Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Here's a spOOky old iron gate to nooOOwhere to give you some chills!

It was once an entrance to a Gilded Age estate, but is now an overgrown remnant of the past. I bike by it pretty often.

October Wrap Up / 4,000 (and counting)

My year to date miles count is at 4,002.13. 4,000 miles was my mileage goal for the year and I’ve hit that milestone with 2 months to spare! Hmm, should I try for 5,000 this year? If the weather cooperates, I might do it. Last year’s totals (on my mtn bike) for November and December were 653.84 and 592.14 respectively, but it was a very mild year with little precipitation.

October was my best month so far this year. I rode 26 days and 659.80 miles total. I kept things interesting by alternating between my road and cx bikes. I did 10 solo rides, 16 rides with Jeff and 5 of those were group rides.

By now, you know I love charts! Here’s my current chart of mileage by month.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sunny But Chilly

The excitment of a new bike has certainly not worn off yet! Today, we did 30 miles on the X6's and I was happy to have sunshine for taking pictures of Jeff. The blue jacket is new. It's the Pearl Izumi 'barrier' jacket and we got it Saturday along with the bike.

We played around on some gravel (just a parking lot by a boat landing).

Jeff can already dismount...carefully.

He rode through some sand that had drifted across the beach road, but I didn't manage to get it in the frame. I still like this shot ;)

A pretty marshy bit.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Jeff's X6 Debut Ride

As I've mentioned a few times before, Jeff's Cannondale X6 has been back ordered since September 15th. Well, last night our shop called with the happy news that his bike was in and built! We picked it up this morning! After a basic fitting, Jeff took a spin around the parking lot. He was so happy! If you look closely at this photo, you'll see the front wheel is off the pavement. He 'hopped' for the pic!

We went home and rode our matching bikes in lots of wind and some rain. I managed to snap a few more pics of Jeff without losing my balance in the wind. Sorry they are a little dark, the camera did not like the low light level.

10/27/07 Weekly Ride Report

Now that I have a 'winter' bike, I have no excuses not to ride in rain and wind! X6 can take the rain and is pretty stable in wind. During 7 days of riding, I got in 183.80 miles (my third best week so far this year). I got rained on during 3 of my rides, but the air temperature was warm, so it didn't feel too bad.

And, one more picture of X6 from my Tuesday ride when the sun appeared occasionally.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Scenic Diversions

Having the cx bike allows me to enjoy some scenic diversions from the paved bike routes like this short path to an overlook.

There is a little bridge over a deep, wave cut crevasse.

You get a great view of a beach from an outcropping of conglomerate rock.

X6 seemed to like the view too ;)

It's funny, from having the cx bike I've gotten used to just turning off the pavement on a whim and I did that last weekend...and then remembered I was on my road bike! Fortunately, I pedaled right across the stretch of grass and gravel, but I'll try not to do that to my skinny tires again.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Farms and Beaches, Sunday Group Ride

We met up with our newest group this morning for a 30 mile ride with midway coffee/snack stop. Here's part of the group climbing a hill by a beautiful farm.

This is Jeff pedaling past some potato fields that were harvested last weekend.

What I love about this beach is the way the cobbles are arranged in wave-like patterns.

Looking a little to the right from the last picture, you see this island and... standing stones? No, the druids didn't make it to New England! The stones are actually the ruins of a men's club that was washed away in the hurricane of '38.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

10/20/07 Weekly Ride Report

Five days of riding this week and a total of 110.07 miles. It's been about a month since I last posted my chart of miles biked by week, so here's an updated version.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Still Wearing the Summer Kit in October!

Looking at the calendar, I would have thought it was time to put the shorts and tee shirts away for the winter, but we are having the strangest weather. The temperature was 70 degrees today during our late afternoon ride! We did one of our regular routes, a 21 mile loop. Jeff is still waiting for his back ordered 'cross bike, so he was on his CAAD8, but I rode my X6.

I snapped a few pics of Jeff riding along one of the foggy beaches. I am already comfortable enough on my X6 to take pictures while pedaling at about 20 mph!

This picture is almost the same as the one above with the better view of the water, but I had to post it as well because it shows off Jeff's muscled biker legs! (He's going to be embarrassed that I've posted that!)

It looks like we'll have a rest day tomorrow while some rain moves through the area, but then the weather looks warm and sunny for rides Saturday through Monday!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday Group Ride Fueled by Coffee and Snacks

Jeff and I went on another group ride this morning and I remembered the camera this time! Although I still wish I'd had it yesterday so I could have shared scenes of everyone at the beach and all our bikes lined up along a stone wall. Due to a rather wild party the night before, only three others showed up to bike, though a couple more managed to drive to the coffee break spot!

The coffee spot is in an old barn surrounded by gnarled apple trees.

There are quaint old New England buildings all around and a view of the meeting house spire.

We lean our bikes on the trees, select our coffee and baked goods and gather at huge picnic tables arranged on the lawn. It's fun to see bikes everywhere you look!

Around the edges of the stone wall lined lawn are gardens with some last fall blooms like these dahlias.

A cold, slow bee was gathering some last pollen in the sunshine.

I'm not sure what these seed pods are called, but I loved the color and funny spiky look of them! Does anyone know?

We pedaled 25 miles in all and enjoyed slightly warmer temps than the day before!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

10/13/07 Weekly Ride Report

Autumn has arrived with cooler temps and rain, so my total went down this week to just 95.29 miles spread over four days of riding. However, I have to say that every mile was especially fun this week. And that's saying a lot since I *really* like riding my bikes!

Sunday, I rode the cx bike while Jeff used his road bike. He wanted to see the X6 out rolling again for just the second time since I got it! Then, I did two solo cx rides incorporating some off pavement stretches and laps around a big field where I also practiced tightening up my turns around some trees in a corner of the field. I really have to convince myself to commit 100% to whatever I'm trying to do as it's when I hesitate that I run into trouble. Also, I have to remember to look out ahead of me on the turn to where I want to go rather than worrying about and fixating on the terrain immediately under my wheel (not so easy to do off road, but at least the field is relatively flat).

Later in the week, we were invited to join a group ride on Saturday morning. We'd heard about this group before, but had never ridden with them. Everyone was welcoming and friendly! A dozen riders showed up and we did a scenic 30 mile ride with a short coffee/scone break in the middle. It looks like this will become a regular group for us to ride with, in fact, we're meeting up again tomorrow!

Saturday's ride was our coldest of the season so far. The temperature was 48 degrees as we started out and 53 by the time we finished! It was a bit of a shock after the extended summer we had!

Here's another pic of my cx bike from a break on one of my solo rides. I always love places where the land meets the sky, in this case a field of shrubs for the wholesale nursery business.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Rainy Rest Day = Blog Reading

I've had 9 days in a row on the bike, so it's good that we're getting some rain to force me to take a rest day, but my legs are twitching and I've had waaayyy too much espresso for a day off the bike!

Well, a rain day is a perfect time to catch up on reading some great blogs. I've been following some cyclocross ones lately as that season is kicking into full gear and I have that new cx bike! I'm getting inspiration from these guys:

Belgium Knee Warmers
Mud and Cowbells
Official Website of Carl Buchanan

It's not cyclocross, but this endurance blog is amazing for the author's photography and determination to ride in all weather/all Alaska.

Up In Alaska

If she can survive winter cycling in Alaska, surely I can ride through the winter in Rhode Island?!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

10/6/07 Weekly Ride Report

I rode all 7 days this week, but only kept track of 6 days of riding. (One day was really just about fooling around on the new cx bike and not serious enough to bother keeping track of.) I did 3 rides on the road bike and 3 on the cx bike for 145.15 miles in all.

And here's yet another piccy of my new 'cross bike!!

Water Break with Fuzzy Company

Jeff and I couldn't resist stopping for a break by a herd of mini ponies and a donkey, all hardly bigger than our bikes! This first picture shows my road bike in the foreground.

This pony has a funny expression because he was backed up to the stone wall and rubbing his rear end on it.

He must be quite itchy because he also rubbed his neck on the wall!

So cute!

And very friendly!

We rode 32.64 miles in all and couldn't believe how warm the weather was. It was like a mid-summer day!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Thick Fog/Full Sun All in One Ride

Thinking it was a bright sunny day I set off for the beaches this morning for more practice riding on my new X6. The beaches were blanketed in fog! I rode over to see the Olympic Sailing Trials, but only a few boats were close enough to shore to be visible. It must be totally disorientating to be on the water in fog like that!

So I headed back uphill and was out of the fog again at about 100' above sea level. It felt quite hot out of the fog, so I headed for some shady lanes including this one.

I think this is the biggest tree of the bunch, but I'm not sure as there are quite a few really big ones!

When I got home, the latest Narragansett Bay Wheelmen Club newsletter was in the mail. Jeff and I are *sort of* pictured riding with a friend. (This is a picture I took of the newsletter page.)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Meet My DH, Jeff

We took the road bikes out for a 20 mile spin after work today. It was fairly bright in spots, but the fog was thick in others!

Jeff's road bike is a Cannondale CAAD8.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Today's Ride Pics

I rode 25 miles today in fog and drizzle (frizzle?) and got off the pavement when possible to ride my X6 on the terrain it's made for! It's so fun!

Here is a view of the shoreline access road. A lot of the green along the edges of the road is stinging nettle! Better not fall!

The road ends with a drop off to the beach, so you'd better have some good brakes!

Later in the ride I biked around some very large fields. It's generally pretty congested feeling around where I live, so it's thrilling to ride around some wide open space!

I paused to snap a pic of the manor house through the trees. It looks like Europe, but I'm really in New England!

This is a little wooded trail off the fields that I want to explore further!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

New Bike Bliss

I rode 24 miles this morning and stopped for a picture by one of the beaches. I was able to ride along a bumpy beach road that I won't do on my road bike and just pedal through some sand that had drifted across the road. At another part of the ride, I turned down a partially washed out gravel shoreline access road for some off pavement fun.

After the first weekend rides, I went back to the shop Monday for a slightly shorter stem and now feel very comfortable with the reach. I don't think the first one was totally wrong, but I think my preference is to have the handlebar a little closer. I definitely feel more in control and feel like I can use the brakes/shifters more efficiently too.

Although I quite like the saddle, I will have to get one that lines up with my sit bones for longer rides. I think I can get a pretty similar version for women. When that arrives, I'll have the shop check fit once more, but I don't think it's going to need much fussing with.

The Candy SL pedals are working well for me now. I did have some trouble initially getting the left one to clip in, so I put the bike in the trainer and finally got it clipping in without having to push so hard on it. I think they just required a little breaking in.