Saturday, July 30, 2011

Good day, good week

I got out this morning for a short 18 mile ride. Short but not easy. I started out going east on Cannonsburg Road and then turned south on Pettis. Anyone who rides in this area knows about the loop I was about to take. Pettis to Knapp to Eqypt Valley. Some of the rolly-est hills in the Grand Rapids area. This route really works on your climbing skills. You are either going up or going down, there are almost no flat stretches. Egypt Valley ends at Belding Road and I headed east to Blakley then turned south. This took me to 7 Mile and I was able to descend 7 Mile Hill, clocking in at 39.5 MPH. A great way to start the day.

Today's ride gives me 85 miles for the week. This is where I like my training to be this time of year, 80 to 100 miles a week. Now I need to start looking at serious mileage on the weekends, like metric centuries and 75 milers. Only 11 weeks until Death Valley.

Congratulations to all the JDRF folks who rode in Burlington, Vermont today at 2011's first Ride For A Cure.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Today's Team Ride

We had a good training ride today. We were out on the west coast of Michigan again, riding in the Hamilton area. Our JDRF team started with a 30 mile loop at about 10:00 this morning. The weather was great, mid 70's temperatures, slightly overcast and very little wind. I hooked up with the lead group for the second half of that loop and we cruised at about 18-20 MPH. We rolled back in to Cliff and Nic's place and picked up additional people for loop 2, although some folks did leave after loop 1. The group left a bit before Mary was ready so we had to play catch up. Unfortunately we missed a couple of turns and never did catch the rest of our team. Since we had other things to do today we cut loop 2 short and ended up with 49 miles total for the day.

In other news here's a link to our friend Patti Bills blog. Talkin' Bike Face!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


This has been the hottest week in Michigan in a very long time. Today is our fifth consecutive day with temperatures over 90 degrees, plus we also have the high humidity Michigan summers are known for. However, I'm not complaining. After the crummy spring we had I'll take the heat. I've managed to get out for three rides so far this week. They've been short, but sweaty.
On Sunday Mary and I rode to her bother David's house south of Lowell for a family get together. It was a touch over 18 miles and pretty easy until we got to Ada. Then we climbed up Buttrick Road and the rolling hills of 36th Street. The kids also came with the car, so we got an air conditioned ride home.
I decided to do an early morning ride on Tuesday before things got too hot. Before work I took the WPT north to Rockford and back. Just 12 miles but I did it in about 40 minutes which gives me an 18 MPH average. And the temperature was only 82 degrees.
Last night was our Wine Wednesday Ride. Only Cindy from our JDRF team made it over. Everyone else must have been scared off by the thermometer reading of 97 degrees at 6:30 p.m. The three of us rode a 17 mile loop north and west of home, finishing off with a descent on 7 Mile hill. Most of the route was in the shade and that did help some.
That gives me 47 miles for the week, 637 miles for the season, and 8,465 miles on my bike. Hopefully I can get out once more before our team ride on Sunday.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Beautiful Day

A beautiful summer day like this inspires me to write about cycling. The Tour De France is on TV every morning. I'm starting to get some good miles in on the bike. And Death Valley is just three months away. We had a good team ride over the weekend. There were two loops that left from Sarah Andro's house in Ada on Sunday. The early morning group did not include us, Ian and I showed up for the noon loop. Which also means we showed up for the heat. It was in the high 80's and very humid on Sunday. The route was 38 miles long and basically took us from Ada to Alto and back. It was fairly hilly and that broke our larger group into several smaller groups. Once we finished we had a cookout with wonderful food provided by our hostess. Several team mates also brought yummy treats. Despite the heat, humidity and hills we had a great time.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!

We've had a pretty good Independence Day weekend. Yesterday we went to our friend's Tim and Linda Frybler's cottage on Fine Lake. We did some swimming, the kids went tubing, we ate a lot and at night saw a great fireworks display around the lake.

Today Mary and I got on our bikes and rode north on the White Pine Trail all the way to Sand Lake and back, 36 miles in all. Sand Lake has a small town Fourth of July celebration with a carnival, demolition derby and fireworks at dusk. We didn't have lights so we decided not to ride the trail home in the dark. But now that we're home Jake has some friends over and they are setting off fireworks in the backyard.

Happy 235th birthday, America!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Century Week

Technically a century week is not a real cycling term. Riding 100 miles in a week is just a way of tracking how my training is going. This week was the first time this year I've put in 100 miles. It started on Sunday with the Allegrina 100. I rode two of the three loops for a total of 65 miles. On Thursday I did a little bicycle commuting and ended up with 31 miles. This morning I got out before the weather got real hot (although it was already very humid) and put in 15 miles. Since the first two rides were relatively flat I decide to go for some hills today. I rode south on Grand River Avenue to Knapp then north on Pettis. That's a very rolling hills kind of route. I finished with a long climb up Blakely and returned home blazing down 7 Mile hill at 39 miles per hour. When you add it all up I rode 111 miles this week. Which is good, since we only have 15 weeks until Death Valley.