Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

A view of a little churchyard I ride by.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I know I did a whole post earlier about it being a rest day, but at 4:00 I was stir crazy enough to hop on the cx bike to pedal a loop to the beach and back. The weather was dramatic to say the least! There were patches of sun, showers and lots and lots of wind blowing at 30 mph. It was a real treat to see the wild and frothy ocean though. There were some fragments of double rainbows too.

I only did 14 miles, so it was still sort of a rest...

Rainy Rest Day

It's raining today and I'm having a day off the bike, just my second this month! It's good timing for a rest day as I have a group ride tomorrow that I'd like to feel fresh for.

I did 40 miles in the good weather yesterday and just wanted to post a couple of pretty ocean pictures from my ride. I had to go very slowly at Brenton Point to pick my way through seaweed, rocks and other debris that had been thrown onto the road in the last storm, so I figured I might as well stop and get a couple of shots.

I like this one! I got the timing right and caught the splash as the wave hit the rock.

Well, now I'm going to catch up with the chores, so I'm free to bike when the weather is fine again!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Another 'Bonus' Day

Today was originally forecast to be rainy, but the storm blew through in the night and the sun and temps in the 60's pulled me outside and onto the bike. So much for a real rest day, but I figured I could take it easy on the bike and keep it to 20 miles.

Every time I go out in shorts this time of year I say 'this is probably the last time 'til spring', while secretly hoping for some more bonus days. I didn't really need the jacket today. Looking at this picture, I can see I should get my own rather than using one of Jeff's. The sleeves are ridiculous looking (and probably slow me down with all that wind drag!).

Jeff, looking like it's summertime, except for the long sleeved jersey.

Just a shot of the surf as I rolled on past.

I hesitate to write this for fear of jinxing things, but the forecast for this week is looking rather nice, apart from Tuesday. Could there be more bonus days on the way? I'll do a couple solo rides, a group ride and at least one with my newest ride buddy. Jeff will get to do the group ride and at least one other, so he can keep his legs feeling happy too.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Not Missing A Day

Well, I told everyone last week's mileage would be my best of the year, but the weather cooperated, I felt good and I did 246.58 miles this week and rode all 7 days.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mid-Week Rides

I'm coping with temps in the 40's for now. I keep telling myself that in a month or two I'll be wishing for 40's!

Yesterday was quite raw with low, gray clouds hiding the sun. It even sprinkled and showered on me a little, but the wind was blowing so hard, I was air dried before the rain could dampen my clothes! I was glad I'd ridden, but was happy to be home at the end of 20 miles.

Today was much nicer with the sun shining. I can take the cold and wind so much better if I can feel that sun on me! A chance encounter with a friend to ride with also kept my spirits high. I was feeling good when I got home at the end of 40 miles.

I saw a little critter carrying lunch home at one point on today's ride. I had to shoot into the sun, so you'll have to look closely to see the little mink with some kind of mouse. It was cute as it loped along beside me. I couldn't believe it hung around while I stopped and got the camera out, but it paused to look at me a couple of times.

I have plans to meet a friend for tomorrow's ride. Then, it's the weekend and Jeff and I will meet up with the same friend on Saturday. The forecast for Sunday and into next week is looking pretty wet, so there may be a rest day coming up!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Beautiful Morning Ride

Temps of about 60F and a very light breeze of 8-11mph made it a perfect morning for an easy effort 40 mile spin. Just a couple of camphone pics, but even they show how pretty and blue the sea was today.

A ship making it's way out of Narragansett Bay.

I guess those clouds are bringing some rain from the west. There has already been a brief shower since I got home.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Lots of Biking Happiness

October has been a good month for me so far with a few milestones crossed this week. I increased the length of many of my rides from the 20-25 mile rut I'd gotten into. I finally crossed 2,000 miles for the year and feel I have a shot at tagging 3,000 if the weather holds. And, I beat last week's best mileage with a total for this week of 222.93.

I always like riding, but had lost a lot of fitness earlier this year, so much of the recent block of riding has taken a lot of determination. Most days have felt hard physically, but also mentally. It can be disappointing when you know you've previously felt so much better on harder, longer rides. But the work finally paid off this week with the feeling like I'd reached a threshold allowing me to feel energetic and strong out there. If you consider my weekly mileage chart, you can see what it seems to require for me to get to a new level of ability.

I know the energetic feeling won't last since now I will just work at getting stronger! But I've savored it this week. Now, I will have to anticipate the next threshold I'm going to reach to keep me motivated. Hopefully I'll get there before the inevitable winter slow down. I want to feel very fit before then, so it's not as hard to build back up in the spring. Since there will be a lull over the winter, I want to make sure it's a little beneficial.

Motivation hasn't been a problem lately. My new bike friend has definitely been a factor in lengthening my rides. Company makes it so much more fun. In fact the last day I rode with her, I ended up with 52.88 miles, though only 32 of it was together. Jeff is doing the 'weekend warrior' thing and his excitement about riding on the weekends is contagious even when I've been out all week. (See pic below of him doing laps around the fields with me earlier today.) Also, I tend to visit bike blogs in the morning when I'm often having a latte just before my ride and all the enthusiasm and entertaining ride and race reports out there in blogland really help me!

For the first half of October, the temps were in the 60's at least. On the 16th, a cool front moved in lowering the temps to the 40's/very low 50's. Fortunately, I still find it pretty comfortable though I do cover up more. We've only had one rain day so far, so I've already ridden 17 days and 464.62 miles. I'm looking forward to seeing my totals at the end of the month!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Best Week So Far

I had my best week of riding this year having logged 155.53 miles in 6 days of riding. I did 4 solo rides, but made a new bike friend on one of those. On Friday, I met up with my great new bike friend and that motivated me to do a 38 mile ride. Today, Jeff rode with me for 32 miles. I'm feeling a little tired, but want to take advantage of every warm, sunny day before winter.

Today, as we pedaled along Newport Harbor, we saw two huge cruise ships and the town was busy which should be good for the local businesses. In the first picture I captured a moment of Newport Cycle Chic (like CCC), a girl riding a bike and exercising her dog.

Just thought I'd include one more picture of the cruise ships with a bit of Fort Adams on the left and part of the Newport Bridge in the distance to give you some sense of scale.

We were on the cross bikes, so we took the much potholed dirt road to this overlook to admire the view. It was popular with the scuba divers today, though I didn't manage to include any of them in this picture.

Tomorrow, there is a local NBW club ride. I think Jeff and I will bike to the start and ride part of the route, but turn off for home rather than going all the way back to the start point.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Shorts For the Next Few Days!

For a day that started out dark and rainy, it turned out pretty nice and warm! It was great to be back in shorts after several rides feeling oppressed in tights and heavier jerseys.

Look for evidence in the picture of how strong the wind was though...the kite surfers were flying, sometimes literally! That's got to be an amazing rush, but must require quite a bit of talent and coordination. I'd probably end up tangled in the ropes, so I'll just stick with biking!

This has been a good week for riding so far (with 4 days of riding already) and it's only going to get better. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous and warm for at least the next 3 days. And, I have a new bike friend!

You know how I do most of my riding on the same roads every time. Well, I tend to see a lot of other bikers and have gotten to recognize quite a few (by their bikes more than what they actually look like though!). I usually nod or wave or smile or say hi or some combination of those things depending on what they do. Most of the time we are passing in opposite directions, so I don't have to wonder how much to say to someone, but sometimes I end up riding along with someone for a way. I wonder, are they chatty or are they trying to escape into the happy exercise zone and have quiet? I vary between feeling chatty and driven. Usually I don't say a whole lot to avoid potentially being irritating.

However, I keep seeing a woman riding my same route and was starting to be really curious about her! Anyway, after some waving and a couple of brief chats in the past, yesterday we actually did a significant amount of our ride together and finally got around to exchanging contact info. We already have plans for meeting up tomorrow! I am so pleased to have a new bike friend who shares such a similar ride routine. Having people to ride with really seems to be one of the best ways to stay motivated.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Today I was...

-Thrashed by the wind.
-Sand blasted by the blowing grains from the beaches.
-Surprised with a cold slap of salt water blown in my face from the crest of a nearby breaking wave.

But I'm NOT whining! I had an awesome ride!!

I did some 'accidental' intervals as I felt very motivated to sprint along sections of the route that were under creaking old trees, some of which had already dropped limbs.

The only drawbacks were pedaling through the blowing sand by the beaches. I had to hold my breath and the sand accumulated everywhere (including my ears!). And, there was a lot of washing up to do when I got home to remove the salty crust from Garmin, my cellphone, helmet, etc. X6 needed a shower from the hose outside.

Here's a camphone pic of some of the waves! Look at all that red seaweed!