|Trace The Mitten|
Today I received a posted article from Bicycling magazine entitled '5 un-pro Essentials for Long Rides' from June 16, 2016 written by Neil Bezdek. I thought that it was very good because I could relate to the advice.
Each year the Southeast Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club conducts three rides 42, 22, 4 miles each. Two years ago I did the 22 mile . This year I wanted to do the 42 mile. This would be my longest ride of this season. The route is all in an urban setting on city streets with traffic and bumpy road conditions. The riders divide into a fast and slow group (16-18 and 12-15 respectfully).
Why do I say a challenge ?
I usually ride by myself and at a slower pace; would I be able to keep up with the group? If I was going by myself I would be able to complete it at my own pace. I realized after the ride that I was intense on my focus to ride and not the scenery, but I think that the rain and the uneven road surface contributed to my focus. Now I must add another factor: riding in a large group that stayed very close together. We had not ridden together and we were not familiar with each others' habits. I am not greatly practiced with group riding.. Luckily I brought my mirror.
What to take?
Backpack with hydration bag 100 ounces and hydration drink (grape juice + water 50/50)
snack bars for energy (protein and granola),
tube, tire patches, tire levers and pump.
What did I learn and take away from this ride?
I want to do it again and see things that I missed this year. I got a great view of the city of Detroit.
I was up to the challenge. Relax and enjoy the ride more next time.
I appreciated the hard work of our leaders who showed us the way and stopped traffic.
I appreciated the support staff who was there to fix any difficulties.
It continues to be hard to ride and talk. I was concentrating on my breathing and talking is demanding.
Another example of handling riding in the rain.
This was a great, interesting group of people to ride with.
Cycling in the rain is still fun.
A friend was upgrading to a Specialized bicycle and I said that I was interested in getting it. Why would I want another bicycle?
I put a lot of miles on my bikes; hundreds of miles on multiple bikes. I have gone around a total of 3000 miles since January. I always have a bike ready for the type of riding that I want to do.
Last weekend I was walking into a rummage sale and I saw a a Blackburn Trak Stand. This bike will fit on that trainer for the bad weather days. You can take a bike on and off the trainers but it is so much nicer to set it and keep it there.
The new bike for me is a Schwinn Trailway. It has 700c tires and that matches my tour bikes and it will ride comfortably on many surgaces. Instead of the drop bars it has the upright style. This will be a comfortable bike to ride around town and on the rail trails. The headset has a mount which can fine tune the bar position. The frame is aluminum and the ride is very responsive.
Within the last 24 hours I have reflected on how cycle touring for me and what is the same since my first tour in 1972.
This bike is similar to my first 10 speed that I used on my first tour. I did not have a Brooks seat, but plastic covered by a light padding with a vinyl cover. I added