First ride of the year! Out to West Rock Park, and rode from the south tip (baseball diamond) around Lake Wintergreen and back. The trail was mostly in good shape, though there were a few muddy spots, and I walked around two of them to keep from shredding things too badly. On the way back, I endo-ed going through a "divot," which was mostly just rather amusing. It happened in slow motion: front tire stops, I think "I'm going to go over the bars!", I stick out sideways, my nose ejects a lot of snot, I topple over onto a log, with the bike tangled around me. Didn't get my left foot out of the pedal. Bruised my left shin, but otherwise no trouble. I am certainly out of shape, though.
Had a nice ride out Ridge Road to Dixwell Ave, wandered around in the suburby streets a bit on the way back, then climbed East Rock once on the main road, and descended via the high paved path. The weather was warmer than I thought, so the long-sleeve jersey was a bit too warm. There was a crit going on where Orange met East Rock, and I watched the finish of the Men's cat 3/4. Boy, were they moving fast.
Another ride out Ridge Road, this time going past Dixwell Ave. The weather was rather chilly, and the wind was pretty strong. Ridge eventually turns into Hwy 5/Hwy 22, which is 2 lanes in either direction, and I turned around at that point. On the way back, I started up East Rock Park at the same time as another guy. He told me that those roads eventually became much nicer a little bit later. We were well matched for going up East Rock Park, both gasping quite a bit along the way. He recommended getting a map of the area from a realtor: apparently they are both detailed and small enough to be of use to cyclists.
Nice ride, though I was still feeling a bit of the end of the cold that I've had the past week. That's my excuse for why a lady out trail running past me on the way up a hill, when I stopped because I couldn't make it up. In other news, the hydrapak that I bought worked pretty well, though I still kept reaching for my (non-existent) water bottle. It was a bit warm on my back, but not too bad, and I finished the whole thing by the end of the ride.
Oof. Hill intervals up East Rock Park make baby Jesus cry. That said, at least I was consisent with the times. My speed in the middle of each lap was probably quite variable from lap to lap, but the time to the top was very close each time. I went from the gate at the top of the lower parking lot to the map on the right across from the lookout at the very top. There were a few other people who seemed to be doing something similar. Next time, I'll try for four laps.
A nice ride out in West Rock Park. The weather was pretty hot, but I managed. On the way back around Lake Wintergreen, I heard someone coming up behind me (creak-a, creak-a, creak-a, creak-a). We chatted a bit, and he lives in the area and bikes there fairly often. He was a hell of a lot faster than me, even though he needed a new bottom bracket, and his rear derraileur kept jamming. Works for Sikorski, and I gave him my e-mail address.
Experimental ride to both see wether things would stll be sore (they were after about 45 minutes) and to check out the roads along the ocean through West Haven. One can get all the way to Milford (I turned around just before because of road construction), staying very near the ocean most of the way. It's a very pretty ride, and I'll definitely do it again. Some sections are very windy, though.
First ride with Alina in a very long time. I took her out past East Rock Park and along Ridge Road. She was stressed going down Orange, but relaxed once hit less busy roads. Just need to do it more often, to help her get rid of her fear. Ridge Road was pretty as always.
Nice ride in West Rock Park. I climbed up the main road to Judges Cave to check out the bouldering there. Looks like it'd be fun, if we could get a crash pad. Chatted with an officer from the CT DNR/EPA who gave me someone to contact about volunteering for trail maintenence. And on the way back I saw a couple of deer just off the trail. I'm surprised they didn't bug out when I passed. The closest one had three or four points on each antler and just stood there watching me. I didn't get sore this time, so I think it may be related to pushing too hard and not having my shorts pulled high enough to give support.
Pushed pretty hard today. I was feeling upset, and wanted to try to "get it out of my system." Which resulted in a fast and hard ride. Looped around the lake, as usual, and did slightly better on the uphill sections. Road bike is out of commission, getting the wheels rebuilt with new rims, after my rear rim blew out. Fortunately, I was stopped at the time: it sounded like someone had shot me!
What started out as a nice, fast, mountain bike ride, ended up with me limping home very slowly, favoring the front wheel. Where the red trail crosses the first road entrance to the park, I discovered a metal pole sticking out of the ground about 10 cm. I discovered it with my front wheel, which tore open, along with the tube. The gash in the tube was just small enough to be covered with an instant patch (of which I only had two left, and used both just to be sure), and I sort-of reinforced the tire with the patch kit paper. Inflated to about 20psi and then rode home very slowly on the road. By the time I got home, the front tube was clearly sticking out of the gash, and was looking very worn and about to blow. It could have been a long hike to get back. No injuries, fortunately.
First ride on the new wheels. They seem to have been put together pretty well. I replaced the front brake with a solid post (not replaceable pad) koolstop that the shop had given me, and it reduced the squealing a little bit, but not entirely. Unfortunately, I don't know how long or fast the ride was, as I forgot to take the magnet off of the rear tire, so I don't have a proper speedometer yet. Oops.
Scratch that comment from the last ride: the magnet was still on the wheel, it just wasn't in the right place. I moved it down to line up with the sensor, and it works fine now. Went out the Hartford Turnpike (not as scary as it sounds: it's just a road) and came back on Ridge. It was getting rather dark and cold, so I didn't end up going up East Rock. Pushed it pretty hard, and it felt ok, except for the chilly wind.
Rode out Hartford Turnpike to the 91/15 connector, and then intended to come back on Ridge Av., but instead looped around and came back on Hartford. Oops. It was a nice ride anyway, with some good hill climbs, followed by a climb up East Rock at the end, but that took me 5:30, which felt slow, but I guess wasn't too bad. Weather wasn't too cold, but the wind did start to get to me.