28 August 2011

Rollin' with the Roadies

Ride #102

Sunday, August 28th
39 miles on the American River Bike Trail

A lovely group ride today with the 'big boys' - the Hammerin' Wheels bicycle group. Nearly all of their rides are outside my personal limits, usually for both speed and distance, but this one was just right. It pushed me but didn't kill me. And I'll bet I'm a little stronger for being pushed. Thank you, Herr Nietzsche.

Since I slow significantly on hills (not that I mind, since I get to see squirrels and turkeys up close) I would drop behind sometimes, and when we reached the flats I took off as fast as I could go since I was getting tired of the view of 27" wheels and logo-bedecked spandex rumps. I got to the turnaround point (yet another cafe - what would these places do without cyclists?) just a few minutes behind the group.

Finding a place to stash my trike within sight of the group was easy, and I sat on the outskirts of the table and listened in to the conversations. I had a huge cup of ice tea and a nice berry scone. I decided to take it easy on the way back, and told the leader not to wait for me. I cruised back at a 'tourist's pace' of 10mph - something I now feel like I could do all day. I'm glad I slowed down since my legs are pretty tired now.

I did not have any flat tires, but several folks in the group did, so I was passed repeatedly by folks catching up or turning back to assist. I've made it a policy to wave and say "Hey!" whenever anyone calls my name, since I have no hope of recognizing a road bike whipping past 15mph faster than I'm going, and my bike is the memorable one.
The 15mph is a lame excuse, I'm memorably (har har) bad with names and faces.

The first part of the ride was the climb up to Beals Point. I'm glad I did it (it was actually easy, but I am slow). The last time I tried it from the bottom was years ago, too soon after getting my hybrid Trek. Totally not ready for it.
I don't care for hills, but it sure is fun screaming down them. I need to do more hills.
AND I do think that the hills in my neighborhood are steeper than anything going up to Beals. I know what I'm going to be doing on quiet dry winter weekday mornings: orbiting the subdivision until I can't orbit no more.

I tried out some new shorts I got from Aero Tech Designs. They are very well made (as always) but the material is slippery! And the trail down from Beals is curvy and bumpy. Every time I'd hit a bump, I'd slide down the seat. And the sitting part of my seat is pretty small. (Let me clarify. My butt is plenty big, but the target on the bike's seat is fairly small, as recumbent seats go).
And cornering! On tight curves going fast, I tend to hook my shoulderblade over the seat's edge when cornering. Imagine my distress when my butt started sliding the other way. So these shorts will go in the 'hiking' bucket. They'll be great for that.

These are the "Fitness Compression Shorts" made of "tricot knit microfiber". I have a pair of their "Men's Unpadded Cycling Skin Shorts" made from "7 1/2 oz, nylon/lycra, tricot knit" which is grippier than the super smooth shorts I wore today. The men's shorts have a longer leg then I'd like, but they are OK. I wonder what other shorts (unpadded) they make from that second fabric?

Things I forgot today.
  • Drink enough water, darn it! Despite 3 bike bottles of water and 1 large ice tea, I came home and drank 64 ounces of electrolyte water. NOW I feel like I drank enough.
  • Re-sunscreen after 2 hours. I was out for four and a half, and had gutted my bike bag to lighten my load for climbing a 7% grade, removing the bottle of sunscreen that is usually in there.
  • Lip balm with sunscreen. I have it in my bike bag and I failed to put it on at the beginning of the ride. Forgot yesterday too. I put some on at our break, and then again later on.
  • Stop and eat when you are hungry. Don't get all angsty about keeping up. Stop and take care of yourself.
  • Lube your chain when you think about it. I had not done it as I said I would so my shifting was clunky and noisy. 

I'm not stuffing food in my face! (medium length gray hair, glasses, red shirt)

I'm probably taking the week off since I have big Labor Day stuff going on. But the houseguests will be mostly gone by Monday, so I'll ride then.

Not my map, but a good one anyway.

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