Friday, July 30, 2010

Boys and Girls Club Cycling Challenge Training Ride

If you've seen previous posts you know I got to help coach the local Boys and Girls Club Cycling Challenge riders last year.  Unfortunately this year I was not able to do it again since we are moving (in 3 days to be exact), and I wouldn't have been able to follow through with it to the main ride this September.  Also, we had another baby 3 months ago.  However, I was at least able to make it on one last ride with the group this morning before we go.  I met a couple of new challengers, and rode with one of the returning challengers as well.  I will miss them alot.  I will miss the riding too, which is in some of the most beautiful areas of Albemarle County.  If you're interested in learning more about the challenge ride, please click the link.  You can help monetarily, but don't forget that you can also go out and ride with them.  If you can, I suggest you do that, and try to get to know the kids.  They are alot of fun.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Carter's Mountain Road Ride

This morning my friend Travis and I left early for about a 25 mile ride near the famed Monticello here in Charlottesville.  That is where Thomas Jefferson lived.  It also took us by Ashlawn where James Monroe lived.  We left before 8am, and it was already 83 degrees.  Thankfully there was a bit of a breeze, and parts of the ride were shaded by trees.  We've been on rides together before, and once again we got to share the experience of riding in beautiful Albemarle County, Virginia.   This particular one is a well known loop I haven't done yet since I've lived here, and I'm glad I got it in before we move next week.  Apart from riding on Hwy 53, it is low traffic with moderate hills.  Parts of this ride (including the section of Hwy 53 we were on) belong to the US Bike Route 76.  Thanks in large part to my friend Vince at ACCT, there are new signs all over Charlottesville denoting this route much more clearly.  Apart from being chased by two separate dogs, the ride was uneventful, relaxing, and beautiful.  Like people I suppose, some dogs are more sophisticated than others.  I guess one other eventful thing did happen.  Travis heroically relocated a turtle from the roadway to a more protected grassy patch.  Hopefully that little turtle meandered in the right direction so as not to end up back on the road.  We didn't get to know him well enough to give him a name.  I'm sure he already has one anyway, but we wished him the best, and were on our way again.  We made it back to the house just in time for the heat of the day to become unbearable, and Travis cooled off with a nice glass of half milk and half cranberry juice.  I didn't trust that combo, so I didn't try it and can't recommend it.  

Monday, July 19, 2010

Riding in Maryland

I finally found an opportunity to do a ride I've been wanting to do for a while now.  Last Saturday I rode from Clarksville, Md to Mt. Airy to visit one of my favorite bike shops, Mt. Airy Bikes.  It was about 29 miles through central Maryland (Howard County to Carroll County), and it was very enjoyable.  The roads are wide.  The drivers were considerate.  The day was sunny and warm with a cool breeze.  I forgot sunscreen though, but did not get burned thankfully.  My pannier was shaken off of the rack and fell in between my rear wheel and the rack pushing and bending the plastic planet bike fender forward.  But it was easy to get out and put the fender back.  I bungied the pannier against the rack, and that did the job.  Don't underestimate the  power of a bungie cord.  It's a good idea to have one with you on a long ride.  When I got to the shop I test rode a fuji obey track bike, and also saw a bike I didn't realize existed.  It was a kidztandem.  The child sits in front of the adult.  I'm looking forward to test riding that one with my almost 3 year old daughter when she's a bit older.  It seems it might be a great transportation solution for me now that I have two children.  I can pull my youngest behind in a trailer when she's old enough, and all of us can get places on one bike!  I'm very excited about that.  Since the last long ride I did was over 2 months ago, I asked my wife to pick me up.  I'm out of shape, and my left leg was sore around my knee.  I think it was the same problem I had before with a tight illliotibial band.  A bit of ice and massaging helped it.  Hopefully I will get on a few more rides of this length before August 8th when I ride the Gran Fondo  in Philadelphia.
My Route:
Guilford Rd/rt. on 108/left on Ten Oaks Rd/left on Burntwoods Rd/rt. on Hobbs Rd/left on McKendree Rd/becomes Carrs Mill Rd/left on 144/Mt. Airy Bikes on the right.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Philadelphia Gran Fondo

Yesterday I registered to ride in the inaugural Gran Fondo event in Philadelphia happening next month.  I'm very excited about this because I haven't gotten to ride much lately.  Last month I had a severe case of poison ivy for 3 weeks, and with preparations to move and being a father of two little ones, it has been difficult to find time to get on the bike.  We're moving to Pennsylvania near Philadelphia.  Pennsylvania does seem to be a strong cycling state, and in fact it does have a wonderful and internationally known velodrome in Trexlertown.  I'm looking forward to the new fuji adventures I'll have there.