Monday, July 27, 2015

Three weeks and counting

It's actually 2 weeks and 5 days until we participate in the LaCrosse Ride to Cure Diabetes. This is only the second time in 11 years that we've done the ride in August. Usually it's in September or October. That's a month or two more training and fundraising. With our wet spring it feels like we've just gotten training underway and we have to do the ride in just a few weeks.

I got my longest ride of the year in on Sunday. It was a team ride from Millennium Park in Grand Rapids out to Spring Lake and back. A majority of the team put in a little over 60 miles. I had a time issue so I rode 44 miles. The first half, while I was riding with the team, was a blast. It wasn't too hot yet and we we're blasting along at 18 to 20 mph. However, then I turned around and headed back on my own. No one to draft on, wind in my face, and rising temperatures. My average on the way back was more in the 13-15 mph range.

Below is a short video of some of the team riding through Ottawa County on Sunday. Notice our very safe and legal two abreast riding.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

3 in a Row

Last week we didn't get a chance to ride at all. I was in Nashville for a conference and Mary came along. Regular readers may remember that the last time we were in Nashville was for the 2013 JDRF Ride for a Cure and that I crashed at the half way point and broke four ribs. This trip caused no injuries. We had wanted to go kayaking after the conference but the river levels were too high.
Hiking trail at Mammoth Cave National Park
So we did some hiking instead. We hiked in Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky and Clifty Falls State Park in southern Indiana.

This week I've been trying to make up for lost time. I rode three days in a row. Sunday was just a short 4 mile ride on my mountain bike around the neighborhood. On Monday Mary and I rode the White Pine Trail up to Rockford and back for a little over 15 miles. Then on Tuesday I did a solo ride on one of my favorite loops. I went west out Post Drive and followed Edgerton north. This is a twisty, turny, hilly little road. A little pot holed this year, but that just hones the bike handling skills. I came back east on 13 Mile and then went south on Courtland before riding past Rockford High School on my way home. You can see the entire 22 mile route by clicking here. That route had 920 feet of elevation gain, which would work out to around 4,000 feet of climbing on a century ride.

The LaCrosse ride is three weeks from Saturday. I'm a little nervous that I don't have as many miles in as I'd like. My longest ride so far this year is only 38 miles. Although I do still have a couple more weeks to train and they tell me the LaCrosse route is "relatively flat". Of course I've learned never to believe a cyclist who tells you the route is flat.

"When cycling you never have a tailwind. It's either a headwind or a great day to ride." 
-unknown cyclist

Sunday, July 5, 2015

A Big Week

We got a lot of riding in during the last week. Mary and I rode Monday, Wednesday, Friday and today. Monday was 20 miles and Wednesday was almost 15. On Friday we did separate rides. Mary rode 93 miles with team mates Linda and Cindy. They rode from Byron Center to Sand Lake and back via Kent Trails and the White Pine Trail. I did a solo ride of only 38 miles, so we can see who the stronger rider is in our family. My ride went west out 9 Mile Road and then north into Sparta before taking the WPT home. Today we did a team ride in Holland. We went north from the north side of Lake Macatawa and basically rode between US-31 and the lake shore. I could share the names of the roads, but I threw away the tip sheet. It was a fairly easy 32 miles, mostly flat, so we kept up a pretty good pace.

So when we add up the four days of riding this week I finished with 105 miles. Mary, thanks to her near century on Friday, ended up with 170 miles. Regular riding adds up to big miles. Which is good, since we are 6 weeks away from our JDRF Ride in LaCrosse.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Return of Wine Wednesday

We had our first Wine Wednesday ride of the year last night. Traditionally we ride an easy 15 miles and then have wine on our patio afterwards. It's more of a social event than a training ride. Last night was a bit different. Since we have new team jerseys courtesy of Perrin Brewing we decided to ride up to the brewey and show off our new gear. While we were there we ran into new team mates Scott and Pam who were at the tap room after a golf outing. We had beer and snack before heading back to the house.

Top photo: Cindy, Linda, Scott, Heather and Pam. Bottom photo: Tom, Mary and Tom.
I took us on kind of a twisty route as it was eight and a half miles to get there and only six miles to get back. Once we returned home the weather had cooled noticeably, so I started a fire and we sat around the patio having our traditional wine and snacks. A great way to kick off the 4th of July weekend.