Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year 2009 (If the sun is shining you should be out riding)

Like last year I started out the new year with a bike ride. This year's ride was a little bit more challenging. The WeatherBug application on my laptop forcasted a low of 20 degrees and a high of 32 degrees for the day. When I got out of bed this morning it was on 14 degrees out. There was a pickup ride scheduled for 10 AM at Dorbrook Park. It was my goal to make the ride.

I decided that I would ride to the start which meant that I had to be on the road by 9:15 AM at the latest. It is about 10 miles from my house to Dorbrook but I figured that I wanted to be able to start and stop my ride at my house. The last thing I wanted to do was have to break my bike down in a parking lot and then drive home. I also figured that if no one showed up at least I had already put in 10 miles and I could then just ride on my own.

I figured that it was going to be cold and the tempuratures where not going to rise by much. I ended up raiding my ski bag. Long thermal underwear went on under the bib shorts. A pair of thermal tights went over the bibs. The upper body had to layers of thermal shirts, a base layer and a black cotten t-shirt with a design on it for style. I then put on my new Gore Tool jacket. A thermal helmet liner was used to insultate the attic. I put chemical toe warmers underneath my booties and chemical hand warmers. After all this I realised that I had failed to protect the my face below my glasses. At first I was going to turn back but I figured it was just like starting out the morning skiing and I would soon get used to it.

I figured I was going to need to take the most direct route to the start if I was going to get there in time. So I went through Middletown and then out to RT 537 to get to Dorbrook. I was starting to warm up and I was really glad that I had made the decision to get out. However, the wind was blowing east to west and when I was facing the wind I quickly realised that there might be some challenging moments.

Due to the cold I expected the turnout to be light. I was disappointed to see the back parking lot empty. I expected that a couple of the more adventurous would show. I checked the time and it was just 10 AM. I made a couple of laps around the parking lot. I noticed another rider waving to me in the other parking lot. I did not see his bike at first but when I got over to the parking lot I saw his Serrotta leaning against the tree. He had rode to the start and had discovered a slow leak. He had already called his wife to come and pick him up. It was much to cold to be changing a tire and I could not fault his decision.

I chatted with rider for a few minutes giving some others the opportunity to show up. After about 15 minutes I decided to leave my new friend and had out on a solo ride. I was not sure where I was going to go. When I came out of the park I could make a left and head toward the shore of a right and stay closer to home. I elected to stay closer to home and made a right.

I had convinced myself that it was enough just to show up. I had planned a more direct ride home. When I got to a light I decided to make the turn that would lengthen my ride. I ended up riding 32 miles with some good climbs.

It had snowed on December 31 so the roads were covered with road salt. I had decided to ride my Single Speed since it had less moving parts. When I was done riding the bike was covered with a light coating of white powder.

The ride was not as bad as I expected. The extra layer of insultation made pedalling a little harder. Like a polar bear swim the New Years day ride should have some challenges. I was glad to get out and I rewarded myself with a late breakfast at The Turning Point Restaurant.

I hope everyone has a good new year!!


Frank said...

More power to you for riding solo, especially in those chilly conditions!
Ride One or Ride None!

Flametop59 said...

I did not ride my single speed all summer but I busted a spoke on my road bike so I started riding it while I was getting new wheels. I have been riding it all the time now. It made sense yesterday because there was salt and sand all over the road. Less of a worry on the single speed.