Thursday, May 28, 2009

One week to go

There is only one more week before I head out to California to begin the Cross Country Challenge. I shipped the bike and misc cycling gear to San Francisco today. It should get there by next Thursday at the latest. I have not ridden since Sunday because of the weather. I have been using the Spinning cycle at the gym so I am keeping my cycling legs. I hope to get out at least 2 more times on my old bike during the coming week.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Another riding day

Today, I rode out to Twin Lakes again. I left at 10:30 and was back home by 1:30PM. Rode 35.1 miles. this brings my total milage this year to 700 miles. This is more miles than I did last year although I averaged 2,000 miles per year in 2006 and 2007. I slacked off in 2008. Of course 2009 will more than make up for last year.
I got thrown out of Twin Lakes Park by the Park Police. He said bikes are not allowed on weekends. I told him I wasn't on the trails, that I came in on the road but he said it didn't make any difference. I think he is wrong about that so I am going to check.
I also saw a guy at the park who was completely covered with tatoos. The only thing on his body that was not tatooed was his nose and around his eyes. It looked like he had a white mask on. Kind of freaky!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Longest ride of the year

Today, I rode the Yough trail from Boston to Connellsville, an 81 mile roundtrip. It was a beautiful day. I kept getting stronger as the day went by. I may be ready for the Cross Country trip which starts two weeks from Sunday. I averaged 13.1 mph the first hour and better than 14 mph the last hour. Over all, I averaged 13.4mph. I stopped for a hamburger and FF in West Newton. French Fries are not on my diet because of the fat but I figured with 6 hours of biking I could treat myself. When I stopped for my last treat (a blizzard) at mile 70 in Sutersville, I met two guys who are traveling self-supported across the US. One guy started in Virginia and is going to Portland OR. The other guy started in Maryland and is only going to Michigan. They planned to stop at the Dravo campgrounds for the night, about 4 miles to the west of Sutersville. The one guy started to talk about a shower and I told him there was no water at Dravo. He said then he would stay at a motel. I gave him the bad news, there are no motels until Pittsburgh. I thought he was going to cry. I left them there to figure out what they were going to do and finished my ride. 81 miles Wahoo!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Two Weeks to go

The countdown is continuing, only two more weeks before I leave for San Francisco! I will be shipping the bike out next Wed and I will follow a week later. I will have to ride my old bike for the last week. This will tell me how much better the new bike is. I may be selling one or the other!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Perfect day to ride

I rode on the Yough Trail again today. 41 miles from Boston out to Smithton and back. It was 78 degrees with plenty of sunshine. I treated myself to a Blizzard on the way back. That was the most exciting thing that happened other than I voted on the way home!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pedal Pittsburgh

Today, I did the 60 mile route of Pedal Pittsburgh. I did the 50 mile route previously but this was the first time I tried for 60. I figured that if I was going to average 80 miles a day across the country, then I should be able to do 60 in Pittsburgh. The last ten miles are up to the top of Mt. Washington and then a tour while you are up there. It was a lot of steep climbing after having already put in a fairly tough 50! But I was up to the challenge and finished the route. I took some pictures of Pittsburgh from a lot of different angles. Hopefully there will be a few you have not seen before. The picture that shows a cloud of smoke is the implosion of the apartment building in East Libery. I happened to be in a position to take a picture when it blew!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fantastic ride day!

I rode the Eliza Furnace Trail in Pittsburgh today. I needed to go downtown to register for the Pedal Pittsburgh ride on Sunday and I needed to go to REI to pick up an order. I parked at the trail head by Bates street and rode down to Point Park College to register. I picked up my registration packet and rode back to the truck to dump it off. I then rode over to the southside to pick up my order at REI. I bought a backpack for my trip. I also bought an under seat bag. I opened the package and put the under seat bag in the backpack, put it on and proceeded to ride another 15 miles or so. I rode over to the Northside and all the way down the bike trail running alongside the Ohio and then back up to Heinz field, across the bridge and back to Oakland. I really do enjoy this " trail". I like riding on the city streets in Downtown Pittsburgh. I get to feel like a New York bike messenger!!! I rode a total of 25 miles. So this week I was out 4 times and managed to get in 130 miles. Next week I will do better!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Back to Back

I was able to ride again today. 36 miles from Boston to Cedar Creek Park on the bike trail. I haven't been on this trail for at least a year. It was fun to see the changes. I don't think the road surface was in the best of condition but I was able to ride with no problems. I did indulge in a Blizzard at the DQ. I want to get out and ride on Friday and then do the 60 mile ride for Pedal Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A great day to ride!

Today was sunny and cool so I waited until the afternoon to go out to ride. I was getting ready to load the bike and found the back tire was flat! I am on a definite losing streak when it comes to flat tires. I changed the tire and replaced the tube with one I had patched the other day(see previous posts about flat tires). I finally made it out to the Giant Eagle in Harrison City to start my ride. After about 5 miles, I met up with another biker, Kerry, he said he was going out to Twin Lakes so we rode together. It was fun to ride with someone and pass the time talking about biking. We were almost to Twin Lakes when I got another flat! Again it was the rear tire. I changed it and discovered that the patch I put on was leaking. It was one of those glueless patches. Kerry said those things didn't work 10 years ago when he first tried them. The rest of mine are going in the garbage. While I was changing the tire, I noticed that three horses came over to the fence to see what was going on. Pretty funny!
Kerry stayed for a while at Twin Lakes and I turned around and headed home. All in all it was a good day for riding.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Finally a day of riding

After my two aborted attempts to get out and ride last week, I finally managed to get in 35 miles today on a ride out to Twin Lakes Park near Latrobe. The day was not without adversity though! When I went to load the bike on the car I had another, you guessed it, flat! It was again on the rear wheel. This time the valve stem was leaking so I replaced the tube and got on my way. I am getting really good at changing flats. The wind was starting to blow pretty good when I started the ride but I was moving along pretty good for the first few miles and then I realized that I had a tail wind. It was tough on the way back but doable.
While I was taking a break at twin lakes, I saw a father and a teenage son rent a rowboat to take out fishing. You would think an adult would have some idea about rowing a boat but this guy was clueless. He was trying to row from one side only and would have gone in a circle except he was still besides the dock. It was pretty funny!
Hopefully I can get out 3 or 4 times next week. The weather doesn't look too bad.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

One month from today will be the first day of riding

One month from today at this time, I will have finished the first day of riding. Part of me says that is coming pretty quick and I don't have enough miles in, another part says there is still plenty of time as I have been working out pretty hard and riding the spinning cycle even though the weather outside is awful! My pump will be here tomorrow and I will be out there this weekend!!!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Another disaster!

I went out again to ride to Twin Lakes. Only managed to get a mile and a half down the road before the rear tire went flat again. I am getting better at fixing flats. I also was able to get it back on the bike without getting covered with grease, however the pump still didn't work. I couldn't even get enough air in it to ride. I started walking back to the truck. I stopped at a service station and the mechanic was able to get enough air in so I could ride again. He had to improvise as he didn't have a air nozzle to fit my tube. I will try again when it stops raining.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Finally got out riding but!!!

I went out this afternoon even though it was cool and threatening rain. I parked at the Giant Eagle in Harrison City and headed out for Twin Lakes. I was anticipating a 35 mile ride. After about 2.5 miles, my back tire went flat. Not a problem, since I am sure to get flats along the way this summer, this will be good practice. I took the wheel of the bike and proceeded to replace the tube. I managed to get the tire and tube off using my hands only. I was able to put the new tube on and get the tire back on using only my hands (no tire irons). That is when disaster struck. I had never used the tire pump I was carrying. It was a combination CO2 and hand pump. The CO2 part only worked for a few seconds and only partially inflated the tire. I tried a second cartridge but with no luck. I then tried to use the hand pump and was only able to get about 20 lbs in the tire. I then had trouble getting the tire back on the bike. I managed to get both of my hands completely black with chain grease. I limped back to the car and only managed 5 miles total. I did go to the bike store and ordered a new pump. Better luck tomorrow!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Only one month to go!

Just got back from playing golf for a week in Myrtle Beach. Time to step up the cycling with only one more month left to train. I plan to ride every other day with a couple of back to back days thrown in. I am going to do the Ride Pittsburgh event on May 17th rain or shine. There is still time to join me if you want the adventure of biking across America!!!