Being retired and doing little more than riding bikes, some things happen. My face gets the raccoon look from hiding behind sunglasses during endless unprotected hours of sunshine and the rest of my (exposed anyway) skin turns brown after the “Season’s First Burn” sloughs (molting?) off. And dead skin isn’t the only thing falling off. Last fall’s post-surgery “Surge-Weight” (coined by Steve R.) also falls off, and this year, quite precipitously. Mission Accomplished.
Down from post-surge of 150lbs in January
I haven’t planned on any big mile goals for the year, but an aggressive start for the year has me logging 500 more miles this year (3620 miles to date) than the same time in 2020 when I hit 11,000 miles for the year. So, when a gloomy day like today comes around, I don’t feel like I’m cheating myself by leaving the bike hanging on a hook today.
To catch up … the last blog post talks of this year’s second century (a 100+ mile ride). I can report two more since then. May 5th was #3 at 101 miles on my Rivendell Sam Hillborne “country bike” as the builder (Grant Petersen) calls it.
Sammy Visits the Fox Sisters of Hydesville
That’s his response to the bike industry’s marketing hype of calling something a “Gravel” bike vs. “All-Road” bike or whatever else they come up with. Bottom line, a bike is a bike and where you can take it often depends more on attitude than equipment. If the bike is comfortable, well fit and adjusted, just get it on and go.
Sammy is responsible for a respectable chunk of my road and rail-trail miles this year. I credit the super smooth ride as the reason this bike seems to be the default choice for many rides, even an occasional century. It’s not my “fast bike” by any means, but it’s a sweetheart. On a recent club ride, I was advised by a fellow member that I’d be “Really Fast” at my weight if only my bike didn’t weigh twice as much as his. He groaned when he picked up my bike (bags filled with stuff) for comparison. I’m not sure how a light bike can make up for carrying an extra 30 pounds around the midsection, but I noted how the rider finished the 35 mile version of the route in about the same time I did the 50 miler. Whatever.
So on this particular day with full sunshine, low winds and no hurry to get home, Me & Sammy went noodling around looking for back roads in Wayne County that I have not ridden. Turns out, I gotta go waaaay out to find any roads I haven’t visited. The Ride With GPS app (and website) enables a heat map showing roads you have recorded riding on. I only started using RWGPS for tracking my rides very late in 2020, so a LOT of what I have ridden isn’t shown.
Red line is the ride. Blue lines are where I’ve been since late 2020
May 11th with 116 miles was #4. This ride was a modification of an old RBC classic: Map #84, The Old Hilly Century, created in 1972 by Dick Burns, a fixture of the club for decades. Back in those days when 5-speed freewheels were standard and triple chainring cranks were considered “exotic” , the Old Hilly was a real test of endurance, and unchallenged till the same man developed the Gear ’80 Hilly (yet another fave!). Not considered difficult in modern times due to vastly improved bike technology, the Old Hilly is still a sweet day ride. So, on a gorgeous sunny day, I took off on old bike, the FrankenTrek, and headed for C-Daigua.
Stop #1: Coffee and a muffin
(I know, I know … I’m supposed to stay away from caffeine since it isn’t compatible with my RBD, but how do I legitimately wash down a cranberry - orange muffin without it?)
The ride’s first hill of significance (CR18 out of C-Daigua is NOT) hit me at mile 47 with a short steep climb up Pierce Hill Road. Rarely an issue, but this time, the hill is getting milled for a new surface (soon I hope) and I find my fast bike with skinny tires can double as a full-body vibrating massage.
No Nice Words to Say Here!
I stopped again in Middlesex to grab a chocolate milk (MORE caffeine Brian, really?) mostly to check that the store is still in business … ya never know anymore. Cruised down 245 toward Naples but turned down Parrish Cross Road before Naples to go check on the trail situation for this weekend’s “Wayne and Brian’s Ride” (RBC#280). Looking good! So I end up on Route 21 a mile north of the turn UP County Road 12, so rather than backtrack, I decide to give Griesa Hill Road a shot. There’s a Road Closed sign at the bottom of the hill. Of course, that means no cars. But we cyclists sneak by/around/thru road construction zones all the time, so I disregard and start climbing.
Now, the “fast bike” doesn’t have the super low gearing of some other steeds in the stable, so this is an out-of-the-saddle task of climbing almost 500’ elevation in just over a mile. And when I get to the top, I find the road really is CLOSED.
The ditch was harder than the climb
I normally ride bikes with sneakers rather than clipless road shoes, so I wasn’t really prepared for THIS adventure since I’m on the road bike. I was able to scramble down into the ditch, toss the bike up to the road, and pull myself back up without crashing into the rocks. Back in the saddle, I paused for yet another peaceful moment at the overlook.
I never tire of this view over Canandaigua Lake
Headed northbound, I had a sweet tailwind pushing me up Bristol Valley to Bristol Center where I stopped for a snack and a Coke (MORE CAFFEINE BRIAN ... REALLY?). Tailwinds were great and I was sure to be home in record time even with the stops. One last pit stop (stupid caffeine!) at the Victor Municipal Park, and I ended up at home in the sunshine with another caffeine fueled 116 miles. I even slept well. Shocking.
A Perfect Day
It's beginning to look a lot like SUMMER!!!!