Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Different days, different rides

I've ridden Sunday and Tuesday so far this week and the two rides couldn't have been more different. On Sunday, Mary, LTP and I started early with the intention of doing a "simple century". It's a term the ladies came up with last year. They ride 100 miles but all along bike trails, so very little climbing and plenty of opportunities to stop, rest and eat.

LTP, Tom and Mary. Wet, cold and still happy.
We started out at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids and rode north along the White Pine Trail to Sand Lake. It was about 50 degrees when we started, but thankfully not raining. However, after we turned around and started heading back our luck ran out and the skies opened up. We had 25 miles in and we were 25 miles from our cars. The original plan was to stop at the cars for lunch and then ride south on Kent Trails to Byron Center and back. When we got to the cars we had the lunch and tried to dry out and warm up. It was time to head out again but the wind had kicked up significantly and the sky was still drizzling occasionally. Plus we were still cold and wet. We decided to call it at a half century and go home to warm up.

Yesterday I went out for a solo ride with the intent of staying off bike trails. I did one of my favorite loops which starts with climbing Post Drive to Pine Island Road. Then taking House Road which twists and turns, climbs and dips before ending at 10 Mile Road. I next made my way north to 12 Mile Road and took that until I turned south on Summit. Once I got into Rockford I either had to ride the WPT for a short section or venture onto a very busy section of 10 Mile. I did the short trail piece and got off quickly to ride up the Childsdale hill on my way back home. In all it was a shade over 19 miles with about 825 feet of elevation gain. If I were to extrapolate that out over a full century it would be over 4,100 feet of climbing. That was some pretty serious work.

We leave for Death Valley 3 weeks from tomorrow.

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