Sunday, June 10, 2018

Great week of biking.  Flew to Portland Oregon then drove to Medford to visit Hank and Carol.  Hank and I were able to ride two days.  The first day was a 25 miler with 1000 feet of climb.  The second day was on a nice paved bike trail to Ashland.  I used Hanks back-up ride.  Obviously it was not a good fit for me but after awhile I was riding comfortably.  As far as Hank's biking ability, at 83 he is still as strong as ever.  Very impressive going up the hills and leaving me in his dust.  After a great visit Ronni and I drove the coastline back to Portland.  Scenic at times, most of the drive the ocean was not visible.  It took 8 hours but was still scenic if mountains and trees are your thing. 
Then, we made the journey to Mt St. Helens in Washington state.  Now, since I'm a flatlander, mountains area are always impressive, but Mt. ST. Helens was awesome.  And, the center showing the explosion in 1980 followed by a viewing the actual mountain made the experience well worth the trip.  Back home and looking forward to my normal riding routine.

Monday, May 28, 2018

 Of all my biking jerseys, this is the one motorists show me the most RESPECT. With oncoming traffic, 78% give me the entire lane when passing and when t...raffic approaches in the opposite direction 82 % slow down and pass very carefully. On another note, today's 40 miler was quite interesting; perfect weather with 90 degree temps and mild winds. Now, here is the interesting part. Starting out the wind was blowing from the SE, which was the direction I would do my first 20. No problem, I would have it at my back on the return ride. Leaving Goodfield on the return section, the wind shifted so it was coming from the North; the direction I would be riding. So, most of the 40 miles was against the wind. Now, I have ridden further into stronger winds but I had not anticipated this.
Pondering the situation, I came to the realization the "wind fairies" were doing me a favor. Realizing at my advanced age I should probably not ride in 90 plus degree temps (mad dogs and Englishmen, you know who you are- Harry and Tony) they changed wind direction so I would not overheat. I can image the bewildered look on their faces as they queried "What the _ _ _ _ is that fool doing?" " He needs our help." Therefore, they made sure I had wind in my face the entire ride. There, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Biking season in full swing finally.  The weather has been co-operative the last week and a half.  The only problem is the weather people can't quite get the wind speed correct.  5-10 mph predictions turn out to be 15-20.  I rode three days last where the wind was significant.  Rain days were spent at the rec center.  Looks like when my membership ends I will go to another facility.  They removed all  the Magnum equipment even though they were in perfect working order. And those were my favorite machines where I set up my workout regiment.  Anyway, I'm back outside doing between 35 and 40 miles per ride with the occasional 55er to Leroy.  So, life is good on the biking front.  Now, the knee is another issue. 
On another note, looking forward to visiting my friend and cross country roommate Hank in Oregon at the beginning of June.  One of my favorite people. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Ahhh.  The weather has finally turned to spring.  Since my ride to Champaign  I have begun my daily routine, including a ride to Leroy (55 miles) last Friday.   Good wind but not very strong-5 to 10 mph from the NNW.  On particularly windy days I still use the rec center to get my daily exercise.  No big rides planned but who knows, I'm getting "cabin fever".   Maybe a ride through Europe would be a welcome addition as my next adventure but who knows.  Stay turned. 
On another note, my cycling pictures shows me with a wrap around my knee.  That has been a routine since my distance rides began in 1996 following knee surgery.  Riding has never really bothered it.  In fact, it often relieves the soreness and stiffness.  After each ride I give it a thorough icing.  On occasion I have given thought to having knee replacement but after a ride the knee feels better so I don't give it a second thought..  Until, last Friday.  The knee did not respond as previously described so I may look into the possibility of replacement.  However, I hope it won't happen until after the summer season.  Time will tell.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Finally, got a chance to ride outside.  Took advantage of an excellent day and completed my first century of the season-Washington to Champaign.  Wind and weather cooperated, at least at first.  The first 77 miles were uneventful but as I was leaving Mahomet, the wind changed.  From the north for the first third to a nice WNW the next third I looked forward to the last 20 miles.  But, while resting in Mahomet at the gas station, I noticed the large flag across the street was blowing from the SW.  I hoped I was wrong but as I made my turn onto Rising road, I began riding into a 15-17 mile wind. Wouldn't have been so bad but it was the last stage of my ride which made it more difficult.  The good news is that, while it took longer than expected, I finally rode into Champaign at around 4:15 pm.  Still not bad since I began the trip at 10:00 am.   All's well that ends well.  Hopefully, the last of the frosty weather has ended and we can start a normal spring.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

                                                 April 15th and look at this!!  Out my back door!!
Weather finally permitted an extended outdoor ride.  Rode my usual 40 mile route.  Although the weather was marginal (53 degrees) the wind was reasonable.  Nothing unusual to report in terms of drama-near misses, rude drivers- so all in all great day to ride.  Tuesday of this week I planned to ride to Champaign.  My usual temp limit is 50 degrees.  At noon, the temperature was still in the 30's so I aborted the ride.  Probably a good idea, but I was getting antsy!!  This week should be the best of the spring.  But we will see.  Stay tuned!!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Second bike ride of the Spring.  Rode my old training route on rt. 51 south of Carbondale.  The good news is that my off season indoor biking has paid off.  I had no trouble with the hills and climbing.  While the weather was a little brisk, 50 degrees and between rain storms, I managed a 30 mile jaunt.  Hopefully my good luck continues with the motor traffic.  Here's the situation. Rt. 51 has a small 3 foot shoulder that bicyclists use.  Staying on the shoulder,  on one of the more difficult climbs, I checked my mirror and saw a semi-truck rapidly approaching.  "Here we go" I thought.  Another near miss by a trucker.  Anticipating the normal wind event where the truck goes by and barely misses as it sucks me into its vortex causing me to adhere to it like a plunger on a flat rock  (well, maybe not that close but you get the picture)  I prepared myself for the encounter.  As it got nearer I noticed something strange.  Could I believe my eyes?  The behemoth actually changed lanes and gave me my entire side of the road!!  It set such a good example the two cars following it changed lanes giving me ample room.  That rarely happens.  I gave a hearty thumbs up to the drivers of those vehicles.  On both of my rides this spring motorists have shown an incredible amount of respect.  Hopefully, it is a new trend and continues throughout the outside riding season.