Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Archive for the 'Bicycling' Category

Hobbieville Ride

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Last Saturday (July 14) I wanted to do a longer road ride. It’s been a year of little cycling. I decided to ride the Hobbieville route devised by the local bike club.

I had planned to ride early in the morning, but I woke up to find that a long string of storms was coming through the area. I don’t mind rain but didn’t want to head out into a big storm system. I went back to sleep. I got up later, and the rain had stopped, but this ride almost didn’t happen. I sort of forced myself out the door. I decided to take the Trucker as I have not done a lot of long rides on it lately and I wanted to do some training on it.

It had stopped raining by the time I rode, but there were still a lot of threatening clouds. I love cloudy days so I was thrilled that we had some lower temperatures and some clouds. A break from the scorching sun.

I climbed Victor Pike, something I hadn’t done for a while. It’s a lot of climbing and I felt very sluggish on the Trucker. You can’t hammer up hills on it. It’s a slow, gradual spin.

P1160608

P1160620

P1160630

Rockeast Road was beautiful, but the pavement was awful.

P1160660

P1160671

P1160680

P1160673

After  a while I was on State Road 54, a very low-traffic highway that was also quite flat.

P1160686

Complete with some good views.

P1160694

I stopped in Cincinnati, Indiana, hoping to refill my water bottles, but the gas station there had gone out of business.

P1160703

I passed a small library in eastern Greene County.

P1160704

A fire station with a vending machine provided water.

P1160708

Soon I was on State Road 43, which had nice pavement and some flat sections but also some large hills. It’s also an incredibly beautiful ride. Great scenery and very low traffic.

P1160723

Here is the climb up to Solsberry, Indiana, once a railroad town.

P1160729

Here, 43 winds between two grassy hills, brown from the drought.

P1160738

P1160744

The flat sections of 43 provided some breaks from the climbing. The sun came out for a while.

P1160761

P1160762

P1160765

 

P1160775

P1160779

I stopped at the R&J Grocery store for some more water and a snack. It didn’t look open at first, but when I peered inside I could see some people in there.

P1160780

I also rode a brief stint in Owen County, but soon it was back to Bloomington.

P1160787

P1160785

It ended up being a hilly 46-mile ride or so. It was kind of a tough day on the Trucker. I wasn’t struggling exactly most of the time, but I just felt anemic, especially on the climbs. Riding downhill was wonderful though, the Trucker is a fantastic descender.

With the low-mileage year I’ve had, I was quite happy to get out for a longer ride.

Still riding

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

I’ve felt a renewed sense of enthusiasm for riding, and I’ve found myself with a bit more time on my hands, too. Actually this is quite a busy summer, with some travel earlier, and now two classes, plus an internship, and work. However, I’ve had significantly less homework this summer than I had during the year, which has given me more opportunities for riding.

So far, it’s mostly been rides under 35 miles, but I’m planning on extending that soon, heat be damned. I’ve done about a thousand different variations on my “water works” route, and a few other routes I’ve ridden before. I need to sit down sometime and just dream up some new training routes, as I’m getting tired of doing the same ones over and over, even with all the variations I’ve tried.

It’s been incredibly hot and dry (drought). We nearly set a high temperature record last week when it was 105°F one day. Many fields are brown and dry from the lack of rain.

Some folks on Google+ are doing a “500 miles in July” challenge, which I have decided to do. A couple years ago, a 500-mile month wouldn’t have been a big deal (my best month ever was over 700 miles) but this year is different. In June I only rode 234 miles, so it’s definitely going to require some work to hit 500 this month. I’m off to a good start.

All this is leading somewhere, too. A significant, challenging and exciting cycling undertaking next month. I hope I can be ready for it. More on this later.

Mountain Biking at Brown County

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Saturday afternoon I spent a couple hours mountain biking with Dave. Nothing epic, just a few trails at Brown County State Park, including the Aynes Loop, which has a long climb. This is a climb that both of us have ridden many times, so it’s always useful as a benchmark of what kind of shape we’re in. Let’s just say it was an eye-opening experience — it took longer and hurt a lot more than it should have. We made it all the way up without stopping, but it was rough. I really have to get back in shape, but it was a really fun ride.

One fun story: my rear tire had been slipping around a bit and I was riding along somewhat absent-mindedly, thinking about what was going on with my tire when I stuck my knee out too far in a turn and smacked it on a tree. I heard a CRACK! sound echo through the woods. Oddly enough my knee is fine, so I guess I broke the tree …

Ear to the Breeze is proudly powered by WordPress
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).