I’ve been spot-off for a few months now. First the crashes, then the specialists at the wound care center, then keeping the leg elevated all summer. At the same time, I haven’t much felt like working on this blog because…
- I haven’t had rides to write about.
- I’ve come into this ‘new normal’ with building bikes & buying equipment where I REALLY feel like I don’t need anything and can’t even force a project on myself.
- This blog space annoys me. It does only half of what I want it to, and I haven’t been able to muster enough initiative to design, build and host something myself. The canned theme looks to me like farts smell.
Dave #1 pulled me out of my funk a week + ago by offering up a Friday evening ride. His plan was to go on the Moonlight ride (it apparently turned out to be 700+ people huge which is awesome). I had to get out the door early Saturday, so that wasn’t in the cards, but we still met up for a slow 10-ish miler around town with a stop for beer at Alonzo’s. All of this was his plan to goad me into riding the Ramble on Sunday. Well, I’m gullible and it worked. Blew the cobwebs off my bikes and decided to run a 118 mile loop with the gang from Baltimore to D.C. and back. Haven’t ridden more than 15 miles in a day since June. Sound sensible? I told Dave I’d need to test the waters a bit so he agreed to accompany me on a 40ish mile ride up the NCR trail on Memorial Day.
The week before: Dave #1 convincing me that I was ‘ready for this’.
That turned into a fun rainy mess of a ride, but I survived so sensible or not I was on the hook for another ramble.
First rest stop @ the dunkin’ donuts
Don’t have much time to write about stuff before I get back to work, but here’s another list with some musings from the day.
- I spent most of the miles riding with Dave #1 & newcomer Jane. Thanks for the company!
- Saddlebags do not go on the handlebars.
- The Trucker is a bad-ass bike. Getting in late from the O’s game, I had the rando out of the basement at 11:55 the night before trying to figure out how to wedge a u-lock into the attached bags. 10 minutes of that and I said to myself “screw this” and just threw my stuff in 1 pannier on the back of the Surly. It looks all snaggle-toothed right now with jacked-up bar wrap and a 10-year old sun-faded topeak wedge, but it rides like a dream.
- The ICC sucks – luckily Bob’s new routing avoids it for the most part.
- GPS units with a map screen (like the eTrex) are GREAT for navigating through forked trail systems like the ones in D.C. with 5281 unmarked decision points.
- Support your local economy. If you see a kid selling lemonade by the side of the road it’s your duty to stop for a drink. Thanks to Dave #1 for reminding me of this. Yes you can spare 3 minutes & you have a buck to spend.
- Kickball is a valid sport.
- Guinness makes for a great lunch. Sorry guys, I don’t know if I could ride 58 miles for Dim Sum.
- Convenience store ice cream novelty selections are much better in January. Shoulda brought a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and tossed what I couldn’t finish (which leads me to #10).
- I should carry my titanium spork with me from now on.
- Reese’s ‘Fast Break’ candy bars are nowhere near as good as I remember them being.
- Everybody says that you should stay seated on long climbs to help conserve energy. That doesn’t work for me and I can cook my quads while everyone else is roasting me. The second I pop out of the saddle and let my body weight do a little bit of the work I’m right back in the game.
- If you see a guy alongside the Gwynn Falls Trail south of Baltimore at 6:00p.m. on a Sunday evening and he’s surrounded by 20 stray cats — it’s not because he “lost his kitten, was out calling for it, and all these other cats just came up.” Especially if there’s 10 empty cat food cans up the trail.
- My new normal is a guaranteed charley-horse after a ride if I don’t replenish my potassium levels.
- Sometimes the sensible choice is not the correct one. This ride was a blast & it was a great group.
Numbers: 8:52’05″ | miles – 118.2 | average – 13.3 | (not bothering to upload the GPS track. Elevation data is pretty much the same as all our D.C. trips)
Kudos to Bob for leading another good group out into the wilderness, Dave #1 for making me think I could ride 100+ miles again, and Rob for giving me the idea to start running this summer (which is the only reason I COULD still ride that far).