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Great ride yesterday; New Favorite Things item; CamelBak!

Thursday, October 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


For the first time in three nights, last night my cell phone was mercifully silent and I finally enjoyed a night of unbroken sleep! Wow, I really needed that. I feel fantastic this morning!

Lisa and I had planned to do a 15-mile bike ride yesterday afternoon, but it was a miserable 90 degrees and humid outside. I was also feeling very tired. We decided to go forward with the ride anyway, and I’m very glad that we did! There are bike lanes just around the corner from our subdivision that I wanted to completely explore so that I could determine how many total miles were in one complete “lap” of the entire stretch. Turns out that starting from our driveway, around the complete bike lane circuit and back to our driveway is a total of 6.35 miles. These are not all easy miles, either: there are several fairly challenging hills to climb along the way.

Lisa was completely burnt after the first 6.35 miles, but I’d caught a second wind and was eager to continue. Lisa decided to call it a day and headed inside. To be perfectly honest I had been feeling a little stifled by Lisa’s slower pace (sorry honey!), and so I happily set off on my own for a second complete lap. I started pushing the pace quite a bit, and some of those hills really kicked my butt! I was able to maintain a 15-16 MPH pace on a few of the climbs, but on the steeper hills I struggled to keep my speedometer above 10 MPH. Cresting the tougher hills is a great feeling of accomplishment!

After my second complete lap I was quite tired, but I had only completed just shy of 13 miles. My goal was 15 miles, so I decided to explore the neighborhood a bit. There’s actually one hill in my neighborhood that’s tougher than any of the hills I encountered on the rest of my ride. Climbing that hill after 13 miles of hard riding was very difficult. I pressed on, and on my return trip down the hill I put the hammer down! I was in the highest gear (24) and peddling as hard as I could! I glanced down and saw that my speed was almost 32 miles per hour! As I watched the ground fly by below me I thought, “If I wipe out I’m seriously going to the hospital.”

I finished the ride with three personal bests. Total miles: 15.36. Average speed: 13.1 MPH. Maximum speed: 31.8 MPH. It’s awesome being able to track my riding stats. I really love my Cateye bike computer, and this morning I decided that it has earned a spot in my Favorite Things thread.

As much as I wanted to start biking, I have to admit that I’m a little surprised by quickly and firmly the sport has taken hold of me. I just love being out there riding!

One problem with the 15 mile ride is that I ran out of water (and that was with careful rationing). Thankfully today my CamelBak will arrive! I ordered the CamelBak Classic 70 oz Hydration Pack for myself, and Lisa got the CamelBak Charm 50-Ounce Hydration Pack. Not only will this keep us well-hydrated, but it should be safer (no more fumbling around trying to grab the bottle from the lower frame and then put it back while speeding along).

This weekend I’m going to do a 20-mile ride, and then next week it’s off to the West Orange trail for a 28-miler. I can’t wait!

Today I take a break from riding and hit the weights: it’s back and bicep day!

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