Big Dumb Miles

Part 1 – 12/30/10:   I’ve had a little time off. Visited with the family a bit and did a bit of mindless vegging. One thing I haven’t done is ride much of anywhere in the last week. With all the extra goodies around and all of my sitting around, I was starting to feel a little lethargic. Didn’t feel like fighting with traffic and I had some new toys to try out so a few mindless hours of spinning on the NCR trail was exactly what the doctor ordered. I didn’t bother to wake up early since I didn’t expect the trail to be crowded. Amazingly enough there were a dozen or two other brave souls out today too.

Falls lumped over with ice

Old Caboose in New Freedom

Big P stands for his obligatory New Freedom glamor shot. Riding it on a rail trail is like using a steamroller to press handkerchiefs. Still made for a fun time. Stuffing this bike in the trunk of my Saturn proved to be quite a challenge the first time around.

The most and least expensive gifts I received this year. Niner YAWYD top Cap and Garmin Etrex Vista HCX. After 2 years of wanting, not wanting, then wanting again, I finally broke down and begged for it on my b-day when REI put them on sale for $170. Haven’t played with it much yet. Just learned how to upload rides to Garmin’s connect site. Still working on uploading tracks built on the computer or using route building sites. I figured out how to get tracks in, but not how to automatically set up alerts for turns/waypoints. An empty trail was a good place to play around with it because if I ‘drove distracted’ I could weave a little without risking life and limb. Might get a more detailed basemap when my dividend comes in, but I had never intended on trying to replace a standard map and cuesheet – only to use it for tracking my rides and elevation data.

While it wasn’t very cold out I did some more experimentation with clothing and I’m finding a good balance. Getting better with adding some layers to my legs, which in turn is helping my feet.

I went to the half way point and decided I’d had enough for the day. 42 miles was good to burn off a few holiday cookies and remind my legs what it feels like to move again. Activity and elevation profiles can be seen on the Garmin Connect Site.

Part 2 – 1/1/11:

I had the idea of waking up early on New Years morning to greet the sun and a new year. We didn’t get to bed until around 1:30a.m., so I didn’t bother with the alarm. I did wake up around 7 which wasn’t early enough to take twilight photos, but was early enough to enjoy the morning. I took Pugsley out on an exploration towards Robert E. Lee park in N. Baltimore. The Garmin wouldn’t lock on satellites when I stepped out the door and I had a few problems for the first 1/2 hour of the ride. It was kind of annoying, but worked itself out. I also found my only dislike to date with Pug. I missed a shift when climbing a big hill near my house and bent the middle chain ring so I had to spend most of the ride in the granny and top gears. Once I got home I bent it back in to shape, but noticed in the process that the rings on the Truvativ Hussefelt cranks were all stamped steel and kind of cheap. It’s not a big problem for me because they’re 4 bolt 110/74’s and I have a ton of that stuff from my singlespeed experiments of yore. If it bends again I’ll replace ’em.

Back to the ride. Straight up Roland towards the park. Once there I checked progress on the bridge that I haven’t visited since April.

lookin’ good.

After that I went up Falls Rd. to try and find another entrance to the park from the back side closer than the parking spaces past Padonia Rd. Finally found a trailhead on Copper Hill Rd. I got a few yards off the beaten path and came across a stretch of hilly, rocky, icy trail that was a little more than I bargained for this morning…

There’s lots more to explore there, but I need some water, food, and bike handling practice. Pug likes to roll over stuff, I need some work. Check part 2 on the Garmin Connect Site.

4 thoughts on “Big Dumb Miles

  1. I often go up the east side of the lake and wind my way up to Charles St., but have always been curious about where to go in from the west side. Lots of cars park right on Falls just south of the I83 bridge, wonder if it’s possible to enter there.

    • I think that’s where most people have been entering the park since the ‘dog park’ part of R.E.Lee closed last year. I started hunting around for entrances closer to the south side so I wouldn’t have to ride all the way up falls rd. to get in. I like that little section on the SE side of the park that leads up to Charles, but want some new territory too.

    • Yeah, the Pug has it’s good and bad points, and I mainly want to ride it now so that I know how it feels before I take it on snow, sand, or anything else loose. I’ve seen a lot of good reviews on the etrex series amongst the randonneuring crowd, and I would have brought a venture sooner if I wasn’t as interested in the barometric altimeter for elevation data. Now to figure the thing out….

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