Experimental music, photography, and adventures


Friday, October 5th, 2007

I’ve hardly ridden since the Breakdown on Sunday. Who would think that 70 miles of mountain biking would wear me out? Actually, the biggest problem was my sore butt. It wasn’t a good idea to use a brand new saddle for a 10-hour ride, although it may just be that my new mountain bike saddle is better suited to shorter, more technical rides than epic all-day treks.

Yesterday, I was feeling pretty good and thinking I’d ride after work. Then I was invited to ride with Chris (not the same Chris I go mountain biking with), and his roommates last night. I rode with them once before, but I guess I forgot to write about it. Chris just got a 2007 Giant OCR2 pretty recently. I have the same bike, only mine is the 2006 model — in fact, I ran into him at Bikesmiths when I went in to get a few things for my bike and he was looking at an OCR2. I knew him a little bit before that — he’s Sarah’s best friend from high school’s cousin. Yeah, we live in a small town.

Chris’s roommate Ryan rode with us before. He has a Cannondale Rush full-suspension mountain bike that he also uses for road riding. I’m continually impressed with how well he can ride that thing on the road. I’ve ridden my mountain bike on the road a few times and it’s insanely inefficient. Ryan does very well on his, and it scares me to think how fast he’ll be once he gets an actual road bike. The other roommate, Yoder, didn’t ride with us last time but must ride a lot as he rode pretty fast. He also has a 2007 Giant OCR2 and it’s interesting riding with two guys with identical bikes that are also almost identical to mine.

I was hoping last night’s ride could serve as a recovery ride. So when I arrived at their place and they started talking about riding Boltinghouse Road, which has one of the hardest hills in the area, I was not amused. Chris wasn’t feeling up for it either, but Ryan and Yoder were pretty insistent, so we headed in that direction. I hung back and rode with Chris most of the time. It felt great to be back on my bike, but I was taking it easy. I still wanted to make this mostly a recovery ride.

We had a nice downhill and then had a pretty good climb that really got my heart pumping. I felt warmed up after that and we headed to Old 37. We saw a group riding the other way, and I think my coworker Randi might have been in it. As we approached the climb on Boltinghouse, I saw that the spray-painted smack talk on the road was still there. The hill itself was taunting me. I took a different tack from last time, climbing out of the saddle a little bit as before but then sitting and pedaling slowly in a sitting position most of the time. I could have gone faster if I had stood to climb the whole thing, but I didn’t feel I had the energy. I wasn’t sure if I could keep pedaling this slowly and I did have to stand once to get my cadence back up, but I made it up the climb. It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t fast, but I made it.

After that, we headed to State Road 45 and rode back into town on 10th Street. They like to ride through downtown and do a “victory lap down Kirkwood into the setting sun.” I usually try to avoid town on my rides, but I have to admit that it was kind of fun riding through campus and downtown. We rode on the brick path that goes through the Sample Gates at the end of Kirkwood, and while I wouldn’t want to do it all the time, I did enjoy myself. We took an interesting and useful route north from downtown that I’ll have to remember for the future.

It’s interesting how different people’s riding styles can be. Yoder keeps a very high cadence. Ryan goofs around a bit more, which his mountain bike allows. They also made some interesting choices, like riding on 10th Street. It’s a fairly busy road, the speed limit is not fast, but there are ways you can go that have much less traffic. Also, the right side of 10th Street is very rough and they were just kind of riding in the rough section. In fact, they stayed very close to the right edge of the road in general, sometimes going into a turn lane to get right to let cars pass and then going back to the main traffic lane. Personally, I stay in the main lane unless I’m turning, and I ride about where a car’s right wheel would go, not two inches from the side of the road. I think it makes me more visible, and it’s safer anyway. They also rode on the shoulder in a few places where I would stay on the road.

All in all, it was a good ride. We went about 18 miles at 14.5 mph average. And aside from the Boltinghouse climb, I did feel it was a good recovery ride. I hope to do more rides with these guys, maybe some longer ones at some point. It’s cool having someone to ride with on the road.

One Response to “Recovery?”

  1. Christy Says:

    Yowzers. Sounds pretty painful to me. Maybe sit on a heating pad? Even so I still admire your dedication.

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