw a bike shop and stopped to make some purchases. The clerk asked how I entered the town and I told her route 9. Her eyes bugged out and she stated "no way". That is one of the toughest rides in this area. It services the ski trails in the mountains around Bennington. YIkes!!
The best way to describe the terrain and scenery is though pictures. Mountains in the background and a stream on the right side of the road made this aspect of the ride very enjoyable; almost to the point of ignoring the screaming in my quads but not quite. Tomorrow is the last long ride of the trip from Brattleboro to Burlington MA. 90 miles. Friday I will be in Boston! Horray

 Entering Vermont
 Cattle farm in the mountains
 Bennington Memorial in the background
 Babbling stream along side the road
 View from top of Hogback Mountain

Weary biker after a day of riding through the mountains of Vermont