Monday, July 23, 2018

A light week

It's been a light week for riding because it's been a busy week for the rest of life. I was in Anaheim, California for a conference for 8 days. Mary came in for the second half of my stay. Being away from home for that long meant we couldn't get a ride in on our road bikes, although we did ride about 5 miles on beach cruisers in Huntington Beach. It was fun but very crowded.

Part of our crew riding through Cannonsburg on Sunday.
We got back late Thursday night so on Saturday I went out for a quick 15 mile ride on the White Pine Trail, just to see if I remembered how to ride. We also had a team ride planned for Sunday and I wanted to loosen up the muscles a bit.

Sunday's team ride was 31 very hilly miles north of Ada and west of Rockford. Our route started out by heading north on Honey Creek. Those who ride in this area know that's one of the hilliest roads around. After that we had several more hills as we made our way north toward Wabasis Lake. We came back past Gavin Lake and south on Parnell. Afterwards we had a pool party at our hosts the Taylors. They keep the pool very warm and it felt great after the ride.

So I got in 46 miles in two days or 10 days, depending on when you start counting.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A wet ride

We hosted the JDRF West Michigan team ride on Sunday. I charted out 25 and 40 mile loops that went north from our house out to the park on 13 Mile and Algoma. A lot of climbing just to get to that point, which was only 13 miles into the ride. We also had quite a bit of rain. It was dry, but threatening, when we started. The rain came about 4 miles into the route. Luckily it only lasted for about half the ride.

Shortly after the park there was a short cut for those who wanted to take the 25 mile option. They headed south on the White Pine Trail, which is a net downhill. So that group missed the very hilly second half of the route. We took 13 Mile out to Myers Lake Road and started heading south. Then for the next several miles we went back east, then a little south, then west, then a little south, then east, then south, eventually winding up on Cannonsburg Road, right near the ski resort. The last major climb of the day was the one mile long slog up Blakley. The reward for all that climbing was a very zippy trip down 7 Mile hill. I logged my top speed of the year at 40.7 MPH. A couple of teammates topped 42.

The reason I mention all the climbing is we are trying to get prepared for the ride in Santa Fe this November. The baseline elevation there is 7,199 feet above level. The ride organizers tell us we'll have about 5,000 feet of climbing on the 100 mile route. Our 40 mile route on Sunday had just over 2,000 feet of climbing. That's on-par with what we'll be doing in Santa Fe, but at basically sea level. As someone once said, "The only way to get good at climbing hills, is to climb hills."

Friday, June 1, 2018

Spring Riding

Had a couple of nice rides this past week. We spent Memorial Day weekend, as we usually do, at the Hayes cottage on Paw Paw Lake. On Sunday we did our traditional ride around the lake with the whole group. That was only 13 miles and for the past six weeks Mary and I have ridden at least 20 miles on every Sunday. So while the rest of the group stopped when we returned to the cottage, Mary and I continued on and did a different loop heading through the farm land east of the lake. That route took us through the town of Watervliet. We ended up with a little over 21 miles in 90 degree temperatures.

Yesterday I went out to JDRF teammate Tom Miller's house in Grand Haven for his Thursday night ride.There were about 20 people there. I rode with the slow group. We did 22 miles at an average speed of 17 mph. That's a bit faster than I usually ride, but it was a good time. The fast group rode 29 miles and I'm not sure of their pace, but they pulled away from our group pretty easily about 5 miles into the ride.

Now that the weather has apparently warmed up for good, I'm hoping to get out at least three times a week. My goal for this year is 1,500 miles and because of our lousy Spring I'm behind pace to hit that goal.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Spring has Sprung

Seasonable temperatures have finally returned to the upper Midwest. That means we can finally get out and ride without having to dress in fur-lined shorts and parkas. We've ridden two Sundays in a row, both times on the White Pine Trail.

The Triplets getting ready to ride. (l-r, Cindy, Linda, Mary)
A week ago Mary and I rode south from our house past Whitecaps ballpark, through Riverside Park, and turned around at Ann Street in Grand Rapids. An 18 mile round trip.

This past Sunday we took our first team ride of the year. 30 of our team mates showed up at Coach Char's house in the North Park area. We crossed the North Park bridge and then rode north on the WPT all the way to Rockford. With the nice weather we had to be very careful of pedestrians, roller bladers and dog walkers the closer we got to Rockford. Everyone rode well and safely and we returned to our starting point with 20 miles under our wheels. That was followed by a cook-out and hanging around in the sunshine.

6 months until we ride in Santa Fe.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Winter Won't Leave

The last time I posted was in January. That's mostly because I haven't ridden my bike since then. It's April 16 and there is snow on the ground.

My goal for this year was to ride 1,500 miles. When I got out for a ride late in January I thought I was going to easily make my goal. There was no riding in February, but that wasn't unexpected. It was winter in Michigan after all.  Usually in March we can get out a few times. There were a couple of nice days, but by the time I got home it was either getting dark or cold. Now it's April. We ALWAYS ride in April. We start team rides in early April. On April 15 the last two years I rode 20 and 32 miles respectively. But so far no rides in March or April.

There are some of my team mates that ride no matter what the weather. Although none of them were out in the ice, freezing rain, snow and sleet we had yesterday. I just want it to be over 50 and sunny. Is that so much to ask? Apparently it is this year.

Friday, January 26, 2018

First ride of the year

It was sunny and 51 degrees today so I got out for my first outdoor ride of 2018. It wasn't a long ride, just 12.5 miles on the White Pine Trail, but it was hard. I haven't been on the bike in a couple of months, either outside or on the trainer (I hate the trainer). After about three miles I was considering looping back home for a five mile ride. But that's seemed a little silly. So I pushed on, adjusting my route to head south instead of north. The wind had kicked up and it from the south west, so I wanted to ride into the wind while I was fresh. We'll fresh may not be the right word. As good as it felt mentally to be out in January, physically I'm not quite there yet.

We also signed up for our 14th JDRF Ride for a Cure. This year we will be riding in Santa Fe, New Mexico the first weekend in November. Baseline elevation is 7,000 feet and there is 7,000 feet of climbing. Looks like we are going to need to do hill training again this year. If you would like to support our ride you can make a donation to Mary by clicking here or Tom by clicking here. Or you can use the links over on the left side of this page. Thanks.