an uneven november
My personal ride schedule has been a bit rough this month, and it looks like it will be that way for a while longer.
Consider - last week, I was running a little late on my way to the Saturday morning club ride from the fountain downtown. I had misjudged how warm it was, and realized I was wearing too much the moment I wheeled Belle out of the garage. I peeled off a couple of layers of wool and rode hard for downtown.
I felt pretty good about it. Throwing the chain up onto the big ring, I cranked my way up Grace Street, churning away on bigger gears than I normally turn. I got through the lights just right, and all was well until I hit the intersection with Main Street.
It was Veteran's Day, and for the first time ever, there was a parade in downtown Greenwood. It was a short march - probably from about Hampton Plaza down to Oak Street - but it also blocked my way. It took me a minute to pull back out of the line of backed up cars, cut through the parking lot of Main Street United Methodist Church, then down Merriman and working my way the long way around.
I got to the fountain area around 10:18, and yes, they'd gone. I decided I'd see if I could get in a decent solo ride, so I went down the trail and took the usual route out towards Briarwood Road. I met Fred coming the other way on Alexander Road - he was suffering from a bad cold and was heading back in. I decided there was no way I was going to catch the other riders, so I took a left on Mt. Moriah Road.
I headed down Scotch Cross Road towards Ninety Six, but decided to cut the ride short. Hitching Post Road called to me, with its hardpacked dirt leading eventually back to the Canadian Mist Highway. The descent was great - a fast roll down over the dirt, across the little bridge, and then up onto the pavement as I worked my way up the hill. I looked over and saw Christmas decorations taking over a yard.
Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. Bad enough when the retail world does it, but to see this in someone's yard? Sheesh. I turned and rolled back to take some photos to document the sheer tackiness, then headed back towards Greenwood. I had something like 24 miles for the day when I got home.
Tuesday night I had planned on riding in the woods - until I got home and realized I had forgotten to charge my lights. So much for that. Thursday I remembered to charge my lights, but something came up, so no riding then, either. I had at least gotten in my commuting miles, such as they were.
Yesterday I got to ride, accompanying Jim, John Campbell and Zac Lake, Drew, Dewey and Ann H. on an out and back to Cedar Springs Road. Along the way, I tried to talk Zac into joining me on a ride with Ainsley over the dirt roads in January and February. Campbell tried to take a sign from his own son - the nerve of it! - but Speedy Young Zac promptly caught and dropped him.
We worked our way back to Greenwood, and I pulled in with 36.7 miles for the day.
I know, I know - too long between posts. In the interim, I've ridden a bunch of miles on various bikes the last few weeks. Some of the rides run together in my head, and my mileage stats haven't been kept up with religiously. Sorry. I'll at least have total numbers up at year's end.
For whatever it 's worth, I think I surpassed my annual mileage for 2005 by the end of October. This surprised me, because I've done a lot fewer event rides in 2006, and those usually run the numbers up.
Anyway, in the course of playing catch up, I'll just have to list a few occurrences and throw a bunch of photos up onto the site.
I've fallen down a few times in the woods. Nothing serious, but it's happened often enough that I'm probably gonna be a bit cautious for a while. Mostly it's slow speed stuff, trying to negotiate root farms and rock gardens at a near-standstill pace, but one involved hooking the side of my front tire at 12 mph. The best of the lot was while climbing a steep bit - I managed to lift the front wheel off the ground at the same moment a rock turned under my rear tire. Oops. I wound up on my back with my bike in the air laughing at the absurdity of it all.
I rode Stripe last Saturday on a club ride and realized that's really a bike for warm weather. Nothing wrong with the bike, I just couldn't get comfortable and I missed the B17 Brooks saddles everything else is equipped with. I really should consider dismantling Stripe and prepping him for repaint and repair, but since my bike budget is currently somewhere between nil and nada, there's no rush.
The Peugeot project is currently stalled, but will be resumed again at some point. Again, the bike budget is pretty much non-existent, and in all honesty this bike is currently a very low priority.
Thursday evening I rode despite forgetting to recharge my lights. Of course everything went dark about the time we turned around to go back. I stuck to Ainsley's back wheel like glue, and only his lights and the full moon kept me upright and riding back down the trail.
Ainsley and I rode fixed-gears yesterday, but we stayed on pavement. We were accompanied by Drew and Bradley on a romp around the Briarwood-Whitehall-Rock House loop. We did stop for a moment on Cowhead Creek Road, and I got a nice shot of an inviting dirt road. Next time.